Printer Friendly

Papiamentu, cultural resistance, and socio-cultural challenges: the ABC islands in a nutshell.


Since November 25, 1975, when Suriname became independent from the Dutch Kingdom, the tropical remains of the Netherlands (1) comprise six Caribbean islands. They are divided into the Leeward Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao; abbreviated ABC Islands) north of the Venezuelan coast and the Windward Dutch Antilles (Saba, St. Eustatius, and a section of St. Maarten; abbreviated SSS Islands) east of Puerto Rico. (2) The six territories rarely represent focus areas of Caribbean research. Many studies simply neglect the islands or dedicate--except for the studies by individual scholars (i.e. Rutgers, Broek, Martinus, Clemencia, Allen etc., for instance in the volume on Caribbean literature edited by Arnold in 2001)--but a small number of pages to different socio-cultural aspects. Within linguistic and literary concerns, however, the interest in the ABC Islands has been increasing particularly during the past two decades. This is to a large extent due to Papiamentu, the local Creole vernacular, which plays a pioneer role in the field of Creole languages and has reached remarkable corpus, status, and prestige (the tripartite system stems from theories developed by Kloss and Haarmann). More recently, however, socioeconomic and political issues have been foregrounded in several publications (Oostindie), since the economic decline on Curacao led to a considerable growth in emigration. As a result, the European diaspora grew from about 70,000 according to Narain/Verhoeven (112) to an estimated 100,000 at the turn of the millennium.

Taking these introductory remarks as motive and point of departure, this paper aims at providing the background for a critical understanding of the contemporary linguistic situation and literary life with regard to the Creole culture of the ABC Islands. The text falls into four sections: The first section (chapter 2) provides a historical synopsis from 1499 to our days and is subdivided into three sociolinguistically relevant subsections. The first (2.1) gives a short account of the developments from the Spanish discovery until the nineteenth century, while the second focuses on the changes subsequent to the 'oil-turn' in the early twentieth century. The last subdivision is dedicated to the episode of the May 1969 riots and its effects. Section two (chapter 3) sheds light on linguistic and literary issues. It starts by giving a short overview of the development of Papiamentu (3.1) and subsequently concentrates on facets of multilingualism (3.2). In subsection 3.3 more recent developments with regard to education and language planning are discussed. Finally, I turn to questions related to the role of Papiamentu literature and literary translation (3.4). Incidents regarding the growing European diaspora are discussed separately in chapter 4. As a conclusion, the paper gives an account of future potentials and possibilities of the Creole culture within a globalized world (chapter 5).

Before stepping in medias res, however, it seems important to clarify that, in my opinion, Caribbean issues require a multiple perception of the conditions to be analyzed. Consequently, a single discipline with its canonical and paradigmatic boundaries does not suffice to come to relevant conclusions. Hence coming from a linguistic background--with particular roots in Romance linguistics (3)--I will aim at addressing the subject matter from a transdisciplinary angle. This allows an acknowledgement of the findings and approaches of different concerned fields as much as the creation of a problem-specific scientific paradigm.

2 Historical Synopsis

Different historians at different times have focused on the past of the Netherlands Antilles (4) (cf. the publications by J. Hartog 1953, 1957, 1961; R. A. Romer 1976, 1978, 2000; A. Romer 1997). In different publications, the history of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba has been divided into various periods, consistent with the purpose of the respective studies. The following brief but critical outline starts with early colonization.

2.1 Indifferent Spaniards, Dutch merchants, and other new inhabitants

From a historical perspective, it is well known that it occurs at a relatively late stage that the Dutch feel attracted to Caribbean territories. More precisely it only happens when the success of French and British trade and "pirate" activities in the West-Indies become obvious around 1600. The Spanish, who, according to the treaty of Tordesillas, claimed a monopoly on all trade and navigation throughout the West Indies throughout the sixteenth century, are constantly impelled to concede territories to their concurrent nations. Therefore, the presence of the Dutch is only evident when they forcefully start to undermine the Tordesillas principle in search of salt (urgently needed to support their fishing industry) and other mercantile goods. This occurs essentially after 1595 and is mainly carried out by the West-Indische Compagnie [West Indian Company] (WIC) that subsequently plays an essential role in Caribbean colonization. The first territory appropriated by the Dutch is Tobago in 1628 followed by St. Maarten, that they share with France after 1648, and Anguilla. In 1634 the Dutch, headed by Johannes van Walbeeck, seize the islands of Curacao, Bonaire, and Aruba, three territories that had been discovered in 1499 by the Spaniards, but due to a lack of water were poorly colonized. (5) While the few Spaniards and Indians that had remained on Curacao peacefully withdrew to the South-American continent, Aruba and to a much lesser extent Bonaire keep segments of native Indian population. After establishing the ABC Islands as a southern trading base and strategic settlement, the Dutch occupy Saba and St. Eustatius in the North, where British settlers had already started colonization back in 1632. St. Eustatius turns into a highly appreciated center of transatlantic commerce. With regard to the Leeward Islands, it has to be mentioned that Bonaire subsequently gains importance due to the production of salt, while Curacao develops into a major transit point of slave trade. St. Croix, the last territory taken over by the Dutch, just like Anguilla and Tobago, does not remain in their possession (cf. Narain 1991). The Windward Islands are--since this is the typical fate of Caribbean territories during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--taken over by other nations from time to time and alternatively belong to the Dutch, French, British, and other kingdoms. Therefore it is not very surprising that St. Eustatius changed the colonial allegiance 22 times. With regard to the socio-cultural development of the respective societies, it goes, however, without saying that this fact has a long-lasting impact. It seems to contribute to an enormous cultural resistance discussed later on in this paper (cf. 3.4).

The main interest of the Dutch colonial engagement in the Caribbean is undoubtedly a commercial one. This explains--along with the insecurity with regard to a continuity of possession--the very hesitant colonization of most islands. Most of them only reach a considerable number of inhabitants when African slaves are forced into the New World after 1660. Besides, and this accounts particularly for Curacao, an important group of Jewish settlers arrives in the second half of the seventeenth century. These Sephardic Jews, for the most part originating from Amsterdam where they had settled soon after their departure from the Iberian Peninsula, forge a powerful socio-economic group and build the first synagogue on American soil (cf. Emmanuel & Emmanuel 1970).6 Along with the Dutch Protestants invited by the WIC, they form the socio-cultural elite of the island and later spread to the other islands of the archipelago. Given the fact that the two most prestigious social groups lack a common language, the emerging Creole language--based on an Afro-Portuguese Pidgin (or Creole, cf. 2.2) spoken by the black population and fully established around 1700--is quickly adopted. As a matter of fact, it does not unfold a diglossic stratification as observed in other Caribbean territories. This evolution is certainly also due to the specific socio-economic background of Curacao, where plantation societies remain undeveloped, and there is a strong impact of the black yaya [nurse] concubine. Both conditions forge a strong link between the white elite groups and the black majority (cf. Martinus 1998).

