31 October 2010

Reflections on the Dissolution of a Country

Bonaire Reporter

 10/10/10-  Bonaire is now an integral part of The Netherlands.
Pabien, Congrats, Gefeliciteerd. Nos ta den un Reino ku a renase. We live in a reborn Kingdom. We leven in een herboren Koninkrijk! With our will in the right direction, we will reap new fortunes…”  Message from Bonaire Governor Glenn Thodé on 10/10/10.

 10/18/2010- The October 22- Nov. 8 edition of The Bonaire Reporter

Commentary on the moment of transition: 
  -Special to The Bonaire Reporter 
 by Norwin E. Leito
     Journalist for Papiamentu language media.

" It was Saturday night. Bands were playing music. Some people were dancing. Other people were having a cold beverage. Important people were speaking on the stage. Well, it is now almost 12 o’ clock at midnight. Almost everybody was curious to know what was going to happen when the children, the islands of the Dutch Antilles, separated and Bonaire became a public entity of Holland. 

A local singer sang a very sad song in which he said goodbye to the Antilles. It was a covered song of Eva Peron. The original song is: “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.”  The Antillean flag went down. Many people were dressed in black. Were they really aware of this or was it just a coincidence?

  In a way we could say that there was a certain feeling of funeral. It is not that there was never a fight between the islands. However, there was still a feeling of “we.” Now it feels as if the family has been torn apart. Everyone could see the beautiful fireworks in the sky. But one really could feel the nostalgia among the people.

One guy tried to congratulate two other guys who were passing by. But they really did not appreciate this and they said that according to them there was no reason at all for congratulations. They even were ready to fight. In general, during the day of Rincon or other cultural events, the faces are happy. Unfortunately, on this day many people were looking very sad. There were even some people who could not hold their tears. I am one of those people to be honest. I feel that I have lost my brothers and sisters. In other words: the other islands.

  The politicians have their reason to do what they are doing. But the most important thing that’s affecting the local people is “fear.” They are afraid because they say that they are not well informed. One can hear them talking in the local bars. Most of them do not have any idea of what this transition really means. Some think that the Dutch are taking over the place. Others think that they are about to lose their identity. Well, in general, one feels comfortable when a situation is predictable. 

Despite this we do not know what changes this transition will bring. It might bring positive things. So I guess that the best thing is to try to live in harmony with each other, give our contribution each day to Bonaire, and together we can help Bonaire to progress. If it progresses, all of us will pick the fruits. 

God bless our Flamingo Island."
WILLEMSTAD- -The Netherlands Antilles no longer exists, but the bonds between families on the various islands still do.

However, there is as yet no cooperation arrangement between the new entities that allows easy passage between neighboring Dutch islands using only a sedula (ID card). The Reporter was informed that this is recognized as a problem and is being reviewed by the appropriate authorities.

- Bonaire Reporter