Apparently, once in a year it’s Statia week and coincidently it’s just now when I’m here. The reason for Statia week goes far back. In 1776, Statia was the first country to salute the American fleet when they passed by, thereby recognising the independence of America. This had many consequences for Statia but today it is apparently reason for a celebration.
What you should know is that Statia can really be seen as a small village. It has only 3500 inhabitants and everybody knows each other. This also becomes apparent during the festivities. A lot of locals perform all kind of acts, maybe not all with the same quality but definitely all with the same enthusiasm. The atmosphere during these night is what you expect from the Carribean: laid back, relaxed and swinging. Even the occasional shower cannot harm the atmosphere. Normally there is not a lot to do during weeknights at the island. Only on Friday there is a regular karaoke evening where the entire village shows up to sing their favourite songs. However, during Statia week every night there are festivities in town.
Statia day, the 16th of November, closed the Statia week. This day started with a re-enactment of the first salute, which meant I stood at 6am at the Fort to watch the ‘canon’ balls be fired. But most people only came out for the celebrations in the evening. What I found really striking is the difference in acts that get the people of Statia really enthusiastic. The church is very important in the lives of Statians, which showed during the first evening when it was Gospel night. This particular evening had people singing the most enthusiastic and loud of the entire week. On the other hand, what gets people really cheering is the famous ‘dirty dancing’ or ‘daggering’ (look it up at youtube). The last day the reactions in the crowd to the acts where quit tame until ‘Lollipop’ showed up, took off his shirt and started to perform this nice dance with a lucky girl on stage. This seems like a big contrast, but on the other hand fits perfectly with the whole way of living here and the mind-set of the people. Statia may be a special municipality of the Netherlands, but when it comes to swinging and dancing, us Dutch can learn something from the Statians.