Thursday, 7 July 2011

An Occasional Word: Duona Blaneta

Duona Blaneta, New Year. New Year Celebrations.

Dachant Duonan Blanetan, To celebrate New Year.

I have been working my way through a dictionary of Bislama looking for words that expand the lexicon and the use of words in Bâha. I found this word and decided it worked perfectly. In Bislama it is Boname, an obvious borrowing from French administrators in Vanuatu, who would have called it Bonne Annee.

It works equally as well for the Shente, who call it Duona Blaneta, Good Year. In their calendar they mark the beginning of the month at the new moon. The first new moon after the winter solstice is observed as the beginning of the new year. The Shente count off five days then light fires and celebrate that at the cold of the year they are calling back the sun and the days are getting longer.

If their seasons are in tune with mine then that is what they are doing around this time. Dachú Duonan Blanetan!, Celebrate the New Year!