Poetry recital features Belizeans and visitors
Not all the artistic expression of Women's Week was manifested through crafts. On Saturday night the stage at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts came alive with the poetry of women from Belize and abroad. Here are some highlights, courtesy of the National Institute of Culture and History.

Poet #1
”Today her spirit freely sings; her soul spreading its wings. Hypocrisies undone, injustices exposed, burying the chains of the colonial hog. She gained her dignity; regained her integrity; Peggy lived, Peggy died proclaiming her identity.”

Poet #2
”But with time the slavish mind has slowly, steadily whittled away. And now there exists a new desire for release, a stirring of expression of the self. It is here, it is now.”

Poet #3
”Janie, Mary, Suzie, who tell unu fi gone round the lane? Look how unu mek Miss Jane name gone down the drain. Unu like mek mischief. Poor Miss Jane got wah big handkerchief. Ah shame, I embarrassed. Dah how unu mek I feel soh?”

Poet #4
”I have a way with words she said, they’re valued more than gold. I’ve etched them in her memory, I’ve created substance feeds her soul. I make them laugh, I make them cry, I turn ABC’s into a baby’s lullaby. I give them life when I write them, let them penetrate you, when I recite them. (Sings) I can make them sing. I turn them into hip hop and I make my word bling bling.”

Poet #5
”Promote sisterhood? When I try to uplift myself you talk negatively about me. Promote sisterhood? When I won the contest you couldn’t even feel happy for me. Promote sisterhood sister? When from a hard day at work I step into my home and found you on top of my man. And you ask me to promote sisterhood?”

Poet #6
”Because my beauty is dead to you. Not your harem girl, geisha doll, banana picker, pom-pom girl, pum-pum short coffeemaker, town whore, belly dancer, private dancer, La Malinche, venus hot and tot laundry girl, video ho. Your immaculate vessel; emasculating princess don’t wanna be not your erotic, not your exotic.”

(Applause)

The week's activities will continue on Wednesday with the Women's Summit. The event begins at eight-thirty in the morning at the Radisson in Belize City.


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Women’s Week activities feature generational encounter
Women's Week: it's hardly the kind of story you'd expect to lead this newscast following a long holiday weekend. But the progress of Belizean women has been building slowly over many, often frustrating years. And if future historians are asked to cite a point at which the movement reached critical mass, it would probably be this first week in March when a record forty-six women candidates ran for municipal office and eighteen were elected. The victors include two mayors: Zenaida Moya of Belize City and Elsa Paz in San Pedro. But the rise of woman power in Belize is not contained to politics, as every year seems to find an increasing number of females holding top jobs in business, the arts, and the nation's professional life. So this week we'll celebrate in ways large and small, beginning our coverage with an encounter in Belize City between the young and young at heart.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
As past of official Women’s Week activities, today seniors and primary school students gathered at the Helpage Activity Centre on Wilson Street for what’s being called an intergenerational exchange.

Coordinated by the Women’s Department, the National Council on Ageing, and the National Kriol Council, the idea is to pass on an appreciation for traditional games and activities to the next generation.

Icilda Humes, Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Dept.
”Things like filling a Klim pan with sand and putting the string on it and rolling it in the yard has been replaced by remote control. The Tataduende storytelling has been replaced by the X-Box and the Play Station. And we as a community need to try to play our part and in particular the Women’s Department today during this week is trying to play our part in ensuring that our young people know that these are the things that make Belize, Belize and we can’t lose our culture, we can lose our folklore.”

According to Human Development Coordinator in the Women’s Department Icilda Humes, when these students leave today, they just might want to share what they’ve learned.

Icilda Humes
”We are trying to ensure that there is a lot of interaction this afternoon and hopefully these primary school students will take it back to their peers in the school yard, in the classroom and try to sort of revitalise our folklore.”