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Ruben Severina

Ruben Severina tijdens Winternachten 2005 - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Ruben Severina tijdens Winternachten 2005 - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Curaçao, 1956) For years was the face of the Antillean community in the Netherlands. He came to the country in 1989 to study and wanted to return afterwards. However, he stayed because of his young family and found a new mission: taking care of the interests of Arubans and Antilleans in the Netherlands. With the Splika foundation he dedicated himself to the promotion of Papiamentu, the language that he also teaches. Subsequently he chaired MAAPP (Movimentu Antiano i Arubano pa Partisipashon Politiko), the platform for the social participation of Antilleans and Arubans in the Netherlands. When he resigned on 1 March 2009 he received the MAAPP award Mi ta yuda, a new medal which will be awarded on Severina's birthday to people who have dedicated themselves to the Antillean and Aruban communities. For some time Severina served on the town council for the Dutch Labour Party in the town of Zoetermeer and now chairs HAAB (The Hague Antillean Aruban Board).

(WU 2012 GRGR)

Archive available for: Ruben Severina

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 2

    Changá: The great Dubbelspel (Double Play) Translation Game

    Finally the great Curaçaoan novel Dubbelspel (Double Play) by Frank Martinus Arion has appeared in Papiamento. Tonight we'll test the knowledge of Papiamento of the Curaçaoans, Bonaireans and Arubans living in the Netherlands. How to translate the Dutch of the novel into Papiamento? Translator Lucille Berry-Haseth had to make a number of difficult choices. The prominent Papiamento speakers Erik Molina, Olga Orman, Igma van Putte en Gilbert Wawoe, the audience and the writer himself will play the great Double Play translation game, hosted by Ruben Severina. Members of the audience can win prizes in this translation game by giving the correct translation of some tricky sentences. Papiamento expert Igma van Putte leads the jury end explains the choices the translator had to make. Changá!

  • Winternachten 2010

    How to Bluff Your Way into Saba, Statia and Bonaire

    With: Bòi Antoin, Gilbert Wawoe, Paulette Smit, Ruben Severina, Sams, Wycliffe Smith

    A crash course in the new Dutch municipalities! A few months still to go and our country obtains three Caribbean islands: Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire. Be prepared and be informed on the language, literature and history of these tropical islands, by the writers and musicians who have been flown in especially for Winternachten.

    The highest point in the Netherlands will no longer be in Limburg, but on Saba. Dutch nature conservationists will have to worry about coral reefs. But language and culture will also change. Will Papiamentu and Antillean English qualify for the same status as Frisian? That remains to be seen. In any case it can do no harm when the Dutch citizens learn a few words of Papiamentu and Antillean English and get some basic knowledge about the history and culture of the new Dutch municipalities. That chance is given to the audience during this Winternachten programme.

    A light-footed programme with a crash course in new languages in the Netherlands, an introduction to literature, the folktales and the history and an introduction to the musical traditions of the three islands. Writers and musicians from Saba, Statia and Bonaire will provide the audience with everything it has to know about language and culture of the new Netherlands.

    Gilbert Wawoe (former member of the Council of State) was closely involved in the transition process of the three islands. He tells about the at times odd administrative and legal problems accompanying this unique political change. Can you apply Dutch law to (sub)tropical islands just like that? Wycliffe Smith, a writer from Saba, provides the audience with an image of the culture and history of Saba and Statia. Writer and journalist Bòi Antoin, sympathetic to the fate of the island he was born, Bonaire, tells tales about the history and culture of Bonaire. Musician Victor Sams (from Statia) performs with the base player Jeffrey Sams, and with the inseparable steelpan duo Cornel Brown and Leroy James, all from Statia. The programme is in Dutch, and is hosted by actress Paulette Smit and Ruben Severina.

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Great Dicatation in Papiamento/u of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Prolongated because of its success in 2006: the public dictation Papiamento/u. Since March 2007 it is the official language on the Dutch Antilles - so high time to test your knowledge. Participants may choose from Papiamentu, spoken on Curaçao and Bonaire, and Papiamento (Aruba). The FPI (Foundation for Language Planning) from Curaçao will provide the text, together with the writer Sonia Garmers, who will dictate it herself. The Papiamento will be dictated by Sidney Kock, press officer of the Aruba House in The Hague. It is just and fair that old-member of the Council of State Gilbert Wawoe and writer Olga Orman, who did the dictation in 2006, will be subjected to this spelling test. Winternachten provides pen and pencil. A professional jury with Quito Nicolaas and Igma van Putte, led by Ronald Severing of the FPI, will judge the dictations and award the winners with a suitable prize. The dicatation is programmed at the start of the evening. Be on time, full is full.

  • Winternachten 2007

    Living together multi-coloured: the Antilles, Surinam, the Netherlands

    With: Changa Hickinson, Cynthia McLeod, John Jansen van Galen, Mito Croes, Ruben Severina, Sombra

    A debate. Creole, Hindostani or Javanese, Bakra, Makamba or Indian. How do the various population groups live together on the Antilles and in Surinam? Are there problems with integration or have the colour barriers been levelled? What is the difference with the Netherlands in comparison with these experienced multicultural societies?

