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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 31 - Friday, November 15, 2002
Dominica's Culture Preserved: Independence Day Celebration in Miami
by: Thomson Fontaine

Brilliant! Amazing! Wow! Were some of the adjectives racing through my mind as I listened, first to Dominica's lady of song Ophelia Marie, then watched in complete amazement as dancers from the Castle Bruce Cultural Group bedecked in the lively colors of the madras danced and glided to the symphonic sounds of Dominica's Jing-Ping.

This stunning display was not taking place in Dominica, in fact, it was unfolding thousands of miles away in Miami. It was a celebration of Dominica's Independence as a proud and growing Nation.

Hundreds of Dominicans were assembled in the El Palacio Hotel in North Miami watching the Jing-Ping dancers, listening to Ophelia and to Dominica's pre eminent MC Franklyn Moses.

For several weeks, the Miami Multi-Purpose Committee headed by Nigel Francis, Event Cordinator Joanne Prince-Cajuste, with unstinting support from Dorian Blaize, Claudia Carlton, Gizelle Valmond, Osborne Alexander, Emile Serrant, and John Bruney worked tirelessly in bringing a taste of Dominica's uniqueness to the many Dominicans in the Miami area.

From the response of the audience and by personal witness to the incredible display that unfolded before me, their efforts were undoubtedly hugely rewarded.

It was a night to remember. An exquisite display of Dominicans' at their very best. A compelling dose of patriotism hung heavy in the air set against a pleasing exuberance of beautifully dressed women parading in their Wob Dwiyet, in a dizzying display of color and circumstance.

The food served was all Dominican cuisine- such tantalizing taste. Later, the specially invited guests received wonderfully decorated baskets of Dominican products sponsored by DEXIA.

This night was special in what it reminded me about Dominica. Our cultural heritage is unsurpassed, with the music, bele, jing-ping, heel and toe polka unrivalled.

No Caribbean country comes even close to our cuisine in terms of pure taste, variety and class. Our many manufactured products, from the varied juices, to the candles, to the kubuli, are far-and- away superior in quality to other similar products anywhere.

This combination of culture (in its many manifestations), cuisine, and quality products are things that we can proudly offer to the world and benefit from so doing in the process.

We need to devise ways of getting this to a wide an audience as possible. It is uniquely special to Dominica and represents the varied and talented gifts of a delightful country.

Among the many Dominicans watching all of this was Dominica's ambassador to the United Nations, Crispin Gregoire, and US- based Dominican Attorney Gabriel Christian. Ambassador Gregoire would later complement and encourage those present to remember and take an interest in Dominica. Mr. Christian with near evangelical fervor rallied the crowd with a message of hope for Dominica's future.

As people rose to their feet and joined Ophelia in singing Aie Dominique, the room was immediately transformed into a living, breathing representation of a beautiful people, singing songs of hope in a distant land, yet drawn forever close to a country that we all love.


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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 31
Second Diaspora Symposium in Dominica
Paying Homage to the Countryside
Celebrating Independence Day in Miami
Pursue Claim to Bird Island
Whats Wrong With Dolphin Resorts
Diaspora Donations to PMH



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