PRESS RELEASE – TODAY, Thursday, artists will be making a case for the teaching of Kwéyòl in our schools when PonmDamouKreations presents “ArtScape at the Alliance Francaise from 8:00 p.m.
Many of us are knowledgeable of the fact that Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion are countries in the world where Kwéyòl is spoken. What fewer people know is that Kwéyòl is spoken in the United States of America — in Louisiana. There, they are trying to save the language since a fair amount of the population speaks it.
In the Caribbean, a residue of people in Trinidad, Grenada and St. Thomas speak the language.
Can Saint Lucia face a similar fate? Kensley Charlemagne, Manager of PonmDamouKreations, thinks so.
“We are well on our way to this happening in Saint Lucia. A language does not die a sudden death unless, of course, there is a genocide of an entire population speaking a certain language. There are a number of underlying factors that contribute to the death of any language and all of those evasive factors are well germinated in the Saint Lucian soil and they are being fervently fertilized. Many do not see it but DSH is a threat to the survival of Kwéyòl,” said Charlemagne.
There are many in society who are of a contrary opinion, including Hillary La Force of the Monsieur Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre, and cultural kingpin Travis Weekes.
“Some beat their chest to say that this will not be the fate of the language here in Saint Lucia but I ask them to take a look at what causes languages to die in the world and they would be just as scared as I am now,” he said.
Charlemagne is making a case for the teaching of Kwéyòl in Saint Lucia and will be one of the lead proponents when artists take to the stage at ArtScape in poetry, song, dance and art at the Pyramid at Point Seraphine.
Charlemagne, while not letting the cat out of the bag, said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and the media are threats to the survival of Kwéyòl.
“While not the only way to save the language, teaching it in our schools is a sure way to preserve the language,” he said.
Charlemagne is thinking of putting up a petition in regard to the teaching of Kwéyòl in our schools but, in the meantime, he encourages all to be part of the engagement and join with the artists tonight from when they present “ArtScape: Kwéyòl an LékòlNou: what are we waiting for?”
Admission is free.