Friday, March 13, 2009

independence school parade.

edited: apparently this is the most popular blog post of all times! who knew what such an ambiguous title could do for my little blog. please stay and look around - we love visitors!

last friday, the 27th of february, the dominican republic celebrated their independence day. independence from what, you ask?

i have no clue
the dominican people have experienced so much oppression and subsequent independence in their history that it's hard for me to differentiate between independence from the spanish, from the haitians, from dictators...
now, i'm from philly. a huge city with a tradition for parades - huge, costly parades and, you can probably imagine, being the cradle of liberty and independence and immense independence day celebration. and while i appreciate the overpriced fireworks and performers of the city-wide festivities, my favorite part of the 4th of july is the church parade in my neighborhood. all of the organizations get together - churches, girl/boy scouts, masons, you name it, they're there. my absolute favorite was my surrogate grandpop at the end in a vintage pick-up throwing out candy to the kids. there's something wholesome about the neighborhood parades, something old-timey and familiar.
i'm not a huge fan of carnaval - in fact, i've never been to a "real" carnaval celebration, only the family-friendly version at the local cultural center (and the school carnaval. but i've been wanting to go to school district sponsored parade for awhile, but i always have something else to do - you know, the beach, sleep... but we took samil this year and i was impressed.
tons of students came - some with really original acts depicting the fights for independence: everything from the "Trinitarian Society" who were the three original father's of independence to the Mirabal Sisters, known by most americans through the movie (and much better Julia Alvarez book) In the Time of the Butterflies, who were silenced by Trujillo - murdered - sparking the assasination and subsequent democracy in the country only 50 years ago. there were baton twirlers, cheerleaders, percussion bands and color guards. "our" kids, from amalio's school, showed but were pretty boring since they had no act but what can ya do?
these are some of the freedom fighters who helped overturn trujillo in the 1960s. i was very impressed with this school's performance as it really criticized a part of history that, although often discussed, never really intelligently analyzed in the schools. even more excited that it was a public school.
student artwork depicting two of the three founding fathers: Sanchez, Mella and Duarte
i'm really bad at actually getting the pictures to load together, but this is a series of kids whose theme was trujillo's silence. the renegade soldiers here silenced anyone who spoke against the military regime in the country from 1930s-1960s.

i'm always impressed by colorguards.

these little kids (see the fruits on the left side?) are representing the traditional dominican culture - traditional dress in the flag's colors with the fruits of the land marching behind them.

these kids are carring huge copies of the declaration of independence.

baton twirlers. did you know this sport even still existed? there had to have been at least 15 baton twirling groups. some were better than others, but since i can't even hold a baton without dropping it, i think they're all great.

1 comment:

Buki Family said...

such pretty colors... i love parades!