Ghana- Dominican Connection - November 2014
Being in Dominica is an amazing experience. I left Africa almost two weeks ago and only spent one day in New York City before jetting off to the Caribbean. I'm still getting used to having traversed such great physical and cultural distances. In many ways it's like I'm still in Ghana because of the similar foods, climate, topography and cultural practices. The national wear- Madras cloth looks strikingly like Kente cloth. The same African songs that were popular in Ghana stream out of clubs and car speakers throughout the day and night along with Calypso, Reggae and Bouyon music.
When I watch the syncopated movements of the Bele dance and I can see that they are part of the same continuum of African dances that I have been learning. Yet Dominica has it's own distinct customs and complexities that I am still adjusting to and learning about, A few days ago I was invited, by Nester Phillip of DBS Radio speak about "The Akwaaba Dance Project". That interview opened up host of opportunities for dialogue with key members of the community who are working to preserve Dominica's cultural heritage. I am excited and grateful about the way so many doors have opened to me. I am especially happy to connect with school children and begin the pen pal project once the independence holiday is over and school re-opens.