Reunion Celebrations in Dominica
Reunion 2008 Opening Ceremony
What is a Reunion?
A reunion is an event which brings people back from all parts of the diaspora to their home country or community for the purpose of celebration and togetherness. Reunions can be held at the national level or, on a smaller scale, at the village or community level.
Reunions Connect a People
Reunions are an excellent medium for connecting citizens at home with those abroad and for encouraging those in the diaspora to be part of the national development process at home. They foster volunteerism and cooperation and provide an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to experience the spirit of patriotism/community that can only be felt when people work together towards a common goal which, in the case of a reunion, would be the development of the particular country or community.
Reunions call for collaboration and togetherness from individuals, groups and organizations locally and abroad. Indeed, they call for the collective efforts of all citizens, breaking age, sex and gender divides; religious, political and social barriers or whatever else might separate people of a country or members of a community.
Moreover, reunions bring about development on various levels; they are a perfect opportunity to initiate development initiatives in that they provide occasion for face to face connections between residents and citizens in the diaspora; for the opening of dialogue and establishment of committees and other bodies which can work in the home country and abroad to bring growth and development to the country or a specific village or community.
Critical to the success of any reunion event is the involvement of citizens abroad. Indeed, interestingly, they are often key players in the planning and organization of the event .They are usually grateful for the opportunity to make their contribution to the nation building efforts and go all out on their end, to ensure that the initiative succeeds. They are therefore very actively engaged in fund raising and mobilization endeavors as part of their contribution to the activities at home. In fact, citizens in the diaspora are known for organizing successful fund raising events which surpass, by far, those held at home.
Reunions are Beneficial to the Individual, the Community, the Country.
What do you think of reunions?
Reunions are About People Playing their Part!
Village/Community reunions, as the name implies are, in essence, community events and as such no member of the village/community should be barred or exempted from contributing to their success. Hence, such initiatives have the cooperation and support of village councils, improvement committees, youth groups, business organizations, individuals and not the least, central government for it is acknowledged that all players must come on board if success is to be achieved.
National reunions in Dominica are usually year long events embracing , in particular, the National Independence Celebrations. They feature a wide variety of activities ranging from religious to cultural, social, historical, educational, literary and sporting events. Over the years other types of activities have been added. For example, Health events such as an HIV Awareness Gala (2008), Health and Wellness events such as Fitness Hikes (2008) and International events such as the observance of International Women’s Day and World Water Day (2008).
Reunion Cultural Gala
Dominica attained political independence from Great Britain on 3rd November, 1978. Ten years later, in 1988, Dominica’s first ever reunion was held; it was a national event. Reunion ’88, as it was called, was a great success drawing nationals and visitors from across the world in a big and joyous celebration. It was the first event of its kind in Dominica and citizens both at home and abroad were very enthusiastic and excited about it. It was expected that following Reunion ’88, reunions would become a decadal event; however, the next reunion only followed twenty years later in 2008.
Reunion 2008 was officially launched in January 2008 with an impressive opening ceremony dubbed ‘Reunion Wivé, (creole for Reunion Time or Reunion is Here) to mark the beginning of a year-long program of activities to commemorate Dominica’s 30th anniversary of Independence. It was a massive event; another success story!
Some of the highlights of Reunion 2008 include:
- Official Opening Ceremony (Reunion Wivé)
- Launch of Reunion Magazine
- Launch of Better and Sustainable Village Competition
- National Workshop on Cultural Industries
- Reenactment of the Revolt of the 8th WI Regiment
- Cricket Masters Regional Tournament
- Launch of Carnival 2008 season
- DOMFESTA (Dominica Festival of Arts)
- Zion Praise Gospel Explosion
- International Literacy Day
- Giraudel Flower Show
- National Reunion Hike
- Photographic Exhibition
- Week of Kalinago People
- Launch of Buy Local Campaign
- Independence Grand Opening Gala
- Fishers Week
- Farmers Week
- Foresters Week
- National Expo 2008
- Culinary Festival
- World Creole Music Festival
- Market Day with a Difference
- Heritage Day
- Creole in the Park
- National Youth Rally
- Creole Day
- National Reunion Pageant
- National Day Parade
Reunion 2008 stimulated so much enthusiasm that from that national event there followed a number of community/village reunions across the island over the last eight years. It is anticipated that 2018 will be the next reunion year and that, like Reunion 2008, it will consist of a year-long program of activities in commemoration of Dominica’s 40th anniversary of Independence.
Experiencing a Reunion
Have you ever experienced a reunion?
Reunions Reconnect People with their Origins
I think reunions are really great initiatives in that they connect residents to those in the diaspora who may have lost touch with their country/community over the years. It provides a tremendous opportunity, not only for them to get back in touch on the social level, not only to rejuvenate themselves culturally, but to allow them to contribute to the development of their country on the whole or the specific communities from which they have come.
- Independence Celebrations - Dominica
Dominica’s Independence Celebrations spanning a period of about six weeks is one of the grandest such events in the region and perhaps in the world.