I have long suspected that what is presented as Saint Lucian Culture within the context of this modern society in which we live is not actually our CULTURE, but is in fact our HERITAGE. I have personally defined culture as what is happening now and heritage as what happened back in the day. But that was only In My Humble Opinion (IMHO). So I turned to the dictionary.
CULTURE: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
HERITAGE: the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
First let us not mistake culture with cultural industries; the vast majority of what is the culture of a people will never be an industry e.g. Greetings. How we say good morning, good afternoon and good night — oh wait bad example. That is heritage, not culture as many us don’t even grunt at each other, much less say morning.
Moving right along.
I assure readers that it is by mere coincidence that I write this article in October: Creole Heritage Month. Pause here for a moment to observe the contradiction between the title and its marketing. October is Creole Heritage Month in Saint Lucia, but what is usually stated is that it is the month to celebrate our culture.
Based on definition I would say not so. Do not misunderstand me I love my country and what it has produced and will produce. I cast no judgement and at the risk of the ire of many I would state that the La Woz and Margariute Festivals are our HERITAGE and not our CULTURE.
So now the fat will hit the fan. What is our culture?
Based on definition and my understanding the culture of our dear island is
a. Public/ Private Sector distinct lack of “ease of doing business”
b. texting – ask any teacher about how essays are now written,
c. the rise of the gangs and the violence that gets reported every day,
d. the Jamaican accent among folks who have yet to travel,
e. the dry sex we see at Carnival,
f. the systematic deconstruction of the English Language and its reconstruction,
g. the slow death of the Creole Language and the emergence of a replacement. If you disagree on that last point ask any eighty-year old to communicate in the language or listen to the creole news.
Too much English in the Creole.
This mini list may be distasteful to many, you may even disagree, but IMHO, this is the culture of this island. The question that I now present is: will it mature and become our heritage? Over twenty years ago a friend said to me: this is the Sunday morning music of the years to come.
On 3 October, 2015 BBC News published an article: “French rebel over music language quotas”. The sub-story focused on the fact that the…
French governments worry terribly that their island of culture is disappearing under a global tide of Anglo-Saxon pulp.
Should we worry too? Culture/Heritage cannot be controlled and any conscious effort to do so renders the target of the intervention false. Culture/Heritage just is. In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) what is often presented as our culture is really our heritage.
Bonne Jounen Kwéyòl Entennasyonnal tout mon . IMHO: