Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!
Activities are ongoing to celebrate the arrival of the Garifuna to Belizean shores. Here in Belize City, Lerisi Garifunaduau will be the venue for a mega concert on November eighteen featuring cultural artists from Belize and Honduras. This will be followed by the reenactment of the arrival leading to a procession to the Saint Martin’s Church on the nineteenth. There will be a full day of activities to celebrate the Garifuna culture including its music, food and dance. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the lineup.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
This November nineteenth promises to be eventful, with activities chiefly taking place in Dangriga, Belize City and Punta Gorda. The occasion will begin and end with all-day drumming, singing and dancing, an overall festive spirit throughout the extended weekend. In Belize City, all roads will lead to Lerisi Garifuna Restaurant where the National Garifuna Council has partnered with proprietor Adette Tillett Nolberto to pay homage to the day that was founded by Thomas Vincent Ramos.
Adette Tillett Nolberto, Proprietor, Lerisi Garifuna Restaurant
“The events are so packed that we could not do it in one day, so we’re doing it in two days starting on eighteenth night when we have a concert and that concert will be featuring Grupo Wani and Libanya Marasa out of Honduras, as well as C-Wills, Taprick and Concego and the Laru Beya Band. We start at ten p.m. and we go all the way up until five a.m. on nineteenth morning. Right here in the parking lot of Lirisi which is across the street from the Celebrity Restaurant and in the same parking lot as the Balloon Bar. So that is the eighteenth activities. At five a.m., once we’re done with the concert then the National Garifuna Council takes over to start the reenactment process. The crowd will be leaving from Lirisi’s parking lot. We’re going to be walking just a short distance to the pier on Marine Parade and that’s where those persons who will be participating in the actual reenactment will be entering the canoe and will come out by BelCan. Once they reach by BelCan, the reenactment will happen, we will have a parade to St. Martin’s Church where we are going to have the official mass for the nineteenth morning. And after that mass, a parade will happen from St. Martin’s back to Lerisi’s parking lot where the official opening ceremonies will be taking place. So we’re thinking that should be around ten a.m. and it should last an hour. So as at eleven a.m., that is when Lirisi takes over from the National Garifuna Council and we start our events and our events go from eleven a.m. all the way until six p.m. on the nineteenth. We’re going to be having several events, including the mali which is the spirituality aspect of our culture and after the mali, we then have the jankunu dancing contest. We’re going to be having hudut eating contest, we’re having uraga contest which is story telling. We’re also going to be having two demonstrations: the cassava bread making competition and the charikanari dance competition. Ugundani Dance Group has teamed up with us and they are going to also be here demonstrating the different Garifuna dances as well for us on November nineteenth.”