Letters — 20 August 2013 — by Wellington C. Ramos

Dear Friends,

When I first saw the headline “Dugu dancing on Harvest Caye,” I was shocked, angry and confused. What came to my mind immediately was which Garifuna family is going all the way to Harvest Caye to do their Dugu ceremony? Or, there will be several Dugu ceremonies to be held at Harvest Caye as of now?

For those who do not know anything about the Garifuna culture, Dugu is the religion of the Garifuna people and it is not something to play around with or joke about. Many Christians in the past and present, including some Garifuna people, are against the practice. However, a majority of these people know very little about this religion, made no attempt to learn about it and just want to condemn it.

This religion has played and continues to play a vital and integral role in the preservation of the Garifuna culture. It is so unfortunate that some individuals continue to display their ignorance to one of the essences of the Garifuna culture.

I learnt in Anthropology that every ethnic group has their own values and beliefs and it is not our business to say what is right and wrong for them to practice based on our own ethnic values and beliefs. I have had my own personal experiences with Dugu and I am proud to be a Garifuna. For those who are Garifuna and have not had their experience, your day will come soon.

Your Friend,
Wellington C. Ramos

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