As part of Dominica’s 2013 celebrations, to commemorate and observe Dominica’s history week, a lecture on Koudmen, was held at the Arawak of Culture, in an effort to build awareness and greater appreciation and understanding of the island’s heritage.
This tradition focuses on lending a helping hand to our neighbours and helping to build our communities.
Koudmen aided in much of the development of Dominica, at a time when there were no roads and little infrastructure.
Dr. Honychurch says, with very little money in circulation, people were happy to lend a hand; however, things are very different today.
Many traditions, including the Feast of St. Peter, collapsed because everyone was not in the same spirit and togetherness, he said.
He briefed the gathering on various displays of Koudmen, including; transporting sick persons, who lived further from the capital, to the hospital by boats.
According to the Historian, the Duke of Edinburg, the boy scouts and the cadets, all perform modern day Koudmen.
It is sad, he says, that sometimes it has to take a disaster to practice this old tradition.
Dr. Honychurch called on Dominicans, to respect that form of community action and to remember it as an important part of the Dominican heritage.
He also encouraged persons to re-live the glory days of Koudmen in Dominica through Community Day of Service.