Dominicans at home and abroad celebrate their island’s 38th anniversary of independence today 3 November. It was on Friday, November 3, in 1978, that Britain’s banner was lowered in yet another colony and Dominica’s flag, with its vivid background of green, its black, white and yellow cross and the inclusion of the country’s own unique purple parrot the Sisserou, replaced it.
Affectionately known as ‘the nature isle’ because of its expansive variety of animals, birds, plants and its mountainous, verdant rain forests, Dominica also boasts that it has a river for every day of the year. Distinctive for its geothermal hot springs, the best known is Dominica’s volcanically heated Boiling Lake.
Like its other Caribbean neighbours with a strong Catholic tradition, the country’s carnival takes place in the days preceding Lent, falling either in February or March. As well as soca, other popular forms of local music are cadence, kompa and zouk.
The economy of the island depends mainly on agriculture and tourism, both of which can be precarious given the threats of natural weather disruption or international financial unpredictability. The terrible devastation to Dominica wreaked by Tropical Storm Erika in August last year included the loss of over 30 lives and much damage to vital infrastructure and agricultural land.
Soca News salutes 38 years of perseverance, pride and strength. Happy Independence, Dominica!