One of our participants brought this memento from a milestone event in the family. “My great aunt celebrated her 100th birthday. At the time she had some physical discomforts but her mind was still sharp. We put a lot of effort into the celebration since she was such a wonderful lady and the first one to reach that special age in our family. At the party we had these thank you gifts for the guests. It was a great event!”

There are many centenarians in Curaçao. The oldest known person ever born on the island died at the age of 110 years.

Traditionally elders always played a central role in families. Respect for the elderly is an important element of Curaçaoan culture. This is perhaps best illustrated by the way they are addressed in Papiamentu. Contrary to most languages senior citizens are not called old but grandi which means something between large and great. The older, the greater, just like this great aunt.

“There are many centenarians in Curaçao.”