FRC observes International Creole Day
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
by GIS

October 28 is celebrated annually as International Creole Day.

The Monsignor Dr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC), commemorated the occasion with the hosting of a National Conference on the Creole Language.

Since 1984, International Creole Day has been celebrated in countries where the Creole language is spoken. While Antillian Creole in spoken within the Caribbean (Saint Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti), other forms of creole are spoken in the Indian Ocean in Seychelles and Reunion.

On October 28, Saint Lucians came together to reflect on what the creole language means to them and the strides that have been made in developing and using the language.

Dame Pearlette Louisy spoke on the milestones that have been achieved in the development of the language in Saint Lucia.

“In 1981 we had the first of two regional workshops organized by the Folk Research Centre and the National Research and Development Foundation. That workshop was on language and Development: The Saint Lucian Context. In 1982 we held the second regional workshop on the development of Antillian Creole,” she said.

Other milestones include the development of a creole dictionary, the featuring of Creole in the Throne Speech and the approved creole version of Saint Lucia’s national anthem.

“This stemmed from a request made by the then Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, who wanted to ensure that creole speakers understood government’s policies. From 1998 to 2016 creole featured in the Throne Speech. In 2016, the Cabinet of ministers approved the creole version of the National Anthem (Chanson Nasyonnal Sent Lisi), which marked the 37th Anniversary of Independence and the observance of UNESCO’s International Mother Tongue Day.”

A three-year program will commence in Saint Lucia in the year 2020, that will enable the teaching of creole from Kindergarten to Grade 3.