Wij, Sandro , Carla, Laura (2001) & Angelo (2004) zijn 28 december 2009 geëmigreerd naar Aruba. Via deze weblog willen we jullie laten deelnemen aan onze belevenissen.

donderdag 3 juni 2010

Dera Gay Aruba

Binnenkort is het Dera Gay op Aruba.



Voorbeeld van een Dera Gay dans van het Bon Bini festival in Fort Zoutman voor toeristen.

De laatste schoolweken voor de grote zomervakantie (die eind juni begint)zijn aangebroken. Angelo heeft nog een uitstapje in het kader van Dera Gay, een Arubaanse traditie. Op 15 juni gaat zijn klas naar het Frans Figaroa stadion om een presentatie hiervan bij te wonen. Ze gaan met de bus, maar het grappige is dat het stadion in dezelfde straat is gelegen als de school (even om aan te geven hoe alles hier gaat: met de auto dus!). Op 14 juni begint de avondvierdaagse hier. Net als in Nederland kun je het aantal kilometers kiezen (hier 5 of 7 km) en elke dag is de startplaats ergens anders. Vandaag heb ik kaartjes gehaald en kreeg ik 3 T shirts kado. Op 27 juni is er verder op de Cayenna kleuterschool een koffiemorgen met een mercado di purga (vlooienmarkt). Als klap op de vuurpijl vindt 2 juli in het occidental Grand Aruba Hotel een afscheidsfeest voor de oudste kleuters plaats met snacks, drinken en een show. De kleuters zijn druk bezig hiervoor een performance in te studeren. Ban wak!
Laura heeft nog veel werk te verzetten, want behalve haar 2e spreekbeurt krijgt ze a.s. maandag ook nog een zangbeurt. Ze moet een lied instuderen met Marie-José en ze krijgen een punt hiervoor. Erg verrassend!


Uitleg Dera Gay (Engels/copy van visitaruba.com):
An Aruban tradition celebrated every year on June 24. History tells that San Juan festivities originated on the South part of Mexico and came down to Guatemala and other countries in Central America reaching Venezuela and passed down to Aruba.

It is a custom brought by the missionaries who evangelized the villages, by introducing a tradition for the remembrance to the sacrifice of apostle San Juan Bautista, who according to the Biblical history was decapitated by order of King Herodes, since he liked princess Salomé.

When the Spanish ruled the island, they brought a couple of missionaries to educate the locals about Christianity. The place they started to preach is where the Alto Vista Chapel is situated now. The first 2 missionaries are still to be found buried on the right front side of the chapel entrance. The missionaries allowed the natives by then to preserve some of their pagan celebrations like Dera Gay, Dande and the Carnival. That is why they combined the harvesting celebration with Saint John day.

Aruba celebrates San Juan in a unique way. San Juan festivities in the early times had to do more with superstition. Mainly because the natives believed in spirits and several Gods, and they were very afraid of them. In order to be in the good grace of the Gods and spirits, they had to make several offerings. One of these was for the harvest. The, purpose of the festival of harvest was to thank the many Gods for the good harvest year and to request them to bless the harvests for the following year.

The father of my grandfather told us that in early times cunukeronan (coo-noo-ker-o-nan, Aruban farmers) after harvesting, they stored the trunks of the several plants like corn and other types of wood, so that they could be burned on San Juan (Saint John's Day). The farmers would then burn the woods, on the night before San Juan as well as throughout the day. Fire means purification and it scares away bad luck resulting in a better harvest the following year.

During the festivities, there were several games like jumping over fire, typical dances, singing, stories and joked being told, all this done around the fire. This festivity was something big in Aruba - it was a holiday. In the past, on June 23rd workers were given the afternoon off and the June 24 the whole day. The festivities start when the night arrives on San Juan's Eve.

The tradition to bury a living rooster (dera = bury and gay = rooster) was very common in those days. Nowadays it is obviously unthinkable to do such a thing.

Every town had it's own festivity. The most important dance was where a rooster is buried leaving only it's head above the ground. Over the years this has been replaced with a calabash gourd, and nowadays a synthetic rooster is placed above the ground. A man is then selected from the crowd and is blindfolded. He is then asked to kill the rooster by hitting its head real hard with a stick.

After the incorporation of San Juan, they expanded the tradition, where now men named Juan have preference over the others. The man is spin around so that he get disoriented and no longer knows the exact location of the rooster. Then with a corn stick, he has to hit the rooster's head. He has 3 chances , and if he misses another man is given the opportunity. An experienced dancer is guided by the wind and uses his foot to feel the ground in search of the rooster, because as a rule you are not to feel the ground with the stick.

During these festivities, women are dressed with long yellow dresses and yellow hair holders dancing in a choreographed manner. The musicians are dressed in yellow or red with a colorful band tightened on their hips. The instruments used consist mostly of drums and other noisemaker devices. While the music plays, the dancer has to hit the rooster, but the stick is not to touch the ground, or he looses his turn. This is done to symbolize the three times the rooster sang when Saint Peter lied about not knowing Jesus, according to the bible.

In Santa Cruz a century ago they changed the celebration a bit. They do not use a live rooster anymore, but instead changed it to one flag of various colors; red, white, blue and green, and a yellow flag with red border. These flags are then placed on a table. They also allow multiple participants, while blind folded, to try and grab a flag once the signal is given. The one that grabs the yellow flag wins.

Up to this day, Dera Gay is still celebrated in every town. Needless to say that the fire department has their hands very full putting out some of the fires that get out of hand.

Dan nog slecht nieuws helaas:
Afgelopen woensdag kwam ik op de terugweg van de tennis naar huis langs een reanimatie. Ambulance en omstanders waren al druk aan het reanimeren en om het verkeer niet op te houden en omdat er al personeel van de ambulance aanwezig was ben ik doorgereden. Niet lang daarna kregen we een telefoontje dat het de vader van Zulaika was. Hij is aan een hartstilstand overleden. Afgelopen zaterdag had hij nog genoten van het communiefeest van zijn kleinzoon Victor (zie bericht communie op de weblog). Wij wensen Zulaika, Roland en de kinderen heel erg veel sterkte bij dit grote onverwachte verlies.

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