PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – In commemoration of International Mother Language Day (February 21), the Honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) Ms. Silveria Jacobs invites the general public, schools, poets and literary artists to participate and present in an upcoming S’Maatin English Poetry/Storytelling/Narration Competition.
This event will be held on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the New Government Building on Soualiga Blvd., in Conference Room 1, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and is hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization National Committee (UNESCO NatCom) in collaboration with the Department of Culture, and sponsored by the House of Nehesi Publishers.
Since 1999, UNESCO has designated February 21 as the annual International Mother Language Day which serves to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world (www.unesco.org). Knowing, writing and speaking in one’s mother language is an essential tool for the transmission and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).
Therefore this year we seek to highlight our very own local and mother tongue language ‘S’Maatin English’ in order to increase awareness and inspire pride in our oral traditions, history and cultural expressions. Students and persons of all ages are encouraged to sign up for this competition and will be asked to create and recite poems, tell stories, perform skits and/or narrate from books in ‘S’Maatin English’. There will be a judging panel and prizes will be given to the top three finalists.