Recently, FLP, a foundation dedicated to the promotion and elevation of our national language Papiamento, together with the National Library of Aruba put a spotlight on our local authors and their publications. During the event Tertulia Literario (Literary Gathering) 2022 that took place this month at the National Library in San Nicolas, there was an explosion of literature that attracted a big crowd.
The authors who were presented and received recognition were:
Olga Buckley, Brandon Bulos, Evert Bongers, Desiree Correa, Richard A. Frank, Lenie Henttu-Jeandor, Ariana Koolman, Eusebio Petrona, Ini Statia, Ruthy Vrieswijk-Bergen, Arlene M. Wever, Letitia Wever, Oswald Wever and Tyrone Wong, without forgetting the National Library itself, which published three books on its own.
What is interesting is that these authors provided a wide variety of genre and language. There are books for children and adults, fiction and non-fiction; namely three children’s books, two young adult novels, three adult novels, one short story, four poetry collections, and five non-fiction works about different subjects.
Most of these are in Papiamento and there is also one work in Dutch and four in English, meaning there was one for every taste. During the event there were two special presentations, by Ini Statia who presented and baptized her poetry collection “In the name of love” in a very original way. The other presentation was by Tyrone Wong, who presented his three-volume publication: The Village in San Nicolas, Aruba: Social History during the 20th and 21st Centuries.
FLP thanks the authors, researchers and everyone who contributed to this important yield. Congratulations on the publications.
However, FLP has noticed that there is little promotion of these books on the market. Perhaps there are more books and stories that came out but the foundation is not aware of them. The foundation is committed to helping in this regard. With the Tertulia Literario, which they have been organizing for a few years, they are trying to bring publicity to Aruba’s literature. And they propose to begin a custom of gifting books to people, for example, for Christmas this year!
The foundation adds that there are more productions that also need attention, namely song lyrics in Papiamento which if they are of good quality, fall into the category of poetry.
What is very interesting is that, while walking in the supermarket, searching for gifts in other stores and online, the foundation has noticed that more and more local people are using Papiamento in their products. A development which they note with joy. The foundation noted coffee, rum, soaps, creams and fragrances, cards, stationery with Papiamento text, and food products, all with names in Papiamento.
The foundation notes that this should be applauded and they hope that more people will find inspiration to use our beautiful languate Papiamento one way or another. “A language is a jewel, a very important cultural heritage, something beautiful that we must protect, develop and present to the world.”