Throughout the eighteenth century, trade suffers from the many conflicts the Dutch are involved in, but they equally manage to profit from conflicts such as the American war of independence (selling their merchandise to both parties). The ideas of the French Revolution influence the territories to such an extent that in 1795 a slave rebellion on Curacao led by a slave named Tula keeps the islands in suspense. The Dutch sanguinary authorities put down the rebellion and execute most protagonists. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the British and the French show growing interest in Curacao, which for a short period belongs to both countries. Nevertheless, after 1816 the Dutch gain power once again and do not cede the territories to other nations. During the liberation conflicts in Latin America numerous immigrants arrive and settle on the ABC Islands. They also adopt the new local vernacular as lingua franca and later as their mother tongue.

(2.2) From the "oil-turn" to the 1969 uprising

Until the abolition of slavery in 1863, the remaining six islands, now denominated the Netherlands Antilles, subsisted on their agricultural and trading activities. Their main sources of income were plantations of tobacco on St. Eustatius and the traffic of slaves, salt, phosphate, sugar, or gold on the ABC Islands. At the turn of the century, large oil companies decide to take advantage of the safety of the European owned colonies. Major refineries are built on Curacao (Shell) and Aruba (Lago Oil). This fact implies profound changes in the economy as well as the societies of the islands, because it draws the manpower away from agriculture and crafts to dependence on only two multinational corporations. The so-called oil-turn entails an intensification of migratory processes, for instance with regard to many European Dutch, Surinamese, Portuguese, and inhabitants of the British West Indies who now move to Curacao and Aruba seeking work at the refineries (or in housekeeping). Along with this migration, the necessity for a public school system tailored to the needs of these groups becomes more and more urgent. Religious entities are no longer willing to provide education without being supported by the state. A conflict arises. As a result the educational system is taken over by the motherland and the authorities adapt school curricula to Dutch standards. This implies simultaneously that Dutch becomes the sole medium of instruction, even for the Creole-speaking majority on the ABC Islands and the (Creole) English-speaking population of the SSS Islands. Dutch teachers arrive in large numbers. Papiamentu is completely banned from schools. Compared with the situation during the nineteenth century--when Catholic schools taught tacitly in Papiamentu (mostly in rural but also in some urban areas),7 English, and sometimes Spanish--this implies a profound shift in the educational context still awaiting to be fully remedied today (cf. 3.3). (8)

On socio-cultural grounds the societies of the Netherlands Antilles display continuity with regard to racial segregation, by way of an Antillean apartheid system that had evolved during the previous centuries. Purely Dutch neighborhoods such as Julianadorp or Emmastad are good examples for the persistence of this system far into the twentieth century. But there are also counter-tendencies to dissolve these practices. For instance, Hermans portrays a teach-in event at the Hilton Hotel on Curacao in 1969 in the following way:
 Alle rassen en rasschakeringen zitten door elkaar, niet zo'n
 alledaags fenomeen op de Antillen, want het gezellige leven vindt
 er grotendeels in clubs plaats en die zijn strikt gevarieerd naar
 rang en stand en dus naar ras.

 [All races and racial blends are sitting intermingled (in this
 room), a phenomenon that is not common on the Antilles as the
 social life predominantly takes place in clubs, which display
 strict variation according to class and status, hence according to
 race.] (Hermans 133)

This statement reflects several aspects of previous socio-cultural moves worth being mentioned. Between 1936 and 1940, the Antillean societies undergo an intense process of democratization (cf. Romer 1997), which, on political grounds, leads to the Statuut of 1954, which provides the Dutch colonies in the West Indies full autonomy with regards to their internal policy. The population on Curacao and Aruba grows considerably in the first half of the twentieth century since many immigrants are attracted by the new (oil-oriented) economic situation. On Curacao the population grows from 30, 000 inhabitants around 1900 to 140, 000 in 1980 (cf. Romer 1997). A fairly high standard of living characterizes the territories. A multinational and multi-cultural society is forged on the basis of the existing one since considerable numbers of Surinamese, Venezuelans, Colombians, inhabitants of the SSS Islands, Polish, Chinese, and Indians establish themselves on the islands. After a period of isolation, they slowly start to mix (Romer, Korsou den Siglo 37). The local vernacular functions as a strong integrative power in this cultural creolization process.

Altogether there are even voices that consider Curacao a paradise in those days:
 Ta logiko ku ront Karibe nan ta mira Korsou komo un paraiso.
 Refineria ta duna trabou i ta pone sen lora i tur hende kier bini
 purba nan suerte. Hasta den e temporada di e krisis ekonomiko
 munidal di prinsipio di ananan binti pa trinta.

 [It is logical that in the entire Caribbean Curacao is considered a
 paradise. The refinery provides work and allows money to circulate
 and everybody wants to come and try their luck. Even during the
 world economic crisis of the early twenties and thirties.] (Romer,
 Korsou den Siglo 38)

Nevertheless, in the 1960s economic problems due to the growing automation of the oil industries lead to mass dismissals and a first notable migratory movement towards Europe, particularly the Netherlands. But, the changing policy of the motherland, which now tends to recruit manpower from Southern Europe and Northern Africa (i.e. Turkish and Moroccan workers), considerably diminishes the chances of migrated Antilleans. A growing discontent with the labor situation favors the outburst of May 1969 in Willemstad that may be considered a crucial turning point of the twentieth century and which therefore requires a closer look.

(2.3) May 30, 1969 and beyond

Even if the economic situation is difficult and racial segregation implicitly persists in the sixties, there is little that points to an immensely growing dissatisfaction of the population. Hence, nobody is expecting intense rioting when problems arise in May 1969. Apparently a number of circumstances collide: the growing unemployment rate among the mostly black segment of the population, the previously mentioned lack of chances in the motherland, and the persisting exclusion of the black population from political participation during the sixties, which creates a highly explosive sociopolitical climate.

