The WCMF Cure

•November 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment

“WOW!”

That is how I’d sum up Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival this year.

The 19th annual event was a visual extravaganza by both local and international artists, adding just that extra touch to the outstanding performances by all the bands.

After Three Days of Pulsating Rhythms, it’s time  to get back to work… here’s my recipe for a WCMF Cure. What’s yours?

My WCMF Cure

  1. Make Monday a National Holiday😉
  2. Sleep all day Monday.
  3. Soak in Bubble Beach Spa at Sunset, while sipping my favourite beverage, Dale’s homemade Coconut Punch
  4. Have a light dinner and sleep until Tuesday morning.

Voila! Back on your feet post-WCMF 2016.

sunset

If you missed WCMF 2016, don’t worry!

You can catch up on all the action On the Dominica Festivals Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/DominicaFests

Dominica’s Chapo Pay ~ A New National Symbol?

•October 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

During Independence and Creole Season you’ll often spot both women and men walking through Roseau wearing beautiful “chapo pay” (straw hats). These hats are not only practical in that they give much-needed shade from the tropical sun, but they support the local economy too!

Hand-crafted Chapo Pay are common in Dominica, where we have many talented craftsmen and craftswomen who continue to practice the skills they were taught by their grandparents.

One such talented woman is Ms. Jistine Fontaine, sister to the late Prime Minister Hon. Pierre Charles.

jistine-chapo-pay

Jistine creates these beautiful hats herself. She makes the straw from screw-pine before weaving the hats into various designs and adding the creole touches, madras clothe and a flower or two.

Do you have your Chapo Pay for the 2016 Independence Season?

If not, feel free to visit Jistine. She is located at the corner of Independence and Hillsborough Streets. Once Cruise Season starts, you can find her on the Bayfront at Booth #2.

Her hats are reasonably priced and beautifully crafted in both men’s and women’s styles!


The Process

Making the ‘straw’ from screw-pine is not an easy task!

Watch this fantastic video from the Cultural Division that shows how screw pine is processed and then made into different products. The mini documentary is less than 5 minutes.

 


 

National Emblems Week: Dominica’s Traditional Dress

•October 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Traditional Dress in Dominica

October is one of the best months to visit Dominica, because our culture is on display everywhere. Throughout the month, Fridays are designated as “Creole Dress” Day (Had Kwéyòl). On the Fridays leading up to Creole Day (the last Friday of the month), we add an accent of creole to our clothing or wear colourful madras skirts, tops and dresses. Many people create new fashions with madras patterns, all paying tribute to our Creole heritage. On Creole Day, traditional creole clothing like the Wob Dwiyet is on full display everywhere you go — and especially during the Creole Day Parade in Roseau.

creole-dress

Creole Day Parade in Roseau

 

Dominica’s National Wear

Dominica’s traditional National Wear includes a Wob Dwiyet for women and black pants, white shirt and red sash for men.

The Wob Dwiyet is a national symbol of Dominica. You can see it in all its glory during the Miss Wob Dwiyet Competition held every year during Independence.

Men also wear brightly coloured madras shirt jacks, waistcoats, or sashes when celebrating the Creole Season.

 


DID YOU KNOW?

culture-traditional-wear-wob-dwiyet

The traditional  Wob Dwiyet (“Grand Robe”) consists of mouchoir, foulard, jupe, chemise, and “jupon a dantell” complete with gold jewellery on arms, neck, ears and mouchoir.

Drawing and information from Dr. Lennox Honyhchurch – read more at  www.LennoxHonychurch.com


FÈT ANDÉPANDANS 2016 in Dominica

See Creole Wear on display at the many Creole pageants throughout our Independence Celebrations:

  • Ti Matador Creole Pageant – Thurs. Oct. 20th, 8pm at Arawak House of Culture
  • Madame Wob Dwiyet Pageant – Sat. Oct. 22nd, 4pm at Arawak House of Culture
  • Miss Wob Dwiyet Pageant – Thurs. Oct. 27th, 8pm at Old Mill Cultural Centre
  • Creole Dress Parade – Fri. Oct. 28th, 10 am in the Streets of Roseau

 

gala15-national-wear

 

For a more detailed description of tradition Creole dress, see avirtualDominica.com which

 

See all the post about our National Symbols here.

 

National Emblems Week: Dominica’s Flag

•October 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Dominica’s National Emblems: Coat of Arms

 

coat-of-arms

 

According to Dr. Lennox Honychurch, Dominica’s Coat of Arms was designed in 1960 by three people:

  • First Chief Minister of Dominica Franklin A. Baron
  • British Administrator of Dominica, Colonel Alec Lovelace
  • Eleanor Lovelace, wife of Colonel Alec Lovelace

In 1961, the Coat of Arms was registered at the College of Arms in London.  The Coat of Arms is to be displayed as follows:

“on Seals, Shields, Banners, Flags or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms”.

