In Saint Lucia, the month of October is designated Creole Heritage month.
This year, Jounen Kwéyòl will be celebrated in four host communities: Babonneau, Marigot, Vieux Fort, and Dennery. Leading up to the spectacular celebration, the Dennery Development Committee, in collaboration with the Department of Local Government, hosted a storytelling and games night in Oleon, Dennery.
Charlene Felicien. Local Government Clerk said introduced the proceedings.
“Tonight, we will listen to the history of Saint Lucia and the history of Mabouya Valley, and familiarize ourselves with stories of what our forefathers did in the past.”
Throughout the month of October, there were several events such as the National Woulelaba Competition, plays, and an indigenous simulation of the river washing at Fond Petit, Derniere Riviere. Residents of Dennery came out in large numbers to support the event.
Creole Heritage Month culminates with Jounen Kwéyòl, which is perhaps the most widely celebrated event on the island. The Government of Saint Lucia demonstrated its support for the festival by increasing the allocation to each community hosting the event, to EC$30,000.
Sen. Hon. Fortuna Belrose welcomed the initiative and emphasized the need for Saint Lucians to embrace their heritage.
“Creole Heritage Month gives us an opportunity to relive our past, assess ourselves, and determine where we’re headed as a nation,” she said. “This year’s Creole festivities took on a different dimension because we had activities within communities beyond just the Jounen Kwéyòl day.
“In addition, the Government of Saint Lucia has taken the initiative to invest a substantial amount of money this year, and so the communities that are hosting Jounen Kwéyòl this year have received five-fold what they would normally receive in the past. So the planning and organization of the event has been made easier, and we hope that it translates into a better coordinated event in the communities that will officially host the event.”
This year, Jounen Kwéyòl will be celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 29.