First Coconut Art and Craft Exhibition opens at Old Mill (SEE PHOTOS)

The first ever National Coconut Art and Craft Exhibition opened Monday night at the Old Mill Cultural Centre as part of the ongoing Independence celebrations.

The event’s launch, which boasts a variety of locally made coconut products, coincides with the opening of Dominica History Week. It will run for the next two weeks, culminating on Friday, October 22.

With two floors of coconut inspired oils, food, jewelry, brooms, clothing, medicine, soaps, art and craft, the Old Mill Cultural Centre lays claim to the Dominican tradition as known by its forefathers.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Justina Charles said she was impressed with not only the presentation but also the diversity of products on show.

“I am honestly impressed by what I’ve seen. We need to get those products on the Bay Front,” she said.

Charles along with other ministers of government, including the minister of tourism, and prominent members of the Dominican society were present to make the historic launch.

The minster has urged Dominicans to strive to develop a greater sense of appreciation and support for local products. “This can be used to enhance our tourism industry and our economy,” Charles said.

Meanwhile, Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence offered his personal congratulations to the organizers for an exceptional presentation and has called on the schools to use the next two weeks to reinforce the values of culture in the nation’s youth, with particular focus on its food and nutrition.

Lawrence has also called on teachers to organize trips for their students, giving them the opportunity to  see what their country can produce.

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12 Comments

  1. citizen
    October 13, 2010

    i would have a special display for all this stuff in my home in the USA keep it up my fellow Dominicans

  2. boston
    October 13, 2010

    Very impressive work done by the organizer, this should be a yearly event done at the Old Mill Cultural Center; the Old Mill Center has been part of Dominica’s heritage for centuries. This should be an added cultural event for Dominica & Dominicans for years to come. This is something that can help build our country and economy in many ways. Keep up the good work Dominica. Making progress for a better future.

  3. look ahead
    October 12, 2010

    Exibits such as this should be done more often. Congratulations to the organisers. I see too many vendors rushing to buy things made in China. More emphasis should be placed on our own. Shapou py day was a superb example, but we now have flag day when we have to puechase flags from the Chinese.

  4. coconut lover
    October 12, 2010

    @True Dominican: i need a broom too, bring up one for me too, (lol, we might not even be on the same continent)

  5. Go Local anyway
    October 12, 2010

    Just another exhibition showcasing our local products and the creativity of our people. We have had many, many expositions like that over the years. The Million dollar question is after those Ministers visit and give those nice speeches, WHAT NEXT, business as usual. The local entrepreneurs are totally neglected. What do we see in Roseau? The Chinese are allowed with backing from authorities and support from some Dominicans, to flood the Dominican market with cheaper, inferior products made in China.

    Local business people complaining Chinese not paying VAT. DAIC, INLAND Revenue, Ministry of Finance concerned only after the locals speak out. They get a slap on the wrist for not paying VAT. Workshop held to educate them because they are not complying with regulations. Locals would be brought before the courts for non-compliance, for not paying VAT. Do you all see the DOUBLE STANDARDS?

    Aren’t the Chinese giving us, spending millions of dollars, assisting us with stadium, and rehabilitating roads, given contract to build $27,000,000.00 President PALACE? Dominicans, are those not your excuses?

    While Chinese businesses are expanding and taking over our city, our local businesses are closing shop. Those local businesses are selling local goods, you forget. You all think is the Chinese who will sell local products for us? FREE TRADE. A policy of opening up the markets of poor Third countries to goods from foreign. Given the prices of those local products compared to the prices of the foreign ones, Dominicans, with less money in their pockets now, will continue to buy foreign. How many really care about where it is made or comes from?

    You all forgetting too fast. Dominicans were praising the recently opened supermarket in Roseau, close to our Local Fresh Food market, for importing carrots, cabbage and other agricultural produce from Miami, Florida. They were blindly agreeing with the Big Businessman of influence to do that. Dominicans themselves were flocking to buy those produce. They jump in excitement, because the business man bringing in cheaper food stuff from overseas. Meanwhile our local foods which are much more nutritious and chemical free are left unsold just next door. The Business man making his huge profits. The mesmerized consumers fooled into believing what he is doing is OK and so are taken for a ride. The farmers of Miami getting richer, while our local farmers gwayeing, getting poorer.

    The Chinese business people will continue to manipulate and control the market for their own interest. They are, NO DOUBT about it, seriously supported locally. Dominicans of all walks of life, scramble to buy their cheaper, inferior foreign-made goods. Because Money scarce and that is what people could afford?

    So HOORAY for the EXPO of local goods, but the Chinese goods will be given priority over those locally -made stuff. The smarter foreign business people will overpower that. In fact, they are succeeding. More talk and talk of locally produced goods. MARKETING, PRICE. and Dominicans changing their attitudes and having our people buy more local, is another matter. It will be A MAJOR UP HILL BATTLE. That is the Gospel truth. While the Cultural Division is encouraging or wetting our appetite for Dominicans to buy more local, appreciate things local yet again this year, they are not getting the kind of collaborative help from POLICY MAKERS and OTHER INSTITUTIONS. .

  6. Pat
    October 12, 2010

    This is what we have to make sure we continue to do not only on speacial occasions. I am very thankful that i can see these things and we Dominicans canbe proud of what we make. Young people can try theri best in doing and selling these things but the shop onwers have to help them in buying their products. It is not easy but if they try someone somewhere will help.
    I am away from home and it gives me pleasure in seeing that out country Dominica can produce such good food and items for everyone not just only onland but outside of Dominica.
    God Bless out Country

  7. Lady
    October 12, 2010

    Thats the kind of stuff we need on the Bay Front, not the pacay imported coshonie every body selling, stuff the tourist see in every port they enter.

  8. True Dominican
    October 12, 2010

    i love it all am such a proud Dominican …………………. i need a coconut broom bad hope i can get one when i come home for the festival later this month to take back with me .

  9. DD
    October 12, 2010

    They really should have had this exhibition on the bayfront especially with the cruise ship season now open. Wonderful work people.

  10. oh my!
    October 12, 2010

    I am absolutely impressed. I love to see this. This should inspire others to be more creative. All very beautiful.

  11. Londonican
    October 12, 2010

    Such lovely work. And to think these are from the simple coconut wow!!.

  12. coconut lover
    October 12, 2010

    nice, i especially like # 9 & 10. Great talent and imagination. To wo ever did it, congrats!

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