Therefore, it is hardly astonishing that the significance of the riots is often taken beyond the socio-economic cause. For example, de Jongh (1970) argues as follows:
 The real reasons for the public anger escalating on May 30th should
 not be directly reduced to the dissatisfaction within the working
 class. Our rebels stood up against an echo telling them that they
 were not respected and accepted as equals, as human beings. (de
 Jongh 152f)

As a matter of fact, the conflict (9) can be attributed, to a certain extent, to the universal controversy between races, but also between the rich and the poor in the late sixties. The riots are the direct consequence of a strike initiated by the workers of WESCAR followed by several other companies. The work stoppage spreads to Aruba, and soon the economic as well as public life is paralyzed. The Papiamentu newspaper Vito (10) undoubtedly plays a crucial role during the strike as well as in the organization of the protest march. This is why the movement is often referred to as the Vito movement, even if the strike is not explicitly organized to support the Vito claims at first:
 The aim of the Vito movement was to shift the labor movement
 away from strictly economic concerns. Instead, in the view of the
 Vito movement, organised labor should be at the fore-front of the
 struggle on wider political issues. The Vito movement argued in
 favor of independence from Holland, the need for a cultural
 revolution and the granting of official language status to
 Papiamentu. (Devonish 66)

On Curacao the striking workers start a march to the Forti, the seat of the Antillean government, to compel them to act. During the first open conflict between the police and the demonstrators at Seru di Parera, the leader of the workers, Papa Godett, is seriously injured. At this point things start getting out of hand, and within some hours essential parts of the historic town center are on fire, pillaged, and devastated. Dutch marines are flown in from the Netherlands to reinstate law and order. The local government, which underestimated the problem, collapses.

The riots trigger a process of Antilleanization which we will address more closely in the context of linguistic issues (cf. 3). The long term effect of the riots, however, stays way behind most expectations since a number of plans fail due to three reasons: 1) a lack of support by the motherland, 2) the Antillean society that delays genuine reforms, and 3) economic constraints. The latter are particularly evident during the economic decline in the 1980s (subsequent to the oil crisis) which forces the authorities to block innovations. Additionally, the Netherlands Antilles are forced to deal with inner controversies that generally weaken the position of the islands and ultimately lead to the segregation of Aruba in 1986. (11)

The subsequent economic stability of Aruba is primarily due to the growth of tourism (predominantly American, Canadian, and Latin American tourists). In terms of migration this development entails, on one hand, immigration of workers for the tourist industries from Latin American countries (i.e. Colombia and Venezuela) (12) and, on the other hand, a very limited emigration to the motherland. In any case the step from an industrial island living on oil industry to a tourist-center guarantees Aruba's economic survival. Curacao, in contrast, heads towards an economic deterioration in the eighties, which is reinforced by the decision of Shell to stop their oil-refining activities on the island. The massively corroded refinery is sold to the Antillean government for one guilder in 1985. Alternatives, such as tourism, are still in their infancy, but lately show better perspectives. The employment problem is slightly postponed when the Venezuelan oil company PEDEVESA keeps the refinery partly going. Nevertheless, in the nineties the unemployment rate is climbing to more than one third, a fact that impels many young Curacaoans to emigrate to the Netherlands (cf. 4).

(3) Language Issues

In the previous chapters we have already touched various key issues of the linguistic context. Nevertheless, it is necessary to expand on three topics concerning the linguistic situation and more particularly the Papiamentu language. After clarifying some evolutionary features of the Creole language (3.1), we focus on the multi-layered language situation and the effects multilingualism more specifically (3.2). In chapter 3.3 language planning will be discussed, which will bridge our comments with the subsequent observations on creoleness, literature, and translation.

3.1 Evolutionary aspects of Papiamentu

Creolists widely agree on the fact that Papiamentu is based on an Afro-Portuguese Pidgin (or Creole; monogenetic approach), which was modified, restructured, and expanded according to the particular linguistic conditions of the islands (polygenetic features). As a matter of fact the Creole vernacular of the ABC Islands goes through relexification and lexical expansion as well as structural borrowing on the base of the Spanish language. Thus even today the discussion if it is a Spanish- or Portuguese-based Creole persists. (13) Concerning the lexicon the origin of two thirds of the words can be attributed to Iberian languages, as it remains often unclear if a lemma derives from Castilian, Portuguese, Catalan, Galician, or various Iberian dialects (i.e. Asturian, cf. Maduro 1972). With regards to the Dutch influence, we can state that about 27% of the lexicon has Dutch roots (particularly words in the context of handicraft and administration), while the remaining terms derive from English or French as well as African and Indian languages.

Contrary to other Creoles, Papiamentu does not emerge in a plantation context, because the birthplace of Papiamentu, the island of Curacao, never ranges among the plantation islands. It is basically the product of linguistic contact between African slaves, i.e. those involved in domestic service, and their divergent European masters, i.e. Sephardic Jews or Dutch Protestants, between 1650 and 1700. The language stabilizes quickly and becomes the unifying vehicle of communication on Curacao and later Bonaire and Aruba, where it undergoes minor diversifications. It turns out that it soon passes from oral to written contexts, even if Papiamentu remains restricted to private communication during the eighteenth century. (14) In 1825 the first printed book is published followed by numerous publications. (15) In this period of print, the orthographies are characterized by the model of the respective writers. Only in the 1940s the first serious attempts to create a standard orthography for Papiamentu come into sight. The development throughout the twentieth century proves the Creole of the ABC Islands to take a very advanced position within Creole contexts as it quickly invades most socio-cultural domains.

On the cultural and educational level, the May 1969 riots introduce a final remarkable turn towards self determination that we can trace in the following facts: the discussion about Papiamentu in schools is revitalized, the claim that more Antillean born teachers should teach in Antillean schools is reinforced, and in the field of literature more authors consciously apply the Creole language in their books (Eckkrammer 2003).

The local vernacular Papiamentu functions as an integrative and defining attribute of a segmented society that searches for a new identity. Hence, claims with regard to language issues are more likely to succeed than claims concerning economic and social policy. As a matter of fact, Papiamentu displays an important unifying authority during the process of reconciliation subsequent to the riots. Nevertheless, most crucial measures planned and discussed in detail are postponed or peter out in the end (cf. also our consclusions in 2.3): a law prepared in 1979 that makes Papiamentu (ABC Islands) and English (SSS Islands) co-official besides Dutch never acquires validity; yet the standardization and normalization of the Creole as well as the introduction of Papiamentu into the educational system are secured by a respective law and proper funding. However, the goals are never fully reached. Before we map out the reasons and remedies in the context of the mentioned developments (see chapter 3.3), let us shed light on the general linguistic situation of the ABC Islands.

3.2 The multilingual challenge

The widespread use of Papiamentu does not imply that no other languages are used along with the Creole. On the contrary, since the seventeenth century the territories display a solid multilingualism and different forms of diglossia. On the one hand, it goes without saying that even if the Creole turns into the mother tongue of the majority, many groups maintain their original languages (for one or more generations), i.e. Portuguese, Spanish, or Dutch. Since immigration grows strong in the twentieth century, other languages are added to the linguistic panorama (i.e. Chinese, English etc.), which frequently keep their function as in-group languages. On the other hand, Dutch is still an important linguistic means within different contexts (i.e. administration or law) and the medium of scholarly instruction (except for one school teaching exclusively in Papiamentu). And last but not least, Spanish as well as English play an important role due to their strong presence in the media (popular TV-channels from Latin American countries as well as the U.S.). Hence, many Antilleans are bilingual, trilingual, or even dominate four languages to a certain extent.

