On Saturdays, December 22 and 29, 2018, Kariculture.net participated in two issues of the very popular programme “Le Club RFI” which is broadcast on Radio France Internationale (RFI) in France in the evening, around 5.30 pm in Guadeloupe and Martinique by satellite and all over the world. It’s a way for the only trilingual cultural webmagazine (French, English, Spanish) in the Caribbean to promote itself in Africa and around the world.
The magic of the phone allowed to gather several guests separated by thousands of kilometres namely: Lovely Stanley Numa, (member of Club RFI Delmas in Haiti), Alain Kiséna (member of Club RFI Kigoma in Tanzania) and I, Évelyne Chaville (chief editor of Kariculture.net) who was in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, with Daniel Rugamika (member of Club RFI Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the journalist Sayouba Traoré (from Burkina Faso) who contributes to the programme “Le Coq Chante” on RFI who were in studio in Issy-les-Moulineaux (Paris region) with the journalist Éric Amiens who presents the programme “Le Club RFI”.
The recording of these two issues, which took place on Thursday, December 20, was made in a very pleasant atmosphere. The first was about “Christmas Celebration”, the second was a focus on “New Year’s Traditions and Customs”.
In a first discussion, each participant explained how Christmas was celebrated in his country (mass, food, drinks, gifts etc.) and we could see that, whatever the religion, this feast is synonymous with sharing, reconciliation and peace; in Africa, it brings together Christians and Muslims. About the Caribbean, if Lovely Stanley Numa presented the Haitian Christmas, I talked about the Guadeloupean Christmas but also the Puerto Rican Christmas because, according to an article written for Kariculture.net by the journalist Alba Gomez, the island of Porto Rico would have the longest Christmas in the world, which surprised very much Sayouba Traoré who even plans to go to the island to participate in the festivities… We are sure that the inhabitants of the smallest island of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica) – which is a free state associated with the United States where the two official languages are Spanish and English – will make him very welcome.
In the other discussion, each guest explained how the New Year’s transition took place with festivities but also rituals to spend a good year. Among other things, we noted that water (from the sea or the river) plays an important part in purification and rebirth. In addition, Lovely Stanley Numa from the Club RFI Delmas said the importance of the “giraumon soup” which is related to the independence of Haiti, celebrated on January 1st.
Over 100 Clubs RFI and over 100,000 members all over the world
Kariculture.net has more and more readers from the African continent who are interested in Caribbean culture and traditions, especially carnival where they find African roots. An anecdote: a young man even asked that we find him a young woman in Aruba because he had been captivated by female beauty after seeing carnival pictures on this island located in the south of the West Indies Arc (where both official languages are Dutch and Papiamento) that we had published. Unfortunately, we could not satisfy this special request which is not within our powers…
It must be known that the programme “Le Club RFI” reports, each week, the activities of the “Clubs RFI” that exist around the world. These are spontaneous groups of listeners (young mostly) who are very attached to the radio. The first club was founded in 1995 at the request of Central African refugees in the Molé camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A few months later, another “Club RFI” opened in a Burundian and Congolese refugee camp in Nyarugusu, Tanzania. Today, there are over a hundred “Clubs RFI” on every continent with nearly 100,000 members. Each “Club RFI” signed before the RFI Club Charter guaranteeing independence, honesty, neutrality and respect and operates locally at the level of the French-speaking world, health, environment, sport and humanitarian actions.
Haiti has four “Clubs RFI” on its territory, in Delmas, Jacmel, Port de Paix and Gonaïves. It must be said that the French world radio, Radio France Internationale (RFI) – which corresponds to Voice of America (VOA) for the United States or British Broadcasting Corporation World Service (BBC) for Great Britain – has a big audience in this Caribbean island where both official languages are French and Creole. On the South American continent, listeners from Surinam also created a “Club RFI”.
The participation of Kariculture.net in the programme “Le Club RFI” is to be renewed.