Jounen Kweyol has been observed in St. Lucia these last 33 years. It is passed off as a celebration of the “creole” language and other “St. Lucian” traditions, such as certain dances, food, music and art. Most of these are motivated by a “black” power movement, keen on ridding St. Lucia of its European past and heritage, including the very name of the island. However, in order to find out the true purpose behind “creole” day, we must invariably find out what is “creole”
What is Creole & Jounen Kweyol?
Creole, or “kweyol” is oftentimes used to refer to the French patois language spoken in St. Lucia and other former French colonial countries. More generally, it is applied to the Caribbean “culture”, inclusive of food, dance, dress and music.
However, the original and true meaning of the term refers to people and not ‘culture’. “The term Creole was first used in the sixteenth century to identify descendants of French, Spanish, or Portuguese settlers living in the West Indies and Latin America.”
In other words, Creole is descriptive of people, not of culture. What is quite telling, is that those people are of European descent. Creole describes the birth place of a person of European descent. Therefore, anyone born in the New World of European descent is truly Creole.
The above is the original and truest meaning of the term Creole. It has nothing to do with food, or cultural practices. It has nothing to do with patois, which exists in all languages, not just French. There are also several patois spoken in mainland France, which disproves the notion that the French patois we speak, is “Creole”.
The ‘creole’ we’ve been taught is a lie and has nothing to do with the original meaning of the word. What is celebrated in St. Lucia is merely a cultural appropriation, somewhat similar to what we’ve done with carnival. What was originally European is now falsely passed off as ‘native’ to St. Lucia, and a rediscovery (romanticized of course) of our “African” roots.
History bears witness to something completely different though. Our ignorance of it means, that we continue to eat green fig and salt fish under the kweyol guise. It means that we continue to dress in certain wear, dance certain dances, sing certain songs, speak a version of French patois and falsely pass all of this off as kweyol. While real Creole people are to this day being stigmatised as the descendants of slave owners.