POND ISLAND - St. Maarten Carnival, already known for bringing many cultures together, will put some of these cultures on stage for Carnival 2017. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will stage a Culture Night on Friday April 22 in Carnival Village, featuring groups representing the various national communities of St. Maarten.
Confirmed so far for participation are groups representing St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic, Chinese community, Indian community, Guyanese community, Dominica and St. Maarten/St. Martin. The concept of the night will see each group making a 15 to 20 minute entertainment presentation on stage indicative of their respective cultures.
The event is not a competition, rather a showcase of what the SCDF said would literally be St. Maarten on display. “Carnival is still the largest event on St. Maarten that brings all cultures together in celebration over an extensive period of time. We do so through music and food primarily and participation in our various shows,” SCDF President Alston Lourens explained.
“But for too long there’s been a feeling from the various communities or people of a different heritage that there isn’t a place in Carnival for them. We’re saying that if you love St. Maarten, have made here your home and contribute to the positive growth of the country, then you definitely have a place in the country’s biggest and oldest event,” he added.
Lourens said Culture Night is not just an entertainment night or parade of cultures, “but it’s a learning experience for many of us. We could all learn something about eachother, from each other. The presentations on April 22 will also be educational and re-enforce the inclusiveness of Soualiga. We are very excited about this night of culture,” he said.
Lourens said that there is still time for other groups to sign up and take part in Culture Night. Any group or representatives of groups interested should contact the SCDF by firstname.lastname@example.org c