National anthem of Belize
|Lyrics||Samuel Alfred Haynes, 1963|
|Music||Selwyn Walford Young, 1963|
Land of the Free (instrumental)
"Land of the Free" is the national anthem of Belize. The words were written by Samuel Alfred Haynes and the music by Selwyn Walford Young in 1963. It was officially adopted in 1981.
Haynes participated in World War I as part of the colonial effort for Great Britain and encountered much abuse and ridicule along with his fellow workers. On his return to Belize he became a part of workers' movements in Belize and is readily identified with the 1919 Ex-Servicemen's Riot that began on 22 July. After that riot was suppressed, Haynes began organising Belize's branch of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and facilitated the visit of its head Marcus Garvey of Jamaica. Garvey recruited Haynes to work with him in the U.S., a move that rendered the UNIA in Belize leaderless for much of the 1920s and that indirectly contributed to the Isaiah Morter controversy. Haynes most likely wrote the anthem as an answer to colonialism's stifling of Belizeans' identity. The lofty language and uplifting lyrics referenced Belize's former status as a slave society indebted to profits from forestry, cleverly linking it to the end of Belize's colonial period, a process that culminated on 21 September 1981. The song was originally titled "Land of the Gods", a salute to the proliferation of organised religion in Belize.
With the arrival of the nationalist movement led by the People's United Party, the search was on for new symbols of Belizean identity. The PUP had defied the colonial order by singing "God Bless America" instead of the royal anthem "God Save the King" (or Queen). At independence, the ruling PUP named "Land of the Free" Belize's official anthem and played it at emotional independence ceremonies on 21 September. Most Belizeans agreed with the choice but lamented that it had not been put to a vote of Belizean residents.
The anthem has come under fire from critics who charge that its language is archaic and does not appeal to a new generation of Belizeans who are in any case to Amandala correspondent Naomi Burn suggested that "manhood" be replaced by "honour" so that the lyrics would have more relevance for women.It has also been noted that women are never mentioned in the anthem, only men. A 1998 survey of approximately 2,000 Belizean women asked how important it was to include women in the national anthem. 14.6% answered "most important", 19.7% answered "somewhat important", and 63.4% answered "not very important".
Nationalist writers have argued that the anthem's references to the Baymen ignore the multi-cultural diversity of Belize today and have proposed a number of replacements. The most recent complaint of this nature was leveled by Maya-Mestizo-born correspondent Clinton Luna, who suggested that the phrase "sons of the Belizean soil" should replace "sons of the Baymen's clan" in the chorus in recent issues of the Amandala weekly newspaper.[ citation needed ] The newspaper itself has previously argued to the same effect. However, Amandala contributor Henry Gordon countered in a later issue that nothing in the anthem represents any sort of bias to any ethnic group in Belize.[ citation needed ]
Belizeans speak a wide range of languages including English, Spanish, three different Mayan languages, as well as native languages spoken by its diverse Chinese-speaking people, Garinagu, East Indian population, Mennonite community. The anthem, in formal English, has been memorised by generations of children, but not necessarily understood.Because Kriol is the language that binds all Belizeans together, regardless of the origin of their first language, Leela Vernon translated the song into Kriol in 2011 with the hope that the meaning behind the words would be better understood.
Belize is a Caribbean country located on the northeastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 419,199 (2020). Its mainland is about 290 km (180 mi) long and 110 km (68 mi) wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Belize, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
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Belizean Creoles, also known as Kriols, are Creole descendants of Black Africans, who were enslaved and brought to Belize by English and Scottish log cutters, known as the Baymen. Over the years they have also intermarried with Miskito from Nicaragua, Jamaicans and other Caribbean people, mestizos, pardos, Europeans, Garifunas, Mayas, and Chinese and Indians. The latter were brought to Belize as indentured laborers. These varied peoples have all mixed to create this ethnic group.
Amandala is a Belizean tabloid newspaper; published twice weekly, it is considered the "most widely circulated newspaper in Belize". It was established on 13 August 1969 as the print organ of the now-defunct United Black Association for Development (UBAD), but has been politically independent since the mid-1970s. Its offices are located at 3304 Partridge Street in Belize City.
United Black Association for Development (UBAD) was a cultural and political party established in Belize in February 1969 and based on traditional Black Power tenets.
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Belizeans are people associated with the country of Belize through citizenship or descent. Belize is a multiethnic country with residents of African, Amerindian, European and Asian descent or any combination of those groups.
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Leela VernonMBE was a Belizean cultural icon noted for her contributions to preserving Creole culture in the country. She was awarded the title "Queen of Brukdown", received the Order of the British Empire for promoting Creole culture and music, and was named the Brukdown Artist of the Year in 2004. She was honored as National Hero in 2016 by the National Institute of Culture and History.
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