Straight from di pat!
he Belize Kriol language is flavorful. With a mixture of British English and African words, it is no wonder our Kriol intonations are so much fun for foreigners to listen to. All Belizeans know that food is seasoned differently for different palates depending on where you are in the country. The same can be said about our language. Across the country, Kriol words are seasoned with a variety of ethnic vernaculars and accents. At the launch of the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) Our People, Food, and Culture Series, the Kriol language stood out just as much as the incredible cultural dishes, drinks, spices, and even the natural environment shown in each episode. As the series will show, Belizeans connect and communicate through food. Being offered and allowed into someone’s pot might be the highest form of social intimacy in our culture. Only very close friends and family members are allowed into the kitchen to take food directly from “di pat”. Luckily, this new cultural culinary series will have made friends and family of all of us by the time it is finished. We get a chance to visit and look into different Belizean communities, homes, and pots. If culture is how we communicate, this series shows that we have a lot to say.
At the launch of the series, the audience was fed Belizean culture in a whole new way. Mr. Josue Carballo, BTB’s Director of Industry & Development, described the series as “a delicious manifestation of the destination”. His message was emphasized by host of the show and local celebrity, Chef Sean Kuylen, who spoke about the journey he experienced while completing the project from concept to video content. Chef Kuylen spoke of the moon as an element of spirituality in our culture and how people include it in the way they grow, harvest, and prepare their food. CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Ms. Nicole Solano, explained in her opening remarks that diversity has everything to do with tourism. She expounded that anyone who visits Belize is “not at home-they are in our home” and “our responsibility is to create and enhance immersive cultural experiences” that our visitors can enjoy and that helps our communities to embrace civic pride. Safe to say that, at the launch, the pride boiled over. Distinguished educator and champion of the Kriol language, Silvana Udz, was also in attendance, and we can only imagine that after listening to the varied elocution of the Belizean Kriol language heard in videos, that the series has her endorsement. This new culinary series will inspire a new appetite for Belizean food and culture.
This week we highlight the culinarism in our tourism. This “-ism” is for everything in our culture that has to do with cooking and the Belizean kitchen- for the pots, leaves, spices, coconut shells, crustaceans, ground food, vegetables, the music, the conversation, and even the moon which many Belizeans seem to consider as a required element for some of their cooking. In their varied accents, the participants and cooks in the series, display knowledge, care, enjoyment, and passion in sharing their recipes. Each cook seems to start with the same line- “a special way to prepare is…”. There are special ways to prepare authentic Belizean food and this series explores a lot of it. Every episode of Our People, Food, and Culture Series is a small slice of our cultural pie meant for our civic diet. Consume-Savor-Digest-and watch it again!
See you next week.
The Belize Tourism Board