The multilingualism of the territories is reflected by a considerable frequency of code-switches in everyday conversation, but also written contexts are invaded by this conscious practice to switch between two or more languages. Written texts, which are characterized by conceptual orality such as contributions to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or to virtual guestbooks (meeting-points between the Antilles on the islands and the diaspora in the Netherlands), reflect the frequency and type of switches perfectly, for instance the following message by an Aruban individual:
 saw the webpage! esta great. jaja. como mi no tin nada di haci
 Aruba chat ta bashi. Izzy mes no a yega ainda. so mi a bisa ban
 check e mega top 40 di siman pasa. i GERALD! e grip mester a dal bo
 basta duro. con por ta cu e web page ta sigui cu e mega top 40 di e
 otro otro siman cu a pasa. REALLY! anyways Gen, bettershap shatje.
 anything about your programs ta cu Malvin Garcia ta keda awor i
 semper den e guestbook. e no tin ni un informatie di dje kiden. so
 un hende cu ta tende magic lo bisa cu "Malvin Garcia na Magic ni
 den sonjo!" so probablemente ja de mi te has olvidado so goody's
 nos ta topa na Havana. oohh ja mi no tin e edad avansa pa bay nan
 ta shop mi. ayo mi dushinan.

 [saw the webpage! how great. yes. yes. since I have nothing to do,
 Aruba chat is empty. Even Izzy is not yet here. So I'm thinking
 let's go check the mega top 40 of last week. and GERALD! the flu
 must have hit you pretty hard. how come the web page continues to
 show the the mega top 40 of last week that has already passed.
 REALLY! anyways Gen, get well, sweetheart. one thing about your
 program is that Malvin Garcia will remain now and forever in the
 guesbook. there is not even any information about him in it. so
 somebody listening to radio magic will say "Malvin Garcia on Magic,
 not in your dreams." so probably you have already forgotten about
 me. so, goody, we'll meet in Havana. oh yes, I'm not old enough to
 go there, they will shop me. goodbye my sweethearts.] (CS-Corpus

To give a content-wise, more serious example which gives evidence that the switches are not exclusively meant as a result of a borderless online youth culture (thus the application of linguistic features introduced by the chat-culture), let us cite the following example:
 Ja e kos aki ta hopie moeilijk pero mi ta kere ku na prome luga e,
 edukashon hanja na kas ta e base di tur tur kos. Hopie
 alleenstaande moeders ku mester laga joe nan pa nan kwenta of pa e
 abuela bieuw pa e mama por bai traha pa e por kria su mes y su joe.
 E wela ta un hende grandi ku no por ku e mucha ora ku e mucha
 drenta su puberteit (HELE moeilije periode) y ta laga e mucha hasie
 e hora ey loke e ke. Mi ta kere ku e fondo ta e lantamento di e
 mucha den un famia stabiel es decir un mama y un tata ku
 responsabilidad. Si e mama ta sta er alleen voor e tata mester tey
 sikiera pa vang e mucha op. Pero hopie di e homber antillano ta
 traha e joe y THAT'S IT. (CS-Corpus 2001)

 [Yes, this is not easy, but I think that first and foremost, the
 education that you receive at home is the basis of everything Many
 single mothers have to leave their kids on their own or with the
 old grandmother so that the mother can go get a job to take care of
 herself and her child. The grandmother is elderly and unable to
 cope with the child once it reaches puberty (a VERY difficult time)
 and allows it to do what it wants. I believe that the essence is
 bringing up the child in a stable family, that is to say, with a
 responsible mother and father. If the mother is on her own, then
 the father should at least be there for the child. But many of the
 Antillian men father the child and THAT'S IT.] (example from
 Antiano List collected in 2001)

The examples show a variety of intra- as well as inter-phrasal switches from Papiamentu to English, Dutch, and Spanish. Even if we do not consider recent borrowings from English (still lacking lexicalization) such as great, check, web page, mega top 40, guestbook, and shop as switches, the number of intentional steps into another language is amazing. The writers obviously play with their Creole mother tongue and other three languages. According to data collected so far, code-switching seems to be a highly popular linguistic device to creatively interact in the multilingual setting of the Papiamentu-speaking community. Consequently, code-switching applies as an identity-building element of the Antillean society.

Current tendencies in language planning, however, involve a more conscious use of the mother tongue, as "papiamentists" fear that uncontrolled borrowing in linguistic slots that might be filled with an authentic Creole word might be harmful to Papiamentu in the long term. Nevertheless, decreolization does not have to be feared since structural implications of the switches do not seem to be an issue so far (if we judge from our own recent still unpublished studies on code switching). Future language planning, however, certainly has to include all languages used on the islands and depart from a multilingual perspective in order to solve upcoming problems adequately. The future challenge does not seem to be a one-sided fostering of Papiamentu (or English on the SSS Islands), but an attempt to distribute efforts between all languages with special focus on the mother tongue, which still longs for normalization and standardization. Thus, the comparatively young idiom Papiamentu requires more attention with regard to these issues.

3.3 Language planning

Papiamentu as common linguistic code bridging all segments of society represents an exceptional case in comparison with other Caribbean territories that perform a high level of socio-linguistic stratification (i.e. French Creole speaking territories such as Haiti, Guadeloupe, or Martinique). Even though, Papiamentu has to struggle with a significant lack of corpus (written texts), status (official recognition), and prestige. These three main branches of language evolution need to be taken care of consciously (see Kloss on the theoretical background) if the language wants to play a distinguished role in all socio-cultural domains (i.e. education, administration, etc.). However, in the early twentieth century little attention was paid to the voices, which already claimed the importance of mother tongue education (supported and reinforced by the UNESCO meeting of specialists in 1951).

Current issues of language planning might be dealt with from different angles, but all aspects involved seem to be directly linked to the tripartite intertwined system of corpus, status, and prestige. Thus in educational concerns arguments such as a lack of books written in Creole can be constantly heard. Language planners have to fight them. They are acting predominantly within (semi)governmental institutions, among them the Fundashon pa Promoshon di Idioma [Foundation for the Promotion of Language] (FPI). FPI is the successor organization of the Instituto Nashonal di Idioma [National Language Institute] (INDI) that emerged from the former Sede di Papiamentu (SEDE). SEDE was implemented in the eighties to carry out the language policy determined by the Komishon pa Maneho i Promoshon di Papiamentu [Commission for the Planning and Promotion of Papiamentu] (KOMAPA). The divergent name for the present foundation (FPI) already indicates that the focus is not to promote Papiamentu only, but to find a way of linguistic accord that includes all languages spoken on the islands (c.f. our plea in 3.2).

