(Oranjestad)—During a press conference, the different activities that will take place in the next couple of days were announced. This all ties into the celebrations for National Hymn and Flag Day on March 18th. This year, the slogan for this celebration is “Union is the force behind our beloved island rock.”
The president of the Celebratory Committee for National Holidays (CCDN), Lyonel Dirksz, informed that there will be various activities that will be organized by the committee. This included the Hymn and Flag festival which took place this past weekend on Plaza Betico Croes, and also includes “Poeta di Patria”, which takes place March 15th, the cultural manifestation on March 17th and the protocol performance on March 18th.
In terms of the cultural manifestation, Dirksz pointed out that this will start from 6:30pm, where there will be more than 40 tents that selling traditional food, sweets and art works. There will also be live musical performances by different artists and groups during this activity, which is set to end around 10:30pm.
The musical academy Harpa y Cuarta will open this musical program, which begins around 8pm when the members of the government arrive. The Culture Orchestra will be accompanied by various artists in the community and also the Tumba and Soca Kings from this year’s carnival festivities.
On March 18th, the activities will begin early in the morning, where the protocol performance will take place at Plaza Betico Croes. There will be children’s choirs from schools in Santa Cruz, including Colegio Laura Wernet Paskel, Colegio San Hose and Maria School. They will be accompanied by the Tutifruti choir, the youth band that will perform alongside the children from Caribbean Combo and students from the Rufo Wever Music School.
After the protocol performances, there will be a march of local girl and boy scouts. After this, the public will continue their celebrations with all sorts of activities around the island.
Junior Arends, vice-president of CCDN, expressed that the event for Poeta di Patria will take place on March 15th at the Cas di Cultura in the down town area.
There will also be a painting contest for primary and elementary schools around the island. For this contest, there will be different categories, namely “primary schools”, “elementary schools 1st and 2nd grade”, “elementary schools 3rd and 4th grade” and “elementary schools 5th and 6th grade.”
Exposition Aruban Diaspora at the National Archives
Raymond Hernandez, director of the National Archives Aruba, informed that March 18th is celebrated every year (with the exception of the two years of the pandemic). The activities organized by them will include an exhibition where they will discuss various topics they feel are very important for the public to know, especially on this celebratory day.
This year, the focus will be on the descendents of the Aruban: where everyone comes from. “That’s why the exhibition carries the name ‘Aruban Diaspora’, where we begin exploring the first visitors of the island that later became inhabitants up until the modern world of today. This is when we see people from around the world who have immigrated here and that now form part of our country,” he stated.
They will also focus in the history of slavery starting from March 18th to July 1st, which will open the commemoration of slavery within the Dutch Kingdom.
March 18th will show the community the different facets that played a role in the migration of people to the island, as well as certain moments where people have left the island.