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Garifuna language and cultural retrieval summer programme climaxes this weekend

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Tue, Aug 14, 2012

The second annual Garifuna language and cultural retrieval summer programme concludes this weekend, with concerts at Barrouallie, Sandy Bay and the Peace Memorial Hall.{{more}}

The programme, which took place at the Peter’s Hope Secondary School, began on July 23, and exposed over 50 students to the Garifuna history, language, drumming, and foods.

Organizer of the programme Trish St Hill said it is a privilege to watch the participants’ cultural growth. St Hill said she teaches the participants new lessons in the Garifuna language daily.

Music Director James Lovell said he taught the students to sing and drum in Garifuna. Lovell said he translated the songs into English to enable the students to learn the history behind the music. According to Lovell, he has covered 15 songs with the students, including chants.

Dancer/choreographer Erica Zuniga said the students have responded with enthusiasm to every aspect of the programme. Zuniga said they are dedicated and that they enjoy the dancing. She was born in Los Angeles to Belizean parents and this is her first visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines. Zuniga said she is grateful for the opportunity to visit Yurumein.

All are welcomed at the Garifuna language and cultural retrieval summer programme and 71-year-old Hilda Garraway-Robertson is testimony to the fact. Garraway lives at Peter’s Hope and has attended the programme since the first day. Garraway said that she learnt a lot and is enjoying the lessons about her original language and history. She expressed gratitude to the tutors who took time to help them recover what is theirs.

Student at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School and drum enthusiast David Francis said he enjoyed the programme, especially learning about the Garifuna language and history. Francis said he had participated in the programme last year, and also expressed gratitude to Lovell for bringing the language to them.

Member of the Sandy Bay Kalinago Cultural Movement Kelvin May said he brought a group of students from Sandy Bay to participate in the workshop. May expressed gratitude to St Hill for bringing the team to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

This weekend’s concerts will be held at Barrouallie, Sandy Bay, and the Peace Memorial Hall, today, tomorrow and Sunday, respectively, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

St Hill urges the public to come out and support of the youths, as they will display what they learnt during the programme.(API)

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