    The Netherlands is struggling with multiculturality. While within the kingdom for centuries there has been practice with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of multi-ethnic society. In Surinam all the feast-days are celebrated by all the population groups jointly, all the languages are respected. But do the groups live together or rather do they live at cross-purposes? How tangible is the distinction made according to cultural origin on the Antilles? Can the societies in the Netherlands, Surinam and the Antilles learn from one another? Mito Croes from Aruba introduced the discussion with a sketch of the situation on his island. Writer Cynthia McLeod and poet Sombra from Surinam, poet Changa Hickinson form Sint-Maarten and journalist John Jansen van Galen from the Netherlands entered into a discussion with him and the audience. The discussion was hosted by Ruben Severnina. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006

    The language conflict - a debate on language policy in Surinam, the Antilles and the Netherlands

    With: Drisana Deborah Jack, Frank Martinus Arion, Liesbeth Koenen, Rappa, Ronald Severing, Ruben Severina

    Papiamentu, Papiamento, Sranantongo, Sarnami, English, Dutch... The languages of the Antilles and Surinam are under pressure. What is the status of Papiamentu on Curaçao and Bonaire, of Papiamento on Aruba and English on St Martin? And what about Surinam, where Dutch is the official language, but where everybody speaks Sranantongo and the language of the largest group of inhabitants (the Hindustani) is Sarnami?

    A strong language policy is missing on the Antilles and in Surinam, and therefore Dutch remains the technical and official language. In the Netherlands the Dutch language is under pressure from the increasing amount of English words that find their way into everyday life and education. Another threat is the growing interest for regional languages. There is no strong language policy in the Netherlands. Is the status of the Dutch language stronger in Surinam and on the Antilles than in the Netherlands? The panel members will discuss this amongst themselves and with the audience. With Liesbeth Koenen (Dutch linguist), Rappa (writer and teacher of Dutch in Paramaribo), Drisana Deborah Jack (poet and artist from St Martin), Ronald Severing (director of the FPI, foundation for language planning on Curacao) and his fellow islander the writer Frank Martinus Arion. Panel chairman is Ruben Severina. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 2

    The Papiamento dictation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    It does not come as a surprise that very few speakers of Papiamento and Papiamentu can also spell in their mother tongue. Although the spelling has been officially established, teaching spelling has only for some years been part of the official school system. In this first public dictation we will evaluate the state of affairs. Visitors to Winternachten were invited to join in: choose Papiamentu or Papiamento and test your knowledge. They needn't worry about the results, only the number of faults that the winner makes was revealed. The prize: a recent copy of the Papiamentu-Dutch complete dictionary (2005). The dictation was put together by the FPI (Foundation for language planning) from Curaçao. Chairman of the jury was the director of FPI, Ronald Severing. Gilbert Wawoe, member of the State Council, dictated the Papiamentu, and children's book writer Olga Orman the Papiamento. You can try your Papiamento and Papiamentu by listening to the dictation on this recording. The correct spelling can been seen in this document (PDF). Dutch and Papiamento spoken.

  • Winternachten 2005

    Surinam and the Antilles: should aid workers go?

    With: Erich Zielinski, Gilbert Wawoe, Joanna Werners, John Jansen van Galen, Ronald Julen, Ruben Severina

    In this public debate a closer look is taken at the development cooperation between the Netherlands, Surinam and the Antilles. This phenomenon takes many different forms: governmental development cooperation, the help offered by Dutch, Surinam and Antillean private organisations, and the private help, such as money or goods, sent to family and friends overseas. Is there a question of addiction to this aid and if so, what is the best way to kick the habit?

    Supporters and opponents face up to one another: Gilbert Wawoe, Joanna Werners, Erich Zielinski, John Jansen van Galen and Ronald Julen. The chairman of this debate is Ruben Severina (chairman of the Movimentu Antiano Arubano pa Participashon Politico). To start the discussion Gilbert Wawoe, member of the Council of State, will give a short introduction. On his initiative the private help organisations were convened recently in order to bring them up to date regarding the poverty and social development on the Antilles.The report about a new aid structure, made for the Kingdom of the Netherlands by the Jesserun committee, will also be discussed.

    Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2004

    The kingdom a realm of dreams?

    With: Barche Baromeo, Carel de Haseth, Lasana M. Sekou, Maurice Adriaens, Ruben Severina, Vivien Calmez

    Seldom was the relationship between The Netherlands and the Antilles so turbulent as now. Just in the year the Dutch Kingdom Charter celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. In this charter, the relationship between Holland and its colonies was formalized. The Antillian writers Barche Baromeo (Curaçao) and Lasana M. Sekou (Sint Maarten) have clear opinions on what this relationship should be in the future. They discuss the future of the kingdom with the authorized Antillian minister Maurice Adriaens and his predecessor Carel de Haseth and Vivien Calmez, together with the audience. The debate is led by Ruben Severina. English/Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2003

    Copyright The Netherlands - debate

    With: Barryl Biekman, Bert Paasman, Cynthia McLeod, Edwin Marshall, Gibi Bacilio, Ruben Severina

    The National Monument for the Commemmoration of Slavery now stands in Amsterdam. Does the historic awareness of the Surinamese and Antillian community deserve a monument as well? What is the state of history-writing in the West-Indies. Is its source still Dutch? A debate with panel and audience chaired by Henri Vijber, with among others the Surinamese writer Cynthia McLeod and historian Edwin Marshall. The debate will be introduced by Barryl Biekman, chair of the National Platform for the history of Slavery. Dutch spoken.