2008-09-27

the anniversary of Papiamento literature

On 27 September 1905 J.S. Corsen's poem “Atardi” was published in a newspaper called La Cruz. This was, apparently, the first time a piece of secular creative writing in Papiamentu had ever rolled off a printing press.

You can read it (with a Dutch translation) under this link.

Prior to the appearance of “Atardi,” the Dutch government had denigrated Papiamentu (and it continued doing so until the riots of 1969). Children were forbidden to speak Papiamentu while at school. Dutch officials often expressed their belief that Papiamentu was a lesser form of language, unfit for use in education or official activities.

After “Atardi” appeared, more and more Papiamentu speakers began to realize the beauty and potential of their language. The number of poems, songs, plays and stories published in Papiamentu began to gradually increase, year after year.

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