Author Loekie Morales with a copy of ‘Sanger Ta Yama.’
PHILIPSBURG–Author Loekie Morales got a nice surprise last Friday while opening her P.O. Box. “Finally Bloedlijn Overzee was translated and published in Papiamento by the Department of Education of Aruba. I got goose bumps when holding my copy in my hand,” says Morales. Aruba has honoured Morales’ book Overseas Bloodline, as it is called in English, as one of those valuable books to be used as literature in schools. This is part of an educational language project Proyecto Idioma den Enseñansa, which is making it possible for all schools in Aruba to use this book as part of their curriculum. Morales says she is “flabbergasted” by these developments. “I really am honoured as the author of this book, which was also translated a couple of years ago into English.” The English version of the book is also available as an audio book, making it the first audiobook ever made on St. Maarten.
The book was first published as Bloedlijn Overzee in 2002. In the Netherlands it was for years placed on the B-list of Dutch literature for high schools.
In 2012, Beyond Writing Foundation (BWF) decided to have the book translated into English. With subsidy from NAGICO, RBC Royal Bank, Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund and contributions of BWF and Morales herself, it was made possible to translate and print Overseas Bloodline and handout free copies of the book to high schools in Curaçao, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius.
The Aruban Education Department sees the book as a valuable asset for its schools. Aruba has many inhabitants from Venezuela, Colombia and other Latin American countries who, by reading this book can relate to the socio-economic and cultural aspects interwoven in a daily-life saga of searching for overseas family members. The topic does apply to many families who are migrating from one country to another to better their situation.
The story of Overseas Bloodline is one of love, compassion, solidarity and of good morals, values and norms. Family being good for one another is a central theme. Social, economic and cultural aspects are interwoven with historical aspects, which are described from a family and country perspective.
“The news is fantastic and the title in Papiamento is the bomb. ‘Sanger ta Yama’ which means ‘Blood is thicker than Water’ and that is exactly what one of the main characters in the story is encountering during this family search,” Morales explained.
She has given the Department of Education of Aruba the rights of the translation to Papiamento for a good purpose. “Reading is fundamental and should be promoted in every school in every corner of the world, everywhere,” she says.
“They say that people more often are being honoured and more appreciated outside their own country and this is happening right now for the second time. First in Holland, now in Aruba. For that I am very grateful,” Morales concluded.
Overseas Bloodline is available in St. Maarten Museum in Speetjens Arcade and in Shipwreck Shops. The Papiamento version is only available in Aruba.