Many Saint Lucians woke up to the heavenly smells of hot bakes and cocoa tea on Creole Day last Sunday. Early risers who opted to have a Creole breakfast at home were eager to get to their kitchens and others quickly made their way to Soufriere and Vieux Fort, the official Jounen Kwéyòl venues (and/or nearby areas) to get their morning delights.
Accras, bakes, cocoa tea, salt fish and other mouth-watering dishes were welcomed, especially by those who were looking forward to having a bite of everything.
Excited chatter, laughter, bamboo bursting, tamboo, stilt walkers, Creole music blaring through speakers, and other forms of entertainment made a lively atmosphere. It was the Jounen Kwéyòl most lived for and looked forward to all year. There was nothing on earth like it and individuals who had migrated to other parts of the world, felt the ache anytime they had a craving for a true Saint Lucian dish.
The Kwéyòl fashion was a must-see. Individuals across the island were covered in Madras (and some African prints) to show their love for their culture. They came in all styles and colours: crop tops, tanks tops, off-shoulder blouses, dresses and more.
By noon, most had a ‘lunch time’ dish in hand (although others were eating some of these foods in the morning already!) Crab callaloo, pigtail bouillon,black pudding, greenfigs and saltfish, breadfruit and saltfish, smoked herring, turtle stew and other foods permeated the atmosphere. Their wonderful smells caused many to flock to various booths to ensure that they got a taste of the irresistible foods.
Of course, they had to ‘wash it down’ with a cold local juice and grapefruit juice, orange juice and others were just right for the ‘job’.
Individuals also had an array of snacks to choose from including penmi, cassava, breadnut, sugar cane, fudge, tablet, coconut balls, tamarind balls and more.
There were also display areas with items from long ago: irons, brooms, graters, calabash bowls, coal pots, kitchen utensils and more.
Some made their rounds through communities ensuring that they got a piece of Kwéyòl everywhere.
As children drove their colourful ‘cabouways’ and some recalled the traditions from long ago, there was nothing more beautiful in that moment. Young and old, boys and girls, men and women, were all one that day.