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Oct 29, 2009

Contestants vie for Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant

Story PictureGarifuna Settlement Day is coming up on November nineteenth. So mark your calendar for the cultural explosion expected at the many events leading up to the celebration. News Five Delahnie Bain will not compete in the Miss Garifuna pageant, but she did have a go at the language.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
The Garifuna culture is one of the most alive in Belize. An upcoming event this weekend, the Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant, hopes to showcase its music, dance and language. This year’s theme is Watina; Gùnfuli Wamèi Hayumahan Wayunagu, which translates to Let us Answer the Call of our Ancestors.

Matthew Martinez, President, Natl Garifuna Council, Belize City
“For this pageant we have five young ladies competing in this pageant and we would like the general public to know and fully understand that this pageant is not a beauty pageant; it is a cultural pageant, therefore we judge on cultural performances and cultural presentations.”

Tisandi Lucas, Contestant, Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant
“My name is Tisandi Lucas, I am fifteen years old. I am proud to be a Garifuna.”

Jenisha Meighan, Contestant, Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant
“Hi, my name is Jenisha Meighan, I am fourteen years old. I am going to Living Hope Preparatory School and I am in Miss Garifuna because I am a proud Garifuna.”

Kila Martinez, Contestant, Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant
“My name is Kila Martinez, I am fifteen years old. I’m attending Anglican Cathedral and I am in the Garifuna Pageant because my cousin influenced me, who is the past queen.”

Tifane Reid, Contestant, Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant
“My name is Tifane Reid, I am fourteen years old. I am in this pageant because it’s a family tradition.”

Karna Jones, Contestant, Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant
“Good night one and all. My name is Karna Jones, I am seventeen years old. I joined this pageant to learn and promote my culture thank you.”

The five young contestants practice every evening to bring their best to the stage and according to President of the Belize City branch of the National Garifuna Council, Matthew Martinez, they will be judged in several areas.

Matthew Martinez
“For the contest itself, we are judging the contestants on their introduction, the way how they dance the Paranda, Chumba and chumba is one of the dances that has the most points. I think that is worth twenty-five percent of the entire competition. We will also be judging them on their individual presentations.”

[Contestants dancing to Garifuna drums…]

Matthew Martinez
“It is not only a Garifuna pageant, it is a pageant for all Belizeans to see so we are encouraging everyone to come out this Saturday at the Bliss Institute, seven p.m., show time!”

Martinez says the pageant is only one of the events planned by the Council for this year’s Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations.

Matthew Martinez
“We have the children’s rally on the thirteenth and on the twelfth we have the Full Moon Concert at the House of Culture. For that Full Moon Concert, we have Poots Titiman Flores, we have Ugundani Dance Group, we have the National Garifuna Choir, they will be there singing, doing their thing and this is also a free event.”

The entrance fee is for Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant is fifteen dollars general admission and twenty dollars reserve. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The winner of this weekend’s pageant moves on to compete in the National Miss Garifuna Belize Pageant next weekend at the Bliss in Belize City.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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