The Saint Lucia contingent in French Guiana
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Last Thursday, a small contingent of 13 returned to Saint Lucia from French Guiana after representing the island as guests of honour at that country’s national celebrations in promotion of the Creole language and culture. The contingent was invited and hosted by the Conseil General (General Council) of French Guiana in collaboration with Regional Municipal Councils, various local cultural organisations, and organisations of Saint Lucians living in French Guiana.
The Saint Lucian contingent participated in a packed programme schedule of activities dubbed “La Semaine du Creole”, which took place from October 23 to 30, 2013. The activities took place in various districts and cultural locations, highlighting and giving national focus to the richness of the Creole heritage that is shared by Saint Lucia, French Guiana and other Creole speaking countries around the world. They also highlighted the strong historical, economic and cultural relations that have existed between Saint Lucia and the people of French Guiana.
The activities included formal meetings with government and municipal officials, cultural performances, trade fairs and cultural exhibitions, public forums on language and culture, and special presentations on national radio and television.
The meetings and exchanges focused on the development of the Creole language and culture in our geographic environment including Saint Lucia and in the regions of the state of Amapá in North Brazil. Among the highlights, a storytelling evening at the Museum of Cultures Guiana Cayenne was moderated by Frank Compper and Krakémento association. Dances and songs inspired by various traditional groups of Saint Lucia, Martinique and Guiana were also offered to the public at Fort Diamant Rémire-Montjoly.
The local contingent was comprised of members from the Saint Lucia/ Martinique Association, two local artisans, one local manufacturer of jams and jellies and other condiments as well as a representative of the Cultural Development Foundation in the person of the executive director, Kennedy Samuel.
Samuel highlighted the importance of this excursion as “one which can open gateways for our creative industries sector, not only within French Guiana (Cayenne), where there is a huge Saint Lucian presence and influence, but also to Europe”.
In addition, Samuel indicated that “creating relationships with these territories and establishing networks on cultural development would auger well for Saint Lucia and the Cultural Development Foundation.”
The visit of the local delegation to French Guiana was made possible through tangible support from the ministry of tourism, heritage and the creative industries.