Eagle Beach — A cultural evening dedicated to the island’s language of Papiamento unfolded at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, an initiative of the Environment and Health Committee. Expertly emcee by Ena Vrolijk, the evening took guests and dignitaries through a varied cultural program which included poetry reading, and music.
At the beginning of the evening, a charming duo of young singers, Evaniella & Ryeza Rincones, performed a number of Papiamento songs developped in honor of Book Week in the national library. The songs, promoting books and reading encourage the younger generation to educate themselves and further their language skills.
Invited guests also enjoyed a number of poems written at the resort, as part of an internal poetry contest, and appreciated poetry declaimed by venerated local poet Belen Kock-Marchena.
The evening was accompanies by master Tina Ruiz, and Club Di Movimiento under the direction of Samantha Westera Juppa performed an original ballet-piece dedicated to Aruba.
As the highlight of the evening, Astrid Britten, the library director was presented with one of Belen Kock-Marchena masterpieces, nicely designed, printed on a poster, the poem “Di Ken Anto,” encouraging the wide use of Papiamento everywhere and the further-development of the language.
Beverly Graves, a La Cabana owner from the USA delighted the crowd with her excellent knowledge of Papiamento and General Manager Joe Najjar chimed in with a warm welcome address, in Papiamento, naturally.
An impromptu musical presentation by John Booi on his harmonica added nicely to the ambience, and Joyce Pereira, the President of Fundacion “Lanta Papiamento,” shared words of encouragement and gratitude for hosting an event of this kind in the tourism sector. She was surprised and pleased that the resort would dedicate resources and talent, to an activity related to the island’s maternal language.
The evening which was presented with the help of Glenda Brokke-Croes featured a glittering list on invitees including Padu Lampe, the island’s father of Culture, linguists Ramon Todd Dandaree and Mirto Lacle, literary activists Dolfi Kock and Belen Kock-Marchena, teachers Cornelia Aventurin-Connor and Tricia Cijntje of Colegio Hilario Angela, President of the board Willie Mosconi and wife, Assistant General Manager Jessica Franken, writers Olga Buckley and Marilis Becker and Zahira Zaandam, as well as all other individuals who dedicated their time to the promotion and cultivation of the language during 2013, proclaimed by the goverments as the Year of Papiamento!
Throughout her presentation, Emcee Ena Vrolijk explained that the resort values the local language, promotes its use, and encourages hotel associates, sometimes native spakers of other language, to learn is as fast as possible, or at least the proverbs first, as complited into a book by Digna Lacle.