Waraka Séwinal Festival of Dominica

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The Dominica government, through the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs, is supporting to the fifth edition of the Waraka Séwinal Festival. This year the festival will be hosted under the theme “Strengthening Culture and Togetherness through Christmas Cheers” on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 7:00pm. Dominica Vibes reports:

Séwinal is a serenade involving a group of jing ping musicians and singers who go from house to house at nights, singing and playing local Christmas songs and well known Christmas carols. The term ‘Séwinal’ is derived from the French word ‘serenade’. It is one of the fundamental aspects of Christmas celebrations in Dominica.

Séwinal has a particular flow from start to finish. The séwinal group first approaches the house being visited very quietly and assembles outside the front door. The group then sings/plays a song. This is followed by a short speech, which includes greetings and appeals to be invited inside. The group then sings another song. At this point the group is invited in and the séwinal session continues for about an hour.

During that time there is singing, dancing, jokes, fun, laughter and of course the drinks, local beverages ginger beer, sorrel, coffee and rum. When it’s time to leave, the group sings a departing song, gives thanks to the homefolks and departs for the next house. This pattern continues all night.

Minster for Kalinago Affairs, Cassius Darroux stated that over the years, government and his ministry has been empowering local communities and has always contributed, “whether big or small, to village feasts, social events and other community activities”. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.dominicavibes.dm/featured-219227/

[Image above: National flag of Dominica, from http://www.lennoxhonychurch.com/national_symbols.cfm.]

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