Papiamentu is written according to two official orthographies since the 1970s, (16) a situation that urgently needs to be remedied to re-animate a productive standardization process (after some prolific years in the early nineties the process of standardization has reached a deadlock, cf. Eckkrammer "The Standardization"). However, the stumbling block within the context of language planning remains education. While Aruba opts for a bilingual system that still needs to be put into practice, Curacao and Bonaire still struggle with the intentions of finally introducing the mother tongue as medium of instruction during the first years of school. This claim has been supported even from government officials since the fifties:
 Het Bestuur is zich bewust van de grote, niet te onderschatten
 nadelen voor de opvoeding, klevend an het systeem om reeds vanaf de
 aanvang het l.o. te geven in een vreemde taal, het Nederlands

 [The authorities are aware of the major educational disadvantages,
 not to be underestimated, that result from a school system that
 begins its elementary education in a foreign language, i.e. in
 Dutch] (Latour and Uittenbogaard 19)

However, it astonishes how persistent the linguistically unfounded argumentation against the use of Papiamentu in schools is. The following lines of reasoning are the most perpetuated since the educational shift at the beginning of the twentieth century:

A) Papiamentu is a purely spoken language (consequently should not be applied in writing).

B) Papiamentu is an obstacle for the acquisition of Dutch (which should be the mother tongue).

C) Papiamentu hinders the acquisition of any other language.

D) Papiamentu impedes a positive development of the culture.

E) Papiamentu inhibits the cognitive development of the speakers.

The reverse is recognized only bit by bit. The fact that the complex phonetic system of Papiamentu as well as the tone actually facilitates the acquisition of other languages is slowly gaining ground. Besides, nobody would question the written modes and applications of the Creole today, because it dominates the local press and gradually conquers areas such as academic and technical writing. The latter two sectors, however, require the elaboration of precise terminology as well as stylistic registers of LSP (Language for Special Purpose), two fields that again need conscious planning.

Still, the most urgent matter remains education, also because of obvious problems arising from the acquisition of reading and writing skills by the means of a language which is not the mothertongue and hardly spoken by the parents. As a matter of fact, 75% of the pupils in Curacaon elementary schools do not finish their six years in the respective time slot (either repeating one or more years or dropping out; for details consult Vedder). Consequently, we are dealing with an elevated number of semilinguals--individuals who do not properly read and write either Dutch or Papiamentu. It is obvious that this situation triggers a chain reaction which casts a shadow upon the socio-economic life (unemployment, migration, etc.; see chapter 4). In the light of the 1969 uprising, which fervently promoted the role of Papiamentu in schools and also had a catalyst effect on the augmentation of Antillean teaching staff, it is more than surprising that the local vernacular remains restricted to the role of a subject in elementary (since 1987) and secondary schools (since 2000) for many years. In 2004 it became the language of instruction in elementary schools.

As a result, we assume that tensions between the local (Creole) mother tongue(s) and the colonial language are preserved to a large extent on the Netherlands Antilles, even if they gradually decrease in postcolonial times (Narain & Verhoeven). The upgrading and a planned evolution of the local mother tongue(s) throughout the twentieth century seems more due to local forces (particularly private initiatives and single persons) than to attempts of the mother country to finally normalize the linguistic situation.

3.4 Cultural resistance and Creoleness as a new model

It is no surprise that literature written in Papiamentu, especially in poetry and fictional prose, increases markedly in popularity at the time when the navelstring tying the islands to the motherland is weakened during World War II. Pierre Lauffer's collection of poetry entitled Patria (1940) launched the formation of an authentic literary movement, which is still today regarded as a milestone in the development of an independent Creole literature in Papiamentu. Before the 1940s written texts in Papiamentu are mainly translations of religious and didactic texts, such as for instance Bible chapters or schools books. Local authors rarely apply their mother tongue, but if they do so, the poems show astonishing quality (i.e. Joseph Sickman Corsen's famous poem entitled Atardi). Most writing, however, is done in Spanish or Dutch. When in the mid twentieth century cultural concerns emancipate, a large number of stage-plays are translated and adapted into Papiamentu and put on stage. Even authors like Shakespeare, Goldoni, Mihura, or Shaw are performed in Creole creating an admirable autochthonous theater life. Besides we note that primarily oral traditions, which had survived the period of slavery, such as the African Nanzi stories, are now collected and printed. They represent an important proof of cultural resistance. (17) Interestingly enough, the turbulent upheaval of May 1969 does not fortify the trends in translation, but undermines them. This is basically due to the fact that translation is more and more seen as cultural importation, and therefore as proof for the underdevelopment of genuine local culture. Together with the growing importance of audiovisual products this leads to a sudden drop of theater productions in the vernacular language. Simultaneously, the ongoing search for an independent and authentic creole culture and identity performs an intense acceleration. Antilleanization takes place on many different levels and increases the positive awareness with regards to the native language and culture in the 1970s. Additionally the prestige of Papiamentu grows appreciably once the creole language becomes a crucial issue in cultural and educational affairs. The creolized culture serves a crucial role in the evolution of a creole identity. And as a matter of fact, the number of original or translated books in Papiamentu continuously grows except for in the field of drama. Numerous religious books, prose texts, and even poems are published in Creole, some of them even in bilingual editions, i.e. the following poem by Nydia Ecury from her collection entitled Kantika pa Mama Tera [Song for Mother Earth], published in 1984:
Transformashon Transformation

E dolo a surpasa The pain surpassed
tur limite all limits
di loke hende; of human endurance;

por soporta swung out
zuai three hundred
bai resulta and sixty degrees
treshenti sesenta gradu landing way way
mas aleu on the far side
te aya bandanan of sanity
di tinu; there evolved
evolushona, into a single
bira teardrop
un solo lagrima luminous,
luminoso i transparente; and transparent;
transende totalmente transcended totally
te finalisa to end up finally
den gremio among things
di kos of beauty
bunita i presioso. rare.
Su dono The survivor,
den kontemplashon could not help
di tal transformashon but laugh,
a keda hari in contemplation
hari, of so lovely
hari so a transformation
 laugh and rock
 laugh and rock.
 .... and then

... porta grandi the heavy door
a dal sera fell
trai su lomba. into its lock.

As for the question of which version is to be considered "original," the author expresses the following:
 Poesia pa mi ta un regalo ku ta yega bati na porta di mi mente ora
 e ke si e ke, segun e ke. Ultimo tempu nan ta yega par-par, esta na
 papiamentu i ingles pareu. Algun poesia ku tabata ya eksisti na
 papiamentu awo ta presenta na ingles.

 [Poetry is for me a gift that comes, whenever, if ever, or as it
 sees fit, and knocks on the door to my thoughts. Lately, the poetry
 arrives in pairs, that is to say in Papiamentu and Enlglish
 simultaneously. Some poetry that already existed in Papiamentu now
 presents itself in English.] (Ecury 2f)

In conclusion, we can metaphorically state that the Netherlands Antilles' literature scene is exceptionally flamboyant and heading towards a transcultural identity. The literary context clearly shows that creolization bridges the local and the universal of Caribbean culture and creates Caribbeanness through shared elements of culture. Undoubtedly these elements are carried on into the diaspora, which permits the maintenance of creoleness in areas distant from the Caribbean. It goes along with a growing awareness of local Creoleness in the twentieth century and fosters an amalgamated cultural model which obviously suits the necessities of the communities better than other (European-bound) models.

