Each year Saint Lucia joins many other countries the world over in celebrating its Creole heritage, and for an entire month in October, the island celebrates all things Creole.
For one month the entire island is immersed in all things Kweyol…Kweyol dress, food, music and language; all part of efforts by organisations like the Folk Research Centre (FRC) to make Kweyol an integral and inextricable part of the local consciousness and to win wider acceptance of the language.
For years RSL97 has quietly been doing its part to keep the Kweyol language and culture alive and well, and to ensure that Kweyol remains an important means of communication among locals.
The station has attempted to do this through its daily Kweyol newscasts and its nightly Kweyol music and feature programme Vizyon!
Vizyon which airs Mondays to Thursdays from 6:45PM is hosted by Lawrence Adonis who is now paired with Michael “Sleeping Serpent” Wilson. The show is primarily a music programme with Kweyol features and interviews spread throughout. Kweyol music in all its forms can be heard on Vizyon, from Calypso to Cadasse. In addition listeners are kept up to date with the latest news developments and a variety of guests drop by every week to discuss a range of topics from health, to environmental conservation.
Undoubtedly, the island has come a long way from the early 50’s and 60’s when parents, anxious to have their children speak only English, discouraged the use of Kweyol which was regarded as a constant reminder of the colonial past. Kweyol now enjoys a lot more respect. It can be heard in the Parliament, books are written entirely in Kweyol and even the New Testament of the Bible has been translated. The Kweyol influence can be heard in our Calypsoes.
RSL 97 is proud of its role in promoting the language through programmes like Vizyon. Long time host of Vizyon Lawrence Adonis sees Vizyon as a critical part of efforts to preserve the Kweyol language and culture, as well as creating pride among citizens of their ‘Creole-ness.’
“It is important to preserve the Kweyol culture, otherwise another generation will grow up, faced with an identity crisis, unaware of who they really are, which is Creole. That is not something to be ashamed of, and that is what Vizyon is about…it is about celebrating our Creole identity. It’s a daily reminder that we are Creole and we are proud to be Creole.