Monthly Archives: March 2014

Echoes of Berbice Dutch Creole – by Dmitri Allicock + video

Albertha Bell

Albertha Bell

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103 years old Albertha Bell, the Last Speaker of Berbice Dutch Creole, interviewed by Jamiekan Langwij Yuunit in 2004.

Echoes of Berbice Dutch Creole

By Dmitri Allicock

“Language reflects our thoughts and knowledge is lost when it becomes extinct”

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America, but English has been the official language for much less than the 232 years when Dutch was the main medium of communication. The actual words spoken by most Guyanese is an English base creole that is very elastic to various regions and has slight historical influences from Dutch, West African, Arawakan, and to a lesser extent Indian Languages. Berbice Dutch Creole was a language developed by the slaves on the plantation of Berbice that survived the passage of time and only recently was considered officially extinct by international language database Ethnologue.   Continue reading

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Sail on R.H. Carr – By Dmitri Allicock

RH Carr

Sail on R.H. Carr

By Dmitri Allicock

  Demerara voyagers travelling Inland River trail

From coastal Georgetown to tranquility we sail

Rough muddy waters and wide river mouth

Narrowing valley with smoother waters of the south

Laughter and waving children from second class  Continue reading

The Birth of Guyana’s Mashramani – Dmitri Allicock

Mashramani - Dmitri Allicock

The Birth of Guyana’s Mashramani

By Dmitri Allicock

Jour Ouvert became fo-daymawnin jump-up. Ole Mas became the Revolt Dance and the Calypso Contests became the Shanto Contest.”- Jimmy Hamilton

The recent conclusion of Guyana’s 44th Mashramani celebrations and most colorful spectacle of music, revelry and creativity attracted the attention of many Guyanese and stimulated memories of its not so distant origination in the Bauxite Town of Linden, Upper Demerara.

Documented accounts reported that the concept for a celebration was first mentioned in 1966, on the attainment of nationhood with plans for making Guyana a republic. When it was announced in 1969 that Guyana would become a Republic in February, 1970, the idea became pressing. Assuming a prominent role in this urgent endeavor was the Jaycees of Greater Mackenzie.   Continue reading