Dongo, Trotman win Carnival speech, cultural competitions

Senior Carnival Queen contestants Luduska Dongo and Trumane Trotman won the Carnival 2011 Speech and Cultural Wear competitions respectively on Saturday night.

The two segments form part of the overall pageant but were held at Carl & Sons Unique Inn in Cole Bay as a separate show before the contestants take the stage in carnival Village on April 26. The points garnered by all contestants will be added to their overall scores at the pageant. 

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Although Luduska was named the winner of the speech competition, and Trumane for the cultural wear competition, none of the nine contestants, or the crowd, were told how many point each girl obtained or where they placed.

The contestants had to deliver a speech around the theme "What Country St. Maarten Means To Me" while at the same time showcasing a cultural wear with red, white and blue as the central colors.

In her speech entiled "Ten Ten Ten", Luduska said the moment was a new milstone for St. Maarten which its people could hoist as proud countrymen. Fellow St. Maarteners, my quest this evening, is to describe what I would call a diamond in disguise, country St.Maarten is on the rise. Seeing that 10-10-10, has become a very symbolic part of my life, my country St.Maarten can be described with ten terminologies, that justify my fight," Luduska said.

She then proceeded to attach a meaning to every letter in "St. Maarten":

S – for the strength to strive!

T – for Traditional traits

. – the full stop symbolizes the end of something old (Netherlands Antilles), and the beginning of something new (country St.Maarten)

M – for moving forward as motivated people

A – for attracting an array of visitors, thus boosting our economy!

A – for advancing in mentality and technology

R – for restoring good faith amongst our citizens

T – for Tactical planning in expansion

E – for equality! Meaning equal rights for all

N – for Nourishing our youth to continue and build a brighter future for Country St.Maarten.

She said as a people, it is vital for residents to embrace ethics of power, love, harmony and peace in order to enhance the country. "We need to be able to prepare ourselves mentally to adapt to change, and contribute towards development and growth," she said.

"A wise man once told me, never be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. Thus, let us reflect on our culture, reflect on our heritage, but most importantly let us embrace this change. Let us also combat crimes, and look for new ways to create job opportunities. It is only together that we can build our county," Luduska added.

Trumane’s winning outfit was designed and inspired by separate status for St. Maarten. She displayed a 10-layered outfit to symbolize the historic date of 10-10-10. The color red symbolized the courage, solidarity that "our forefather had and what we too must have." To illustrate the unity, peace and friendship of St. Maarten, vanilla white was used in her outfit along with the border monument.

As for the blue, "37 square miles with 36 beaches, The Great Salt Pond, several mangrove trees, the flamboyant tree all historical environmental aspects of St. Maarten can be seen in the crystal blue in the dress and in the emblem of the islands flag," Trumane said of her dress which she designed herself.

The contestants now have a week to prepare for the big night, the Miss St. Maarten Senior Carnival Queen Pageant. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) thanked management of Carl & Sons for their generous donation of their conference room for the event as well as United Telecommunication Services (UTS), the SCDF’s biggest sponsor for Carnival 2011, for making the event possible.