Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Here is a message I borrowed from an article I wrote not long ago: “Then as a sign of hope, things begin to unfold.” You see, July 24th 2008, will be a date that will be difficult for me to forget for as long as I live, I am almost certain that the same impact went through the mind and soul of the Garífuna youths that were in Gangadiwali on the 21st July 2012.
Gangadiwali has been influential and continues to be in the lives of many Garinagu in Labuga and abroad, it has a history that goes back into the 1890s when another dreamer by the name of Luciano Arzú wrote to the president of the Republic in those days to solicit land for agriculture.
The word Gangadiwali, as far as I am concern does not have a definition in the Garífuna Language. Ma Chana who was ninety one years old when she made her transition the 30th May 2012, she was Don Chilo’s sister-in-law for many years and also lived in Gangadiwali. Don Chilo, well known as “Diriwana” in the spiritual arena, lived in Gangadiwali since the fifties and persisted until the late nineties, and died not long after. I once asked Ma Chana about the origin of the word Gangadiwali, she said to me that the first time she ever heard the word Gangadiwali was out of Don Chilo’s mouth through an Áhari, before I was born, and today I am more than fifty years old.
Here are some words that I borrowed from one of Martin Luther King’s speech: “Now, I am just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I’m happy that He’s allowed me to be in Memphis (from his 1968 speech, I’ve Been To The Mountaintop).” Today, I am asking for permission from the Most High, and the Spirits of our Ancestors to intervene for us with the Spirit of Martin Luther. I beg for their approval because I would like to say it this way: “Now, I am just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period, to see what is unfolding. And I’m happy that He’s allowed me to be in Gangadiwali.
The meaning or definition of the name Gangadiwali for us, means Promise Land. I hope to elaborate more on what Gangadiwali means to us in the future however what I would like to leave with you is the essence of what Gangadiwali means to me in days like this and the days to come.
Gangadiwali for me is the symbol of social productivity for the Garífuna Nation in Guatemala. It is a dream that has been handed down for generations, and this could be a part of what is yet to unfold.