(4) The Diaspora

Migration between the Antillean colonies and the Dutch mother country does not represent a new subject matter. Since 1634 there have always been Antilleans moving to the Netherlands or vice versa. However, in the case of the Netherlands Antilles, traditionally the vast majority of people who left the Dutch Antilles or Aruba to live in the Netherlands are students. Due to a lack of choices in academic education on their home islands, they are hosted (and partially financed) by the motherland during the period of their studies. (18) Usually only a restricted percentage remains in Holland. (19) For almost one hundred years, the fact that Antilleans need Dutch universities has served as an important argument to justify the introduction and maintenance of the Dutch educational system on the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Still today final exams of higher secondary education on the islands (i.e. HAVO and VWO) (20) are supplied from Den Haag.

The situation fundamentally changes during the past two decades: due to economic depression and the resulting unemployment rate on Curacao (up to 36%) the Netherlands are confronted with growing immigration consisting of fairly young people with, in many cases, modest education. (21) Since only a limited number of the "new Antillean immigrants" have perfect Dutch language proficiency (including solid writing and reading skills), the search for adequate employment becomes difficult. Their Dutch passport allows them to benefit from the Dutch social system, which cares for them when residing in Holland, but not on the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, unless they are single mothers or handicapped (Brave, online). Due to their functional illiteracy as well as their young age, good employment is hard to find. As a result they are often impelled to turn to low-level jobs or criminal action. Thus it is not very surprising that the public opinion in the motherland paints an increasingly negative picture of the Antillean immigrant perpetuating stereotypes such as the substantially criminal young Antillean. Cultural controversies emerge.

An interesting case in this context is an official Dutch project promoting the creation of a tumba [a traditional Antillean type of song] to prevent Antillean emigration to the Netherlands (cf. Oostveen 2000, online). After a transmission on the project, neither the invited musicians and songwriters nor the local Curacaoan authorities were willing to collaborate in the authoring of such a song. The reason is obvious from the imposed refrain proclaiming "Blijf op de Antillen, wordt geen emigrant / Slik liever selfmoordpillen, maar ga nooit nar Nederland" [Stay in the Antilles, do not become an emigrant / Better swallow suicide pills than go to the Netherlands] (cf. Oostveen 2000, online).

Other responses by the Dutch authorities such as the introduction of an obligatory naturalization course for young Antillean and Aruban immigrants (based on the Wet Inburgering Nieuwkomers, WIN, Law for the Naturalization of Newcomers from 1998) (22) do not foster a positive awareness among the immigrant community either. Many groups criticize the naturalization courses and the WIN fervently since they do not aim at the much more useful policy of "acceptance and homecoming" (opvang en terugkeer). In other words these policies do not empower immigrants to gain professional education in the mother country in order to return to the islands and find employment. In conclusion the current policy could be seen as aiming at squeezing the best out of the colonies without thinking of the future. This severe criticism is explicitly supported by the Antillean secretary of education, culture, youth, and sports, S.M. Lamp, during a visit to Dordrecht in 2000. Lamp confirms that the educated Antilleans are needed on the islands themselves. Furthermore, he stresses the belief that the strong influx of Antilleans is caused to a large extent by the Dutch Netherlands themselves.

In Holland numerous organizations and activities are set up. One part of them aims at preparing Antilleans for problems arising in Holland before immigration, while the second part deals with helping immigrants from the Caribbean colonies when already in Europe. One important step within the first measures is the introduction of the Voortraject Inburgering Antillianen [preliminary phase to the naturalization of Antilleans]. This program can be conceived as a first step of the Dutch naturalization procedure which is carried out prior to emigration on the islands. Additionally, the well being of the Antilleans and Arubans in the Netherlands is strengthened by cultural activities such as radio programs on Caribbean topics in Papiamentu (23) or a nationwide Anansi-story (24) competition (2000-01). Particularly in areas with intense concentrations of Antilleans such as Rotterdam, Amsterdam, or The Hague, numerous projects try to stimulate integration. However, it seems as if the programs basically aim at cultural integration or the prevention of emigration and do not include adequate stimulation for further educational possibilities that might offer the candidate real chances in the future.

Language-wise the current situation implies that Papiamentu has become an important minority language in the Netherlands. If we again refer to Code-Switching as an indicator for the creation of a blended identity, it is interesting to observe an extremely high frequency of switches in discussion-list-messages written by Antilleans living in the Netherlands. Thus on linguistic grounds Papiamentu does not disappear in Holland, but enters most communicative interactions where the recipient is able to understand the Antillean vernacular. Numerous cultural activities in the Netherlands are carried out in Creole. Papiamentu is taught to the community in some public schools in the undergraduate level. Many activities in the attempt to stimulate the evolution of Papiamentu as well as the normalization of the linguistic situation on the ABC Islands are fostered from Europe. A prominent example is the EU-financing of the three volumes of Pa Saka Kara, a comprehensive anthology of Papiamentu literature published in the vernacular (cf. Broek et al.).

(5) Future options, potentials, and possibilities

Lately the relationship between the Netherlands and the ABC Islands is characterized by a new attitude that intends to strengthen the cooperation between the Caribbean territories and the Netherlands. (25) On linguistic grounds it is obvious that the Antilles need the Creole language not only as their mother tongue (which paves the way for the acquisition of any other language of the world) but also as a crucial and unifying factor within the process of further establishing their own Creole identity. Papiamentu is by no means a restricted code, as it includes all possibilities to become a fully standardized language. All future measures therefore have to take into account the complexity and cultural uniqueness of the Antillean society (cf. Marcha & Verweel) as well as the cultural heritage.

Moreover, the Caribbean and Creole identity needs to be strengthened without ceding too much to prospects and demands of a globalized culture. Obviously globalization only makes sense if there is a parallel trend toward local or regional cultural identities that serve as a solid background for participation in a global culture. I am convinced that there is plenty of space for small cultural communities, their unique languages and literatures, to evolve in the globalized world. However, a multifaceted conceptualization of the cultural world carpet can only succeed if the local underlies the global. In 1993, 74% of the votes on Curacao favored the maintenance of the political status quo. So obviously, the future seems to rest in fruitful cultural hybridizations, and the ABC Islands can be taken as an example for rich and prolific cultural blending.

Works Cited

Arnold, James A., ed. A History of Literature in the Caribbean. Vol. 2: English-and Dutch-speaking regions. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins, 2001.

