‘S’Maatin English competition on Int’l Mother Language Day

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Affairs Silveria Jacobs


PHILIPSBURG – In commemoration of International Mother Language Day (February 21), Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) Silveria Jacobs is inviting the general public, schools, poets and literary artists to participate and present in an upcoming S’Maatin English Poetry/Storytelling/Narration Competition.

This event will be held on Tuesday, February 21, at the New Government Building on Soualiga Blvd., in Conference Room 1, from 6:00pm-7:30pm, and will be hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization National Committee (UNESCO NatCom) in collaboration with the Department of Culture.

Since 1999, UNESCO has designated February 21, as the annual International Mother Language Day, which serves to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world (www.unesco.org).

Knowing, writing and speaking in one’s mother language is an essential tool for the transmission and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). “Therefore this year we seek to highlight our very own local and mother tongue language ‘S’Maatin English’ in order to increase awareness and inspire pride in our oral traditions, history and cultural expressions,” a release said.

Students and persons of all ages are encouraged to sign up for this competition and will be asked to create and recite poems, tell stories, perform skits and/or narrate from books in ‘S’Maatin English’. There will be a judging panel and prizes will be given to the top three finalists.

To participate or present at this event contact the St. Maarten NatCom for UNESCO via henrymarcellia@gmail.com and/or the Department of Culture via culturedepartmentofsxcm@gmail.com. A signup sheet can be downloaded directly from the St. Maarten Government website at www.sintmaartengov.org.