The shield is divided into 4 parts and shows:

  1. volcanic soil and a coconut tree
  2. the crapaud – (now an endangered species)
  3. a kalinago canoe with sails
  4. and a banana tree with mature fruit

The Motto is Apres Bondie C’est La Ter and it means “after God, the earth” which shows the significance of soil and agriculture in Dominica.


For more information about Dominica’s National Symbols and Independence Celebrations, see avirtualDominica.com

 

National Emblems Week: The Sisserou Parrot, Dominica’s National Bird

•October 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The National Bird of Dominica –  The Sisserou Parrot

The Sisserou, Amazona imperialis, is Dominica’s national bird and the larger of  the two endemic parrots in Dominica.Sisserou Parrot

These precious birds are found nowhere else in the world and are found only in the higher elevation rainforests around the Morne Diablotins and Morne Trois Pitons National Park here in Dominica.

Appearance: Males and females are almost identical in appearance, coloured with greens, purples, black and orange. Males tend to weight about 900g (32 oz) and females about 650 g (23 oz), and they average 20 inches in length.

Diet: These birds eat a variety of fruit, nuts and other local vegetation such as bromeliads and wild anthurium.

Character: Sisserou parrots are shy and generally travel solo or in pairs or trios. They live to about 70 years old.

Cultural Importance

The Sisserou is featured on

  • Dominica’s Flag
  • The Coat of Arms
  • The Parliamentary Mace

 


DID YOU KNOW?

Sisserou Parrots mate for life! Once the Sisserou finds a partner, it remains with it until its death.


 

National Emblems Week: Dominica’s National Anthem

•October 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The National Anthem of Dominicanational_anthem_sheet_music

  • Music composed by L.M. Christian
  • Lyrics written by W. O. M. Pond

Dominica’s National Anthem was first written in 1965 as a National Song. It became the National Anthem in 1967 when Dominica achieved Associated Statehood status (1967 to 1978).

Our national anthem has a lovely melody and moving lyrics. When it is played, we stand to attention with hands (in closed fists) at our sides.

  • You can listen to Dominica’s National Anthem here.

 


Did you know?
It is such a delightful national anthem that it was named one of the top ten anthems among 205 countries competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

 


The National Anthem of Dominica has three stanzas. Here are the lyrics:

The National Anthem of Dominica

Isle of beauty, isle of splendour,
Isle to all so sweet and fair,
All must surely gaze in wonder
At thy gifts so rich and rare.
Rivers, valleys, hills and mountains,
All these gifts we do extol.
Healthy land, so like all fountains,
Giving cheer that warms the soul.

Dominica, God hath blest thee
With a clime benign and bright,
Pastures green and flowers of beauty
Filling all with pure delight,
And a people strong and healthy,
Full of godly, rev’rent fear.
May we ever seek to praise Thee
For these gifts so rich and rare.

Come ye forward, sons and daughters
Of this gem beyond compare.
Strive for honor, sons and daughters,
Do the right, be firm, be fair.
Toil with hearts and hands and voices.
We must prosper!
Sound the call, In which ev’ry one rejoices,
“All for Each and Each for All.


 

Read more about Dominica’s National Symbols at avirtualDominica.com

 

National Emblems Week: Dominica’s Flag

•October 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Dominica’s National Emblems: the Flag of Dominica

 

No national symbol is more representative of its country than its Flag.

Dominica’s Flag was originally designed in 1978 by Alwin Bully, a playwright and artist, who is now a national icon himself.

The Flag of Dominica

Dr. Lennox Honychurch provides a brief description of the Dominica Flag:

“The flag has a green background representing the forested island. A cross, made up of three bands representing “the Trinity of God” is white, black and yellow in colour, and the cross itself “demonstrates belief in God”. According to the designer, Alwin Bully, the colours of each band represent aspects of the land and the ethnic origins of its people: the yellow for the sunshine, the main agricultural products of the island at the time, citrus and bananas and the indigenous Carib/Kalinago people, the black for the soil and the African heritage, the white for the rivers and waterfalls of the island and the European influence.”

Read more at www.Lennox Honychurch.com

For more information about Dominica’s National Symbols and Emblems, visit avirtualDominica.com

 

Dominica’s 2016 Independence Celebrations

Delices Cultural Group

Delices Cultural Group

 

 
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