Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November 3

Wednesday, November 3 2009

This last week has been one of festivals and celebrations. October was Creloe month, and it ended in a gala Creole extravaganza of music, dance, food,traditional dress and patois.

We then slide right into a 3 day celebration of 31 years of independence marked by speeches, speeches, speeches, each preceeded by lengthy, formal protocal laden introductions, followed by school marching bands." (see below for a little history taken from Lennox Honeychurch's excellent book, "The Dominican Story")

The next day was "Community Service Day". This is a national holiday in which everyone is expected to get out and clean up and repair their immediate community. Some communities have organized major projects that are supposed to beautify and improve public streets, roads, alleys, vacant lots, and sidewalks. Materials have been donated by local businesses. Labour is donated by the citizens, schools, town councils and environmental groups. Great idea!

p. 257: "The Independence Constitution took effect on 3 November, 1978, the 485th anniversary of the sighting of Dominica by Christopher Columbus. The Queen of the United Kingdom was represented by her sister, Princess Margaret, at the formal ceremony marking the transfer of the Constitution and the raising of the new flag based on a design by artist Allyn Bully of seven colours upon a forest green background.
Dominica was the only former British territory in the Caribbean to move immediately to full republican status. In an attempt to remove further complications over the similarity of names with the Spanish speaking Dominican Republic, the island assumed the formal nomenclature of The Commonwealth of Dominica."

Dominica Flag Description:
The flag of Dominica consists of a forest green base with three equal sized vertical stripes and three equal horizontal stripes crossing through the middle of it. The stripes go from left to right and from top to bottom. They are yellow, black and red in color. In the middle of the Dominican flag is a red circle with a Sisserou parrot facing the left side (hoist side). Circling the parrot are 10 green five pointed stars with yellow outlines.
Dominica Flag Meaning:
The ten green stars, which are the traditional symbol of hope, represent the ten parishes of Dominica. The Sisserou Parrot is the national bird of Dominica and symbolizes flight towards greater heights and fulfillment of aspirations. The Parrot also comes from the Dominica Coat of Arms, representing the official seal of the country. The Dominican flag's stripes form a cross representing the Trinity of God. The cross itself demonstrates belief in God. An official Dominican announcement also stated: "The yellow stripe represents the sunshine of our land, our main agricultural products: citrus and bananas and also a symbol of the Carib people, the first inhabitants of the Island. The white stripe represents the clarity of our rivers and waterfalls and the purity of aspiration of our people. The black stripe represents the rich black soil of our island on which our agriculture is based and also our African heritage. The general background of dark green symbolizes our rich verdant forests and the general lushness of the island."
Dominica Flag History:
The Dominican flag was adopted on November 3, 1978 when it gained independence from Britain. The Dominican flag was then modified in 1988, when yellow outlines were added to the stars and the white and black stripes changed positions with each other. In 1988 the parrot, which was originally facing to the right, was turned to face the left of the Dominican flag