National days of prayer on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22 will kick off Dominica’s 2013 independence celebrations, Chief Cultural Office, Raymond Lawrence announced on Wednesday.
The celebrations, which mark Dominica’s 35th anniversary of political independence, are expected to span some seven weeks under the theme “One Mission, One Dominica, Celebrating 35.”
The official opening ceremony is slated for Friday 27th September and will take place on the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard.
Dominica History Week will be celebrated from Monday 7th October to Friday 11th October under the theme “Koudmen”.
“Koudmen is a spirit of volunteerism and community spirit of generosity and kindness which has been part of the Dominican lives for centuries,” Lawrence explained.
The National Art and Craft Exhibition, which will focus on Breadfruit, is slated for Tuesday 15th at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.
The Madame Wob Dwiyet Pageant is carded for Friday 18th, October, Ti Matador is set for Saturday 19th while the National Wob Dwiyet Pageant will take place on Thursday 24th October, 2013.
A special Creole Symposium will be held from October 22nd to October 24th to commemorate the 30th anniversary of International Creole Day. LIME Creole in the Park will also be held during that week.
Heritage Day will take place in Bagatelle on Sunday 20th and the traditional Creole Day is slated for Friday 25th.
The World Creole Music Festival will follow Creole Day and will run from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October, 2013 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.
Lawrence pointed out further that the National Youth Rally will be held on November 1st, 2013 and the National Day Parade will be held on Sunday 3rd, 2013 from 4:00 pm.
The National Cultural Gala will follow on Monday 4th November and National Day of Community Service is slated for Tuesday 5th November.
This year the District Cultural Competitions have been replaced by District Cultural Festivals.
Meanwhile Lawrence is calling on all Dominicans to join together in unity and build national pride during the celebrations.
“Independence is a wonderful time to build unity, to build national pride, to preserve and promote our beautiful cultural heritage,” Lawrence said. “Independence is a time of gratitude, to God, for life, for bringing us to 35 years of nation hood. It is also a time of gratitude to all those who have played a part in Dominica’s continued development through the years.”
He said the theme encourages Dominicans to work together towards building the nation. “I think with the theme that we have it really encourages us to work together to partner together to help to take Dominica forward. So we urge all Dominicans to wear your creole wear, celebrate your music, food and language and we want to have a peaceful celebration,” Lawrence said.
Dominica gained independence from Great Britain on November 3, 1978.