Saturday, May 10, 2008

Visitors from the Global Center

Today I noticed two new flags. We have been visited from El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles. Welcome, friends!

The Netherlands Antilles are rather unusual, a collection of islands that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that will disband nationally at the end of this year. The islands seem never to have been fond of being lumped together. Aruba left the Netherlands Antilles to become its own state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986. Sint Maarten has also wanted to secede (from the N.A., not the Kingdom of the Netherlands). Sint Maarten and Curaçao are slated to become associated states within the Kingdom while Saba, Bonaire, and Sint Eustatius will become municipalities of the Netherlands. Clear as mud, right?

Now, Sint Maarten is one of the places I have been. While on a sailing trip about the Caribbean we stopped at Sint Maarten, which is the Dutch half of an island, the other half being French and called St Martin. We caught a taxi to drive to the other side of the island so I could be somewhere where French was the local language (first time since 1969 in France). Then we rode back to the Dutch side to rejoin the ship.

I have not been to El Salvador, though I have known Salvadorans in California and our church, St Mark's, Berkeley (the parish that sponsored me for ordination), had a sister relationship with San Juan Evangelista in San Salvador. With death squads and other terrors the times were tense and my bishop almost missed my ordination to the transitional diaconate as he felt he might need to be in El Salvador as members of San Juan had been put in jail a week before the ordination service. It got sorted out, they were released, and Bishop Swing did ordain me. That was in December 1989.

When searching in YouTube for "music netherlands antilles" I got this (may we call it a lively version of the chicken dance?):
'Pia di Galina' from 1997 successful hit album Cocktail Lamu Lamu.
Lyrics (+ rap)by Kizzy Getrouw.

music: Adeeb Oberoi

Crown Records.

message of song:

Let's tell the people we love or respect, that we appreciate them while they are still alive - instead of singing their praises when they're dead and gone. By that time it's too late for them to enjoy it.

Kizzy compares it with a comic view on how we treat chicken: they're never pampered or even given names, and after they die- we suddenly love them, giving them names as: hotwing, extra crispy etc. We even have chicken soup when we're sick. And to make mathers even more tragic, we eat eggs (their unborn babies) for breakfast. The song also dubbeled as a message for men who don't treat a lady with the respect they deserve, and after the girl is gone, tell her how much they need her.

*'Pia di Galina' means 'Chicken leg/ drumstick', and 'Galina' also means 'hot chick/babe'.

The same Kitty Getrouw represents Curaçao at the Caribbean music festival in 1996:

Yolocamba Ita: Canto a la patria revolucionaria
Classic song by Salvadoran folk group.

El Salvador, "Muñequita", Los Tropicalismos Gallos, Cumbia

--the BB


susankay said...

Paul -- how nice to have you home (we head to Albuquerque on Wed and will try to keep the air dry for you)

Finally a visitor from somewhere I have been that isn't totally standard. Brad and I spent two weeks on Bonaire in the fall of 2006 and hope to head back. The most amazing snorkeling we've found (with my lungs, we can't scuba) because the whole island shore is an underwater "national" park. Absolutely amazing and empty beaches (well, ocean entry sites -- not a lot of "beach")

Friendly people speaking Papiamento which is a combination of Dutch, Spanish and a little English and which results in signs I almost understood. Food comes in from Venezuela and night life is close to non-existent. Lovely. A fair number of US ex-pats but they have to speak Papamiento or Dutch to get resident permits which rather ensures that they are not in enclaves.

Mostly a desert island with flamingos, wild goats and mosquitos -- go figure.

Not easy to get to from US which means most tourists are Europeans and almost all (except us) were devoted SCUBA types. One flight a week from Houston -- don't know how you get there from east coast.

Bon Bini! (welcome in Papiamento)

And good luck with your next round of humidity.

Paul said...

Susankay, that explains why in the music above I was hearing words of Spanish one moment and what sounded Dutch the next.

Thanks for adding the local color to the travelogues here! I had never heard of Bonaire before today. Which is part of why doing these little posts is fun.

This time home is too brief (two nights and one full day) but I get three nights and two days next time. Mercifully, my wardrobe is 98% pure cotton (the rest being wool or cotton-linen blends or rayon). I have lightweight cotton shirts and cotton pants for life in Louisiana. Got a haircut today, so that will make my head a bit cooler too. So I shall hop on the plane tomorrow, close my eyes, and think of England. Or something. (We all do something for money.)

FranIAm said...

Doesn't our friend Caminante have a connection to El Salvador? I think she does.

Keep cool and travel safely dear friend.

Paul said...

I believe she is a canon of the church in El Salvador (OCICBW). And I am totally bummed that when she will be in town I probably won't get to meet her.

FranIAm said...

I am hoping to get myself to her church one Sunday this summer for services. It is about 4 hours away, but an early start will get me there for the 10am HE.