[CREOLE MONTH] Let’s celebrate the Creole language.

27 October 2022
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Yékri Yékra, Yé misticri Yé misticra, is the court asleep ? I hope you all are doing well ! When the month of October comes, we think of Pink October for breast cancer awareness, but it’s also Creole month.
What is the origin of the celebration of Creole in October ? It’s thanks to the Bannzil Kréyòl committee that the International Creole Day was adopted in 1983, which was later approved by UNESCO. Since 2001, from October 1st to 30th, this month is dedicated to Creole language and culture.

If there is an association that fights for the defense and valorization of Creole, it’s the Dinamik Jenn Matnik association. So, I wanted to introduce it to you.

On Saturday, October 22nd, the 7th edition of Dikté Kréyol Fodfwans took place at Fernand Donatien College located in Dillon on the theme of Lawonn Jé. I participate every year, even though writing Creole is not easy, but as they say, grenn di ri ka fè sac di ri.


History of Creole: from rejection to valorization

Creole languages were formed in the 16th and 17th centuries as a result of the slave trade by the colonial powers of the time (especially Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands). Creoles are mainly based on English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. 

It is well known that in the French West Indies (and beyond), Creole, although spoken daily or in schools, has often been a source of rejection. I have often heard our elders say that it was forbidden to speak Creole in front of parents or at school. Our Creole language is even less used during love declarations, which I find regrettable.

On the other hand, it is easily used when one is angry. Speaking Creole can also be synonymous with disrespect for some people. In my opinion, this is wrong.

Fortunately, Creole as a language and culture is now valued worldwide.

The Dinamik Jenn Matnik Association, rooted in Martinican culture

is a socio-cultural organization that works for the individual and collective fulfillment of people through the re-appropriation of their culture, as well as through openness to others and their environment.

The godmother of the association is none other than the talented Suzie Trébeau, who is sensitive to the cause and fully involved in the association. The latter organizes 3 Creole dictation events:

  • Dikté Manmay Nef (for beginners),
  • Dikté Mapipi (for advanced learners),
  • Dikté Tjanmay (for children/schools)

After the dictation, a very interesting bokantaj (exchange) took place on the theme of games with Sabine Andrivon-Milton, historian and creator of cultural games that need no introduction, Youry Rotin, founder of Fitness Bèlè and Prescillia Marguerite, creator of dolls that look like us (Read our article on Prescillia Marguerite and the Doll Community)).

Various workshops then took place: Latilé Jwé an mod antan lontan, Latilié Léchas, Latilié fè domino-zot an mod zot, Latilié Lawonn jé an mod-nou, Latilié aprann fè joujou antan lontan, Latilié fè santi bon an sos-zot. Please note that registration is mandatory for dictations, workshops and exchanges for better organization.

In addition to the DKF, the association also organizes the cultural and solidarity caravan: children revise their classes in the morning according to their levels and practice cultural activities in the afternoon. My daughter participated in it, we love the concept !


These influencers who value Creole

Creole is also valued on social media.
Kofi Jicho Kopo is a Martinican cultural influencer whom I actively follow on Instagram. He won the Lumina Prize in 2021 in the category of heritage transmission. He creates humorous and engaging videos about Creole on various themes, such as the francization of Creole, the differences between Martinican, Guadeloupean, and Guyanese Creoles, and Creole proverbs.

One of the videos that I found very interesting was about the Creole of the older generation and the Creole of the younger generation with urban and Jamaican influences. This shows that Creole is a very much alive language that continues to evolve.


I also discovered La Fleur Curieuse aka Valérie Rodney, author of Pawol pou Makrel and cultural blogger, who presents herself as follows :

” Beautiful good morning, a storyteller since childhood, my voice was silenced. Fortunately, through my research on my cultural identity and Caribbean literature, I have finally been able to create my own voice. A voice that wants to build a bridge between our Caribbean islands and our ancestral continent. A voice that wants to transmit the stories of our daily lives so that oral transmission can continue despite everything. “.

I found her article on All Saints’ Day in the 1990s very interesting, especially since it is accompanied by a podcast. La Fleur Curieuse is interested in everything that is part of our heritage and Afro culture in general: Mami Wata, King Béhanzin, traditional Antillean medicine…


Some Creole events

Friday, October 28th:

  • There will be an International Creole Day celebration on Vincent Placoly Square in Sainte-Anne. The event will include a tire race, middle school students giving eloquent readings of texts in Creole, and an initiation to bèlé dance…

Saturday, October 29th:


I will conclude with my favorite Creole proverb that my mother often repeated:

” rayi chien, di dan’y blan

Literally,You can hate the dog, but his teeth are white “, I translate it as: even if you don’t like someone, you should be honest and recognize their qualities”.

Let’s promote the Creole language, let’s speak it, because Creole is our identity !

Muriel Markos

Retour en images sur la Dikté Kréyol FodFwans
  • flyer-dictee-creole
  • affiche-mois-kreyol