Bloem, Adriana F. M. Papiamentu tegen (w)elke Prijs? Een historische Analyse van de Taalproblemen in het Curacaos Onderwijs, vanaf de Ontstaansgeschiedenis. Curacao: Unpublished Manuscript, 1986.

Brave, Iwan. "Caribisch Volendam." De Groene Amsterdammer 25 May 1999. 18 August 2000 <http:/>.

Broek, Aart, Lucille Berry-Haseth, Sidney M. Joubert, and Pierre Lauffer. Pa saka kara. Historia i antologia di Papiamentu. 3 vols. Curacao: Fundashon Pierre Lauffer, 1998.

Devonish, Hubert. Language and Liberation: Creole Language Politics in the Caribbean. London: Karia P, 1986.

Eckkrammer, Eva M. Literarische Ubersetzung als Werkzeug des Sprachausbaus: Am Beispiel Papiamentu. Bonn: Romanistischer Verlag, 1996.

--. "The Standardisation of Papiamentu: New Trends, Problems and Perspectives." Les langues minoritaires en contexte. Vol. I. Les langues minoritaires entre diversite et stan-dardisation. Eds. Anna-Alice Dazzi Gross, and Lorenza Mondada. Neuchatel: Institut de linguistique de lUniversite de Neuchatel, 1999. 59-74.

--. "Tradukshon komo Instrumento den Proseso di Planifikashon di Idoma: Loke nos por Sina di Papiamentu i Propone komo Kriterio di Selekshon." Portugiesisch, Papiamentu et al: Salzburger Beitrage zu Prozessen und Produkten der Translation in der Romania. Ed. Gabriele Blaikner-Hohenwart. Frankfurt a.M. etc.: Lang, 2003. 135-168.

--. "Vielfalt der Modelle: Aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Morphosyntax des Papiamentu im Spannungsfeld zwischen Spanisch, Niederlandisch und Kreolisch." Romanische Sprachen in Amerika: Festschrift fur Hans Dieter Paufler zum 65.Geburtstag. Eds. Johannes Klare and Kerstin Storl-Stroyny. Frankfurt: Lang, 2002. 365-377.

Ecury, Nydia. Kantika pa Mama Tera. [Song for Mother Earth.] Curacao: n.p., 1984.

Emmanuel, Isaac and Suzanne Emmanuel. History of the Jews of the Netherlands Antilles. 2 Vols. Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1970.

Frank, Anne. E Kas Patras: Diario den Forma di Karta--12 di yuni 1942-le di ougustus 1944. Kompila pa Otto Frank i Mirjam Pressler. Tradukshon for di hulandes kolektivo. Korsou: Departement van Onderwijs Nederlandse Antillen, 2001.

Haarmann, Harald. Die Sprachenwelt Europas: Geschichte und Zukunft der Sprachnationen zwischen Atlantik und Ural. Frankfurt: Campus, 1993.

Hartog, Johannes. Aruba zoals het Was zoals het Werd. Aruba: De Wit, 1953.

--. Bonaire van Indianen tot Toeristen. Aruba: De Wit, 1957.

--. Curacao van Kolonie tot Autonomie. 2 Vols. Aruba: De Wit, 1961. Hawkins, Irene. The Changing Face of the Caribbean. Barbados: Cedar P, 1976.

Hermans, Willem F. De laatste Resten Tropisch Nederland. Amsterdam: de Bezige Bij, 1981.

Heuvel, Gijs van den. A Study of Language Attitudes in Curacao Primary Schools with Reference to the Language Planning Policy in Curacao. Amsterdam: Unpublished Thesis, 1989.

Heuvel, Pim and Freek van Wel. Met eigen stem: Herkenningspunten in de letterkunde van de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba. Assen, Maastricht: Van Gorcum, 1989.

Jongh, Edward A. de. E dia mas historiko--30 di mei 1969. Curacao: self edited, 1970.

Kloss, Heinz. "Die den internationalen Rang einer Sprache bestimmenden Faktoren. Ein Versuch." Deutsch in der Begegnung mit anderen Sprachen: im Fremdsprachen-Wettbewerb, als Muttersprache in Ubersee, als Bildungsbarriere fur Gastarbeiter, Beitrage zur Soziologie der Sprachen. Ed. Heinz Kloss. Tubingen: Narr, 1974. 7-78.

--. Grundfragen der Ethnopolitik im 20.Jahrhundert: Die Sprachgemeinschaften zwischen Recht und Gewalt. Wien, Stuttgart: Braumuller and Bad Godesberg: Wissenschaftliches Archiv, 1969.

Koot, Willem and Anco Ringeling. De Antillianen. Minderberg: Coutinho, 1984.

Latour, M.D. and P. H. J. Uittenbogaard: De taal Papiamentu en haar oorsprong. Hilver-sum: n.p., 1953.

Lenz, Rodolfo. El Papiamento la Lengua Criolla de Curazao (la Gramatica mas Sencilla). Santiago de Chile: Balcells & Co, 1926.

Maduro, Antoine J. Papiamentu Words which Show more Similarity with the Languages and Dialects of the Iberian Peninsula than with the Spanish and Portuguese Equivalent. Curacao: Typewritten Manuscript, 1972.

Marcha, Valdemar and Paul Verweel. De Waarheid van Curacao. Amsterdam: SWP, 2000.

McWorther, John H. The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Creoles. Berkeley: U of California P, 2000.

Narain, Goretti. "De Antillianen en Arubanen. Talen in Nederland." 1991. 12 December 2000 < anen.htm>.

-- and Ludo Verhoeven. "Development of Papiamentu in a First and Second Language Environment." AILA Review 10 (1993): 110-121.

Oostveen, Margriet. "De Eigen taal van Tumba en Tambu: Kom niet aan Geuzenliederen." NRC Handelsblad Cultureel Supplement 18 February 2000. 18 August 2000 < Nieuws/2000/02/18/Vp/cs.html>.

Oostindie, Gert, ed. Curacao, 30 mei 1969: Verhalen over de Revolte. Amsterdam: UP, 1999.

--, ed. Dromen en littekens: Dertig jaar na de Curacaose revolte--30 mei 1969. Amsterdam: UP, 1999.

-- and Inge Klinkers. Het Koninkrijk in de Caraiben: Een korte Geschiedenis van het Nederlandse Dekolonisatiebeleid, 1940-2000. Amsterdam: UP, 2001.

Reinecke, John et al. A Bibliography of Pidgin and Creole Languages. Honolulu: UP of Hawaii, 1975.

Romer, Amado E.J. Korsou den Siglo XX: Desaroyo di un Pueblo of Tragedia? Curacao: n.p., 1997.

Romer, Raul G. "De taalsituatie op de Nederlandse Antillen." Ed. Rene A.

Romer. Cultureel Mozaiek van de Nederlandse Antillen: Varianten en Constanten. Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1978. 76-95.

