Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Department of Culture Hosts Emancipation Day Celebration

emancipationpicPhilipsburg — On Sunday July 1, 2018, the Department of Culture within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) will be hosting its Annual Emancipation Day Observances. This year’s theme is entitled “The Water Remembers…”. This commemoration involves the ecology of the waters and its role in the emancipation story.

The water/ocean has been that which connects us, has been the source for resistance and escape. The water/ocean has been that medium that played a profound role in the middle passage. The water has also been that place for baptism and redemption. In honor of ancestors lost at sea and those in a quest for freedom, we have created a memorial in their remembrance.

The Emancipation Day observances will take place on Sunday July 1, 2018 at the Captain Hodge’s Pier on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg. It will begin at 5 a.m. as a sunrise sacrament to the sea and the dress code is white. “The Water Remembers” will feature guest speakers such as the renowned Plein Air artist Roland Richardson, historian Daniella Jeffries and Minister of Finance Honorable Michael Ferrier.

The ceremony will also feature performances by dancers of the National Institute of Arts, Indisu Dance Theatre of St. Maarten, Dancing Dimension and the Voices of St. Maarten Poets. Preparations for “The Water Remembers” is already in full swing with rehearsal featuring the introduction of a 100 Voices Emancipation Community Choir.

Emancipation day festivities also include Rudolph Davis of the National Institute of Arts who will be conducting workshops for the general public who wish to learn the Ponum Dance. This too will be presented on July 1 as part of the Sunrise performances. At the conclusion of the event there a traditional St. Maarten breakfast will be served.

The entire public is strongly encouraged to attend this extraordinary event, particularly as a tribute to those that came before us. If you wish to be a part of the 100 voices choir or learn to dance the Ponum dance please contact the Department of Culture via 721-520-5340 and/or culturedepartmentofsxm@gmail.com to gain more information on rehearsal and training.