12 de Diciembre de 2018
Portal Educativo de las Américas
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La Educación
Número: (114) I
Año: 1993

7. How, then, would you go about integrating the unique culture and history of the Caribbean into the formal school system?

This is a difficult matter because the culture that we have imported is very important to our communication with the rest of the world. Today, people often see the imported culture and the popular culture as opposites. Consider the simple issue of language. This cultural opposition views Creole or the native language as antagonistic to English or English as antagonistic to Creole. In this view, because you must learn English, you must abandon Creole. There are also certain cultural nationalists that have taken the position that we must magnify the Creole and forget about the English.

I don’t think we have that choice, I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. Instead, it is a matter of making both the languages of international communication. Who can deny that English is that? And we are now finding that many people are able to understand our Creole, which is for us the language of the soul, when we didn’t think that they would be able to understand. When Jamaican reggae went to Japan, we failed to see how the Japanese would respond to the Jamaican Creole. Do they understand what is being said? And we find that the level of understanding is not what is important. It is the energy, it is something in the music that is appealing to others, beyond the words.