Last weekend, Sabans in The Netherlands celebrated Saba Day in The Hague. In addition to partying and enjoying good food, they also discussed the situation on the island. For example, most party-goers hope for a better future for their island.
In The Hague, in café “De Vriendenkring” sounds lively soca music, typical Saban fish cookies with chicken locrey are eaten and relatives and old acquaintances laugh loudly at each other’s jokes. Well-known Saban politicians are also present to enjoy the atmosphere and to maintain the connection with the diaspora. In large, people are satisfied with how things are going on their island of origin.
According to the visitors, the infrastructure has improved significantly. However, there are also critical sounds. For example, people are critical of the increased cost of living, the and the difficult situation of young people.
Video reporting by Guilliano Payne
Organiser Saskia Matthew, who flew especially to The Hague with a groupof five persons to participate in this event, recalls the Saban politicians who walked away from an Island Council meeting last month. “I hope that this situation improves. The island has been trying to grant its own work permits for five years in a row. At this moment, this is still controlled by the Central Government through the RCN.”
Island Council Lady Johnson shares the concerns of her fellow islanders: ”we don’t just want promises. We want to gain more confidence from The Hague and more structural tasks so that we can really do things for the island ourselves. People suffer on the island. They live from month to month. We don’t get the same benefits as people in The Netherlands.”Johnson also experiences the problem herself. As a 22-year-old Island Council Member, she can’t live on her own with the salary she earns.
According to Island Council Man Vito Charles, it is important to continue to celebrate the culture of your country of origin, even if you no longer live on the island. He supports the initiative, because he sees it as a good way to connect Sabans in The Netherlands. “It is the way to celebrate what makes us so unique as Sabans.”
According to the organization, Saba Day will be celebrated again in another city in The Netherlands year.