Romer, Rene A. "Algun Aspekto di nos Historia Sosial." Week-end di estudio 1 (1976): 13-22.

--. De Curacaose Samenleving. Curacao: Amigoe, 2000.

--, ed. Cultureel Mozaiek van de Nederlandse Antillen: Varianten en Constanten. Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1978.

Simmons-Jansen, W. "Het Antilliaans Parlement verzet zich terecht tegen wetsontwerp." Volkskrant 18 May 2000. 10 December 2000 <http:// parlament/main.html>.

Rutgers, Wim. Schrijven is zilver. Spreken is goud: Oratuur, Auratuur en Literatuur van de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba. Utrecht: n.p., 1994.

--. Antilliaanse Literatuur: Beneden en Boven de Wind. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1996.

Vedder, Paul. Learning in a Second Language: A Study in Curacaon Primary Schools. Curacao: Stichting Kondesa, 1987.



(1) The title of this article to some extent relates to the book de laatste resten tropisch nederland [The Last Remains of Tropical Netherlands] written by the famous Dutch author Willem F. Hermans in 1969 after a journey to the Dutch Caribbean. This book (which was enormously successful and re-edited several times) critically describes the situation in Surinam (when it still belonged to the Dutch Kingdom) and the unified Netherlands Antilles shortly before the 1969 uprise.

(2) Narain (in "De Antillianen en Aruben") states the following numbers of inhabitants: Aruba 66,000, Curacao 146,000, Bonaire 10,000, St. Maarten 23,600, Saba 1,000, and St. Eustatius 1,800.

(3) This fact is particularly bizarre with regards to Creole Studies since philologists who are traditionally concerned with a lexifier or relexifier of a Creole tend to study the respective Creole (variety) from a Eurocentric viewpoint. Such an approach, however, can hardly be supported by theoretical models of modern Creole studies (cf. McWorther).

(4) Compare with the publications by J. Hartog 1953, 1957, 1961; R. A. Romer 1976, 1978, 2000; A. Romer 1997.

(5) It is known that a large portion of the native Arawak had been deported from the ABC Islands and sold as slaves on La Hispaniola by the Spanish in 1515. But generally spoken, the Spaniard considered the territories widely as islas inutiles [useless islands], a term that is coined in 1513.

(6) This synagoge (in Papiamentu znoa or respectively snoa) with its typical sand-covered floor still serves as a synagoge to the Jewish community today. It is referred to as Mikve Israel and located in the center of Willemstad (Punda-side) and consequently represents the oldest still-functioning synagoge of the Western hemisphere.

(7) A glance at the school books used in these Catholic schools (among them many translations) prove that the language level was good. In spite of orthographic doubts, the quality of the Creole used in these didactic texts is not inferior to later writings and consequently could have served as a base for the development of didactic material (cf. Bloem).

(8) Only a group of Venezuelan immigrants dares to establish an independent school at Monte Carmelo, which is recognized by the Venezuelan Ministry of Education (cf. Romer, Korsou den Siglo 38).

(9) The conflict has been studied from many perspectives, particularly commemorating the events in 1999 (cf. Oostindie 1999a, 1999b).

(10) The name of the paper refers to colonial segregation meaning "plantation overseer" (Hermans 136).

(11) Aruba leaves the confederation of the Netherlands Antilles to continue with a status aparte within the Dutch Kingdom but does not comply with the Dutch wish to become independent after a period of ten years.

(12) As a consequence the Spanish influence on the local vernacular might be stronger than on the other two Papiamentu-speaking islands.

(13) This question is directly linked to the way of typological classification of a Creole. As the grammar is basically universal, the Creoles are usually classified according to their dominant lexifier. In line with this system, Papiamentu cannot be typologically identified with precision since the etymology of many words is known as Iberian, but often cannot be attributed to one language only. Therefore, we suggest to simply label Papiamentu as "Iberian" Creole.

(14) The first conserved document in Papiamentu is a love-letter written by a Sephardic Jew from 1775.

(15) Mostly translations of parts of the Bible and liturgical texts, see the bibliography by Reinecke, 1975.

(16) Aruba opted for a slightly etymological system, while Curacao and Bonaire write phonologically. This politically motivated orthographic schism signifies an enormous disadvantage with regards to editing and calls for well-planned remedies in the upcoming decades.

(17) For details regarding local literature, cf. Rutgers 1994, 1996.

(18) The Universiteit van de Nederlandse Antillen in Willemstad/Curacao and the Universiteit van Aruba only offer a very restricted number of academic courses (i.e. a M.B.A and a masters program in accounting or a course on Antillian law among a selection of other legal and technical studies, for instance). The second half of the curriculum of some courses, however, has to be accomplished in the Netherlands.

(19) In the second half of the twentieth century, particularly intellectual women who lack adequate chances on the Antilles emigrate. The Curacaoan-born philologist Ruth Koeiman stresses this fact during an interview in 1992.

(20) The current educational system includes three types of general secondary education: MAVO (Middelbaar Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs; intermediate general secondary education), HAVO (Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs; higher general secondary education), and VWO (Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs; university preparatory education).

(21) Let us recall at this point that the linguistic home-school mismatch as well as inadequate didactic materials have lead to an enormously high percentage of dropouts in elementary school which have to be considered as semilingual, i.e. not fully competent in either Creole or Dutch (cf. Vedder, Heuvel 1989, and others).

(22) This minimum 600-hours course (!) basically consists, on one hand, of Dutch lessons and, on the other hand, of information and instruction on 1.) the Dutch society (maatschappijorientatie), 2.) possibilities to work (beroepen-orientatie) and 3.) support for integration.

(23) Radio 5, Radio Doble A, Radio Antiyas and other channels transmit such programs weekly or even daily (in Papiamentu or Dutch).

(24) Anansi is equivalent to Nanzi and refers to the protagonist of African-rooted spider-stories (called Kuenta di Nanzi in Papiamentu). They are spread all over the Greater Caribbean area (i.e. Jamaica, St.Eustatius, Suriname) and the Southern states of the U.S. The Anansi-stories competition embraces all groups which display this cultural heritage. But due to the linguistic diversity of these groups, the contributions have to be written or at least translated into Dutch.

(25) Since August 3, 1998, the Dutch Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken [Government Department of the Interior] is called Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties [Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relationships] and incorporates the formerly independent Kabinet voor Nederlandse-Antilliaanse en Arubaanse Zaken [Office for DutchAntillian and -Aruban Affairs] (KabNA).
COPYRIGHT 2007 Journal of Caribbean Literatures
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao
Author:Eckkrammer, Eva Martha
Publication:Journal of Caribbean Literatures
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:5ARUB
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Previous Article:Slavery and the development of Papiamentu.
Next Article:My Language (Papiamentu)/Mi Lenga (1).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters