45th Independence celebration promises ‘an attraction for everyone’ says Culture Minister

Gretta Roberts

As Dominica’s 45th Independence Celebration kicks off, Culture Minister Gretta Roberts has announced that the carefully curated calendar of activities by the Cultural Division and the Government of Dominica ensures that there is “an attraction for everyone” to enjoy during the next four weeks.

During the official launch of this year’s celebration, she stressed that the upcoming festivities would once again offer a diverse array of events to cater to various interests.

These include glamorous pageants for those who appreciate style and elegance, cultural competitions for those drawn to traditional Jing Ping and dances, and school-based celebrations aimed at nurturing a love and appreciation for culture and heritage among

The cultural semi-finals began over the weekend for the west and southwest at Kalleb Laurent Primary School and the north and northeast at Bense Primary School. These competitions will continue on October 7, with the semifinals for the south at Bellevue
Mall and the east and southeast on the October 8 at Castle Bruce Secondary School.

Minister Roberts also highlighted the celebration of culture every Friday throughout the month of October, including Jounne Panyen on October 6, Jounne Chapo Pay on the October 13th, and Had Kweyol on the October 20.

“This year, at 45, we ask all Dominicans at home and abroad to don our national wear, and on Creole Day, Friday, October 27, to show the world what National Wear truly represents,” she encouraged.

Dominica’s national wear will also be a focal point of discussion during History Week, which runs from October 6 to the 13.

Roberts explained that this year’s independence theme, “Annou Sélébwé”, is simple in expression but carries significant meaning.

“It is a reminder that even in what may seem to be the most difficult times, the indomitable Dominican spirit is always guaranteed to take us through. As a government, we have faced a succession of challenges, both natural and manmade,” she stated.

“Yet we forge ahead, fully cognizant of a sworn responsibility to secure a brighter, more hopeful future for Dominican people. Our determination to not only survive, but to flourish and prosper, and our strength and courage as a people are why we celebrate,”
the culture minister added.

Roberts underlined that the celebrations over the next month provide the ideal opportunity to contemplate how individuals and the community can come together to continue building their nation. She urged reflection on what contributions can be made, both individually and collectively, to address the issues affecting their development.

She stressed that this is how the nation can heed the Prime Minister’s call for a reset.

“This reset will require solidarity and the collective will to drive our country forward. Independence is an opportunity to reclaim the sense of togetherness and community, which seems to be eroding gradually on account of our political differences. Instead, let
us renew our commitment to work in concert with God and country. Let us recapture our confidence as a self-assured people willing to affirm and support each other in pursuit of the common good.”

In conclusion, she extended a warm welcome to all Dominicans in the diaspora who will be returning home to celebrate their heritage in the upcoming weeks and urged everyone to wholeheartedly participate in this year’s celebration. Furthermore, when the community day of service arrives, she encourages individuals to “find even a small way that you can contribute to the advancement of your community and country. Dominica is ours to build. She is a treasure that must be protected at all costs and this responsibility lies with each of us.”

During the launch, Acting Chief Cultural Officer Earlston Mathew expressed his appreciation for the dedication of the cultural division staff, who have shown unwavering commitment to their cause despite facing numerous challenges. He highlighted how they have consistently grown stronger in the face of adversity and encouraged everyone to contribute to their shared mission.

“Sometimes our nature is such that we want to see the tradition stay alive until we are called upon to participate. We are all green, and environmentally conscious until it’s time to clean up after ourselves. We all advocate for eating local produce until it is time to plant,” he said.

“So as we remain wary of developing a reputation of all talk and no action, let us continue to encourage those who do accept their social, environmental, and most importantly, cultural responsibilities, whether through physical, emotional, moral, or financial support,” Mathew added.

He pointed to the cultural division’s adaptability in embracing evolution and technological advancements and cited the transformation of traditional storytelling into today’s TikTok videos as an example of how they have harnessed contemporary tools to find solutions instead of lamenting the changing times.

Furthermore, Mathew acknowledged the delicate balance they maintain between authenticity and public appeal, particularly when engaging with the younger generation.

As such he stressed, “let us continue to be tolerant with the next generation and continue to guide the evolution rather than dictate the evolution. We will not win that fight if we are not receptive to and appreciative of their realities.”

As part of the upcoming cultural celebrations, a diverse array of activities will unfold over the next four weeks, reflecting Dominica’s vibrant culture and heritage. Below are full lists of the various activities.



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  1. Marie
    October 14, 2023

    It’s just an excuse for more sewo and general indecency. The red fraction of Dominicans love that. Some even receive spending money from certain offices in the financial centre.

  2. JAH KAL
    October 7, 2023

    Gretta your mom must be turning in the grave knowing the lady she was ,you disappointed her big time .
    Gretta i want to come home to see my family around the festival time will there be lights in dominica, the tickets are so expensive to come home, and when you get there , while you taking a shower light go off what should i do,let me know what to do, or should i go somewhere else and spend my hard own cash.
    Gretta how many free tickets you and the bunch of no good for nothing giveing this festival dominicans have no jobs no money, concern citizen want to know.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6
  3. dissident
    October 6, 2023

    bite me lady!
    Roosevelt Skerrit was a member of the viellecasse cultural group…….. that doesn’t show in his development agenda!
    we lost conte, and many of the cultural dances are lost to nasty business sewo!
    de real cultural activities have a very small venue with less promotion than sewo activities!
    de activities that people support during Independence celebration is sewo fete activities plain and simple…… because these activities get all de money and promotion and that’s what we selling to foreigners
    independence celebration turn to festival and sewo
    nasty business threatened to be bigger than Creole festival so de promoters bend over!
    gone are the days when cultural activities actually attracted young people by de thousands………you can’t sing that song today!
    we selling fashion in culture more than culture itself!
    like we only skin deep……no depth at all

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 7
  4. Ibo France
    October 6, 2023

    What a paradoxical situation! On the eve of celebrating forty five years of political independence the overwhelming majority of residents are more dependent than ever before in the history of their existence.

    At this moment in time, resident Dominicans are dependent on handouts, vouchers, remittances from relatives overseas and beggary. So, the question is, what is really there to celebrate?

    Should the people celebrate the daily electricity outages and disruption of water supply? Should it be their dry weather houses? Should it be the unprecedented shootings and daring, daylight robberies? Should it be the crooked justice system and the brutal atrocities of law enforcement?

    This forty fifth year of independence there is nothing much to celebrate. Poverty, crime, dispossession, non-communicable diseases and hardship are the people’s lot. We need a change in the downward trajectory of the country. Only the collective efforts of the masses can do this.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 7
    • Weh Weh Weh!!!!
      October 8, 2023

      Agreed with you for the first time. Every time you speak to a relative in DA can you send us a barrel. Nonstop begging. You lost families because you can’t send a barrel every month some even ask for Weave hair!!!! is it begging? poverty or greed. You send them money constantly and still no appreciation. Are we that badly off. I cam to DA two years ago and all I left it was one change of clothes in my suitcase. What’s going on with our people? Someone please tell me it is only my families? Help Help. I want to come to this festive but where is the culture? Am I coming to see half naked women dancing to SEWO. Where has Dominica gone too.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • Putin
        October 9, 2023

        ” I cam to DA two years ago and all I left it was one change of clothes in my suitcase. What’s going on with our people?” So because your family thinks that you are a millionaire and they are greedy, malkassay, and no-face enough to harass you for your hand-me-downs, you believe that this is the same for all families in Dominica?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

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