Au Bun, Amürü Nu Hagabüribei Garinagu; Awanserameme Wamá Lau – I for You, You for Me Is the Garifuna Way; Let Us Continue to Move Forward. Just like this year’s theme suggests, we’re moving forward with the festivities for Garifuna Settlement Day 2022.
Belize celebrates the vibrant culture of the Garinagu people every November 19th. The day commemorates the arrival of the Garinagu people onto the shores of Southern Belize.
In 1832, Alejo Beni led an exodus of the Garifuna people across the open Caribbean Sea.
Originating from the Arawaks and enslaved Africans from St. Vincent, they found a new home. After fleeing from St. Vincent and the Honduran island Roatán due to revolts and impending slavery, they made their way ashore on the beaches of southern Belize.
Though now celebrated country-wide, our southern towns and villages spearhead the celebration, from the Pomona Valley in Stann Creek to the shores of Baranco in Toledo.
Music That Electrifies Your Soul
Experiencing live punta and paranda music is a work of art. Visit any southern town, and you’ll feel the music thumping before you even hear it.
The rhythm of punta music will guide your feet and enrich your spirits. Belize has been home to prominent pioneers in the Garifuna music industry for decades, including the late greats Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor. It is championed worldwide by Supa G and the Garifuna Collective, to name a few.
This genre of music is the core of the Garinagu and a communal way of engaging in song and dance that creates a sense of unity with every beat of the drum.
Enter the towns down south and feast your eyes on the color yellow, white, and black adorned on children and adults alike. Traditional clothing is still used prominently today.
The women wear long flowing dresses sewn from the checkered material of those three colors. Accompanying this lovely attire is a head wrap. In this gorgeous ensemble, the women showcase their culture’s historical themes and represent the same hues on the Garifuna flag.
An Amalgamation of Languages Becomes it is Very Own.
The Garifuna Language has roots in Arawak and African ancestry. It is classified as an Arawak language; many words derived from the French and Spanish languages and Vincentian Creole are used in everyday speech.
Today, the language thrives as it is taught in several schools and homes. Belize has adapted several local pieces and even the national anthem to be read and sung in Garifuna. There is also a Garifuna dictionary that was produced by the Garifuna institute and found online.
Of all the many things the Garifuna brought to our shores, their decadent meals are a class favorite! Savor their delectable cuisine, filled with the unique flavors of cassava, seafood, coconuts, and plantains.
Enjoy the unique taste and texture of cassava bread or ereba. Hudut, mashed or pounded ripe plantain; sere, a soup made from coconut milk; and sahou, a cassava porridge, are among many other delicious staple meals.
Food is a love language for many cultures, and the Garifuna people have poured their love and traditions into every dish they brought.
The Garifuna Culture and its People have added much significance and vibrance to Belize. Their contributions to society have left us in debt we cannot repay. It is heartwarming to see the celebrations commemorating their monumental journey to our shores.
On November 19th: Yurumein
Witness the reenactment of the yurumein in every Garifuna town and village, at San Ignacio in the low-lying bridge, and Belize City at 6:30 a.m at the foot of the Belcan Bridge.