Title

Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Emancipation and Independence

August 1st, 1834 marks the day that the British monarch declared the Abolition of Slavery in all of its colonies across the globe. With the Abolitionist movement in full swing in Britain, declining sugar production and slave revolts in the Caribbean, the British made into law the Emancipation Act. Jamaica, in particular, was notorious for its rebellious slaves. (One such revolt was led by a female escaped slave known as Nanny who is revered as a National Hero and featured on the $500 JA bill.) It is said that the night before Emancipation Day, slaves gathered across the island to celebrate the approaching midnight hour. Singing and dancing and festivities of all kinds took place leading up to the day they could be free. A contemporary version of Emancipation Day happens pretty much the same way. Dances or "sessions" raging through the night, community fairs in towns all across the island, families gathering to eat large meals, shops and businesses closed.

We spent our Emancipation Day weekend in Mandeville where we enjoyed the company of Mo's extended family and attended a fair in the town of Maidstone which Mo's mom helped to organize. There was plenty of food, live music which included traditional folk songs as well as some contemporary dancehall music, games and rides for the kids.

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More than a hundred years later, on August 6th, 1962, Jamaica again had cause to celebrate as it gained its independence from Britain to become a self governing nation. This year marked Jamaica's 48th birthday. As a young nation, it continues to struggle to find the balance between doing things "the colonial way" and doing what works best for its resources and people. Listening to Mo's father talk about how far the nation has come in 48 years is amazing. With its vivacious culture and gorgeous landscape, it is sure to strike the right balance in the near future...as long as it can stay true to its self. (A brief but interesting history of Jamaica can be found here.)

We again set off to Mandeville to relax on the farm for the long weekend. Enjoy the photos.


Until soon...
Peace and Wellness,

Emancipation Day Breakfast: Roast breadfruit, fried plantain, ackee and saltfish and tea

Shine and Earth Mother bounce themselves silly while Warrior stays cool.

Mo's mom in front of her display.

The marl pile...hours of entertainment.

Cheese.

Must be a family trait...Cheese.

Relaxing by the waterfall.

Laundry knows no holiday!

Wheeee!

Gathering mint for tea.

Coffee.

Warrior.

Moonrise.

Baby Q.

Bringing in the goats.

Looking for Fuzzy.

Found her.

Fuzzy.

Green lizard.

Capturing the feeling of the holiday.

4 comments:

Heather said...

I think this is just so cool...and so well said! Glad you got to relax and learn and have fun!

Hope you're feeling well! xoxo

vivian said...

How beautiful! Love reading your posts. You guys look to be having such a happy adventure!

Beatrice said...

I feel so inspired reading your posts. I love seeing the pics and hearing your stories. Thanks so much for keeping us connected.
xoxoxo

Rae said...

thanks for following along. we are very very happy. our quality of life has improved 100fold! but we miss all of you! come visit us!