Jounen Kweyol! A Celebration of Saint Lucia’s Heritage!

The month of October is dedicated to celebrating the local Carib heritage/culture in St Lucia. Plenty of traditional foods are sold on the side of streets and in the local stores, including these assorted snacks my supervisor picked up for me.

Even though the whole month is dedicated to Jounen Kweyol, the celebration is reserved for the last weekend of the month. I was invited to stay in Dennery for the weekend and what an amazing experience. For the duration of my stay in St Lucia I have been living in the city—Castries.

Dennery is considered to be a fishing village; a nice taste of the country life. Very quiet compared to Castries but still beautiful scenic views none-the-less. Plenty of country cats, fresh fish from sea to plate, and outside meals. But most importantly, do not forget to swat the monster mosquitoes! Call me the Dengue/Malaria/Yellow Fever Slayer!

Saturday we went to the Swame Kweyol event at the Fond D’or Nature and Heritage park which was quite entertaining. We heard some local traditional music, folk tale performances, and traditional dances. There was a bit of recent music as well.

That evening, we went to the “after party” which was the Dennery fish fiesta at the fishing port. The fiesta is sort of like the hangout spot every Saturday where music is played and vendors open their food shops. I partook in the local cuisine (as always) and ate Black Fish (Dolphin) and Lambi (conch). Dolphin, best known as Flipper, was actually quite interesting. It has its own flavor best described as the cow of the ocean. It is red meat after all. There were all types of fresh seafood being served while people had a merry time eating, drinking, and dancing.

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On Sunday we went to the Jounen Kweyol in Vieux Fort. A major part of the highway was blocked off for vendors to sell food, drinks, and crafts. There was more food than anything else. People had a great time marching in groups playing in bands and watching the artists perform on the stage. Even a MOH official was playing in a band on the main performance stage. I think it is quite amazing how fluid and approachable government employees are as they mix within the community. With the exception of the Prime Minster and other Ministers that are constantly on tv giving speeches, etc., you probably wouldn’t know a government employee such as the National Epidemiologist, Chief Health Planner, etc. unless they told you. In the end, this weekend was a great time to really absorb Saint Lucia culture and appreciate it in all of its beauty. Oh, by the way, I ate a turtle meal in Vieux Fort. Tastes just like… turtle.

*Ubuntu Krystal*