COVID-19 has brought about unprecedented changes to the way we live, work and interact with each other. As we are quickly approaching the month of November and the anticipation of the cultural extravaganza leading up to the re-enactment of the arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of Belize, National Garifuna Council has made the decision to host virtual activities. The focus of this year’s events will be Garifuna identity, spirituality and perseverance. NGC branches countrywide will be planning and hosting various virtual activities to honor the contributions of past and present Garinagu and to showcase the vibrant Garifuna culture, language, music and dance.
The theme chosen for this year is “Garinagu: úara, here; awansera asta lidan liderenouga.” Garinagu: United and Strong, moving forward despite challenges. NGC encourages everyone to wear their masks properly, practice social distancing protocols and other preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our beautiful Belize.
National Garifuna Council Launchs November 2020 Calendar
On Sunday, November 1, 2020, the National Garifuna Council of Belize launched its November Celebrations 2020 and Virtual Calendar of Events. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, National Garifuna Council has decided to host several virtual events that focus on Garifuna identity, spirituality and perseverance, while honoring the contributions of past and present Garinagu and highlighting the vibrant Garifuna culture, language, music and dance.
Proud of our National Garifuna Council for the hard work they have done this year to ensure we have an awesome November 19th celebration despite the challenges we are facing Happy Garifuna Settlement Day Belize.
Re: Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations 2020
#546328 11/18/2009:46 AM11/18/2009:46 AM
The National Garifuna Council Urges Garinagu and Belizeans to Celebrate Safely
"As we are quickly approaching Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19, 2020, National Garifuna Council is urging Garinagu and Belizeans to be safe and take all relevant precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data released from the Office of the Director of Health Services indicate that we currently have 2,181 active cases in Belize and current cases in all major municipalities in the country. NGC has been working diligently over the past few weeks to host a variety of virtual activities and to ensure that we are still able to celebrate and highlight the vibrant Garifuna culture, language, music and dance, while keeping social interaction to a minimum.
NGC encourages everyone to stay home, avoid crowds, wear their masks properly, wash and/or sanitize hands regularly, practice social distancing protocols and other preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our beautiful Belize.
Once again, the theme chosen for this year is “Garinagu: úara, here; awansera asta lidan liderenouga.” Garinagu: United and Strong, moving forward despite challenges. We must all work together to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases and abide by the rules and policies of our country.
The Garifuna Collective of Belize/Guatemala The Garifuna Collective was co-founded and led by Andy Palacio (1960--2008), a musician dedicated to preserving the unique Garifuna language and culture. Today this group of accomplished, multi-generational Garifuna artists continues to tour and perform in Palacio's memory and with his commitment to keeping Garifuna tradition and language alive.
In the 18th-century slave ships from western Africa became shipwrecked near the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. Several hundred's slaves that escaped and made it to shore settled on the island. Already living there at that time were Carib and Arawak Amerindians (originally from South America). The African settlers intermarried with the inhabitants of Saint Vincent. This created a new ethnic group that became known as the Garinagu (in the past also known as the Black Caribs). The culture of the African settlers combined with the language and culture of the Carib and Arawak into this new “Garifuna” culture.
Conflict with European Settlers
In the 18th century slave ships from western Africa became shipwrecked near the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. Several hundreds of slaves that escaped and made it to shore settled on the island. Already living there at that time were Carib and Arawak Amerindians (originally from South America). The African settlers intermarried with the inhabitants of Saint Vincent. This created a new ethnic group that became known as the Garinagu (in the past also known as the Black Caribs). The culture of the African settlers combined with the language and culture of the Carib and Arawak into this new “Garifuna” culture.
Garifuna Settlement Day
Every year on 19th November Belizeans celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of one of the largest groups of Garifuna people to the shores of Belize in 1802. This day is called Garifuna Settlement Day, or sometimes simply as “Yurumein”. Yurumein is the Garifuna name for Saint Vincent, the island where several Spanish slave ships were wrecked in the 17th century. This eventually led to the emergence of the Garifuna people and culture.
Garifuna Culture and Language
The Garifuna language belongs to the Arawakan group of languages and has survived centuries of discrimination and linguistic domination. It is rich in tales (úraga) originally recited during wakes or large gatherings. The Garifuna language has also adopted words from the other nationalities that are involved in their history. This includes French, Spanish and English.
In the late 18th century French and British settlers in the islands fought for control over Saint Vincent. The Garinagu population sided with the French. However, the British won, and forced the Garinagu population to the island of Balliceux. Many thousands died on the journey across the Caribbean and on Balliceux. Those that survived continued their journey and ultimately settled along the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.
Re: Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations 2020
#546355 11/19/2006:23 AM11/19/2006:23 AM
Prime Minister Hon. John Briceno's Message for Garifuna Settlement Day
Mayor Daniel Guerrero shares his message for Garifuna Settlement Day.
Tracking back to the African ancestral roots who travel the transatlantic, to the fight for survival off the island of St. Vincent, to their traveled to Central America and their eventual settlement on Belizean coastal shores, to fitting into Belize’s culture that was dominated by the western European British masters, the struggle of our Garifuna people is not something that should be taken for granted.
It is a story of reflection on how much our Belizean people has had to endure, to preserve and claim its rightful cultural identity. The Garifuna story of survival is part of our cultural story, that helped shaped the great nation we live in. For that reason, this year’s theme is a fitting reminder of our past and current struggles and challenges. And as highlighted, the only way the Garinagu has survived these challenges over the years, is by being united, standing strong and remaining steadfast with a solid goal. “Garinagu: United and Strong, moving forward despite challenges.”
Under the current COVID 19 circumstances, The National Garifuna Council has opted to discourage public events, in keeping with the national health recommendations. Nonetheless, let us take this time to share the stories of endurance and perseverance that our Garifuna people have endured, with our families and friends.
So then, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council and the people of San Pedro Town, I take this opportunity to wish all Belizeans a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day. Happy 19th of November.
On behalf of the Director of Tourism, Executive Management team and BTB staff, we wish you a happy and safe Garifuna Settlement Day! Today we celebrate one of our vibrant cultures that make Belize so great.
Re: Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations 2020
#546362 11/19/2010:55 AM11/19/2010:55 AM
Belize celebrates the rich culture of the Garifuna
In 1941, Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos created the Garifuna Settlement Day holiday to honor and celebrate the arrival of the Garifuna people on Belize’s shores on November 19, 1802. The date was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977 by the Government of Belize. Ramos was also a schoolteacher and a visionary leader, founder of the Carib Development and Sick Aid Society and later the Carib International Society.
The re-enactment of the Garinagu trails as they journeyed in dugout canoes from St. Vincent to Roatan, Honduras then to Belize is called Yurumein, which means ‘homeland’. It is a lively procession with drumming and singing, and every dawn of November 19th, municipalities throughout Belize enjoy this colorful re-enactment, rain or shine. Consisting three horizontal stripes – black, white and yellow – in that order – starting from the top – the Garifuna flag has been accepted internationally as the flag of the Garifuna Nation. These colors are synonymous with the Garifuna identity.
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