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Rebirth of the Garifuna culture in St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Some of of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ most versatile performers will showcase the country’s rich culture and heritage at a concert to benefit retrieval efforts in the historic homeland of the Garifuna people. The concert also includes a special live performance by James Lovell and the Afri-Garifuna Youth Ensemble.

Titled “Rebirth of a Culture,” the show will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the sixth floor of Manhattan’s 3 West 18th St. building, where patrons will be educated and entertained during three hours of stirring music, song and dance, plus refreshments.

The Yurumein Garfuma Cultural Retrieval group, headed by Trish Sy. Hill and Lovell, brings the Garifuna language back to its ancestral homeland in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The program has been “a resounding success” over the last two summers, St. Hill said, despite “very little outside funding, and with most of the funds coming largely from “out of pocket with very little outside support.”

Last summer, St. Hill toiled tirelessly to produce the program; however, she said, she hopes that this year supporters will put great effort into keeping the programs alive in St. Vincent, so that the next generation of Vincentians will benefit from the history of their country.

Yurumen Garifuna Cultural Retrieval is a unique program that uses music, dance and performance as a vehicle to teach the language. As a direct result of its effectiveness, said St. Hill, young people are again speaking Garifuna, the indigenous language of Yurumein (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) where it has been dormant for over a hundred years.

Videos of performances at Barrouallie, formerly named Princess Town and a pivotal town during the reign of the Garifuna; at Sandy Bay, formerly populated by the Kallinago and Garifuna people; at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown,l the Vincentian capital, as well as at historic Balliceaux -- the island prison where the Garifuna people were interned before being exiled to Roatan, are available.

St. Hill encourages the community to be part of this historic cultural rebirth in Yurumein, by supporting this fundraising effort. For more information, call Trish St. Hill at 347-488-4397

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