Every year in November we celebrate the diverse cultures of Belize. It’s a fun day for all the students to dress up, taste great food, dance to music and learn more about the many cultures that make up the fabric of Belize.
This year different classes worked together to make vibrant and colorful displays for 5 of the major cultures in Belize.
The Creole have a strong cultural presence in Belize, made up of members of the many African peoples who were moved to the Caribbean during the slave trade. They formed their own Kriol language based loosely on English, and their food is popular though out the country – who hasn’t tried stew chicken with rice and beans?
The Garifuna culture formed when survivors of a ship-wrecked slave ship married into the local Carib population. When they revolted against European rulers they were expelled, eventually finding a home in Honduras and Belize. The punta is a popular Garifuna dance, and popular food includes mashed plantain. Garufina garb is easily recognized when made from white, black and yellow from their flag. Other traditional wear includes gingham.
The Maya are the original people of Belize and their culture is still visible today. Two Mayan groups are found here – Ketchi and Mopan. They have a rich history. Here out teachers made a cooking tent and cooked traditional Mayan food over a wood fire.
The Chinese have a strong presence in Belize, arriving as part of the work force of the British. Nowadays they run many of the nation’s supermarkets. The infant division did a superb job of putting their displays together.
The Mestizo are another mixed culture, resulting from the intermarriage of Europeans and Mayan. They speak Spanish and have given us many popular foods. The upper division put together a fun display, including a demonstration of making ganaches and the traditional food laid out during the day of the dead observations that take place in November.
Other cultures in Belize include Indians (pictured below), who also came as laborers when Belize was under colonial rule by the British. Later groups include Mennonites and even a large group of Lebanese, who like the Chinese have a strong commercial presence in Belize. A more modern cultural influx is from North American and European tourists and retirees coming to enjoy the nations friendly and hospitable people and climate.
How many cultures can you name?
Infant 2 students came dressed in a wide variety of cultural garb. How many cultures can you identify in these photos?