Saturday, September 4, 2010

UNITED AND PROUD-MOVING FORWARD- I AM BELIZE!


Belize will be celebrating its 29th Independence Anniversary on September 21, 2010. It is traditional in Belize for celebrations to begin at the end of August and continue up until Independence Day. The festivities also included St George’s Caye Day, celebrated in Belize on September 1o. As is customary, a theme is chosen that represents the nationalistic spirit of the country. This year was no different. From among 73 entries, “United and Proud; Moving Forward; I am Belize;” became the theme of this year’s celebrations. 



This year’s events kicked off with the commencement ceremonies that took place on August 29, 2010 at St. George’s Caye. This was followed by a concert by one of Belize’s favorite son, Francis Reneau in concert on September 3, at the Bliss Performing Center, along with The Belize Choral Society, Nelita Castillo, and students from Summer Arts Institute; on September 4, the King and Queen Competition was held at the MCC Grounds, the Queen of the Bay Pageant on Bird's Isle, and many more events are being celebrated throughout the country.
Governor General of Belize-Sir Colville Young
St George’s Caye is a small island off the coast of Belize City. This location is symbolic in the history of our country, because on September 10th, 1798 a battle between the Spaniards and the Baymen was fought at St. George’s Caye. The Baymen were shipwrecked buccaneers and pirates of British descent trying to outrun the Spaniards that were ruling Mexico and most of Central America. They settled on St. George’s Caye, and the area which is now Belize City, to cut logwood for export to Europe. Back then, logwood was used as a natural source of dye in the textile and paper industry in Europe. This would bring the Baymen much needed money and resources.
Belize City-Flag Monument-Photo by Dr. Jane Crawford
 
Flags across Belize-6 photos above by Elston Wade

Against all odds, at the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the Baymen defeated the Spaniards, and gained control over the settlement. A Legislative Assembly was established in 1853, and in 1871 British Honduras, now Belize, became a Crown Colony with a Legislative Council and a Lieutenant Governor. Today, 212 years after the battle, St. George’s Caye Day is celebrated as a national holiday and is a part of our month long September celebrations. 

Compared to other countries, Belize produces hardly any natural resources; none the less, Belizeans stake claim to their long-held belief–Belize is blessed!  Blessed with what you might ask? With one of our greatest assets-our diverse cultures; we are the Creoles, the Spanish, the Garifuna, the Mestizos, the East Indians, the Mayas, the Mennonites, and the Chinese. 


We are a people that love our nation and take pride in our flag and our multiculturalism. We embrace our differences wholeheartedly, and boy do we love the food! From our Garifuna brothers and sisters in the south, we have Hudut; our Chinese counterpart in Belize City could not be outdone with shrimp chow mein and ‘kick down fence chicken, to our ever so popular and staple Creole dish (1-2-3) beans, rice and potato salad, and last but not least, chimole, escabeche, panades and tamales from our Spanish hermanos.

Fi me, fi you, fi all ah wih!!! I am Belize!!  I da Belize, u da Belize, all a we da Belize!! Ya da fi wi Belize!!!!


9 Photos above by Dr. Jane Crawford
Historical data from the San Pedro Sun

8 comments:

Noreen said...

I'm missing this one this year. I must say that the scenery looks very alive.


Noreen

Caroline Rowley said...

I love the pictures of all the flags across Belize.

I am Belize!!

Caroline

Therese said...

Excellent! Love it! The photos are great! I da Bileez!!!!

Jennifer said...

Linda, I really enjoy reading you blog, and you really slam it this time!

Love the pictures, such fun time in Belize. And I really love the story about our different peoples. Keep up the good job you are doing!!

I always Belize it, I am Belize!!

Jen

Joyce said...

Wow! Dis mek a reeli di get eena di Septemba feelin. A shod a mi gaan home. I da Bileez fi tru...

Anonymous said...

cool post.."I am belize" is a brilliant slogan.. imo.. dave

Louise said...

This is real nice I love the slogan and the flags. It looks really festive makes you want to be there.

Nice work Linda and to Dr Jane and Mr. Wade thanks for the pictures.

A ban de.

Louise

J C M said...

Linda...
Thanks for keeping us informed. Many of us forget about St George's Caye Day..and combined with Independence day...wow, what lot to celebrate!!!!! Keep up the good work...