What do you love most about your culture?

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2 years ago

It's Fri-yay, guys, time to have some fun! Today, I'd like us to just step back for a bit and reflect on our respective countries, communities, and cultures, and the things we love most about them. Please join me, it's gonna be a blast.

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There are many things that I love about my country. I love the climate, I love our beaches, I love our food, I love our rich culture, I love our people.

So, I mentioned before that our country is an amalgamation of cultures from around the world, right? We're like this multicultural experiment that, for the most part, works.

There's No Place Like Home

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

At one point in time, when I was younger, I dreamed of migrating to a developed country. I did travel as an adult, and I have seen some of the world, and to be honest, that has helped me to love and appreciate my home so much more.

Though I was fascinated by everything that I saw when I travelled and though I had a great time, I was homesick because I missed the intimacy of my people. And so, I'll start there:

In Trinidad and Tobago, we have a naturally warm and friendly culture, and these are some aspects of it.

Lighthearted Nature

Listen, guys, Trinis will make a story or a lime or a party out of anything, and we ALL come together for a good time.

We make lemonade out of lemons, parties out of protests, music out of turmoil, and when all else fails, we take our most serious issues and make jokes.

So, for example, if you were in our country and protest action was planned, it would not be surprising to anyone to see people dancing or forming a steel-band side or a rhythm section, knocking bottles and spoons and any metal or glass object that they could find to make music. Fun and music is an integral part of protests.

There'd probably be a cookout. There'd be card playing. You'd probably see vendors filtering through the crowd of protestors hawking their wares. And there'd be that one drunken man or woman swaying and jumping to the music.

Storytelling the Trini way

Picong is a common part of Trini storytelling, so you can't afford to be overly sensitive.

Wikipedia gives us a good definition: Picong or piquant is light comical banter, usually at someone else's expense. It is the way in which West Indians tease, heckle and mock each other in a friendly manner. 

Picong is common in local politics, it's common in comedy, it's a natural part of our storytelling in general. And so, if you're hanging with Trinis, you have to have a thick skin or an ability to withstand some form of mocking because, honestly, depending on the forum, everything is on the table. You'd have to be able to laugh at yourself. Here's a clip from a local comedy fest.

In my country, storytelling is a tradition for everyone, from the very young to the very old. We are extremely animated and we love to add to and embellish every single story that we tell, and wherever we go in the world, we love to connect with our audiences, to draw them in, to carry them along.

And then, we have our own special vocabulary.

Our Music

Oh my goodness, our music! So I mentioned that we make music out of turmoil, right? Well, in fact, the steel pan, which is our national instrument, is the world's only percussion instrument invented in the 20th century. It was invented here by some urban youths beating on some discarded oil drums during the 1930s. This was at a very tense time globally in the years preceding the second world war.

Our Calypsos

We tell stories with calypso. We share social commentary, we tell funny stories, we celebrate our culture, or we simply make good soca music to have a nice time.

I love my culture so much, my friends, as I am sure you love yours. There's so much more that I can say about us because, to be clear, Trinbagonians don't just party and tell stories, though we do like to have fun. In the world out there, you can get lost among the masses, but in my country, I am never alone, I am never isolated. There is always someone who knows me or who is accessible, and I appreciate that oneness more than anything. And the beauty about it is, that love is not reserved for Trinbagonians only. There are outliers in everything, I guess, but generally, we are, by nature, a warm people and welcoming to everyone.

And when we go out into the world, we excel.

Though we are a very small twin-island republic, we punch high, and our citizens rank among the top achievers in the world.

And so...

"Sweet, sweet T&T, Lord, how I love up my country,

Sweet, sweet T&T, no place in this world I'd rather be..."

From the youngest to the oldest, we entertain. Pic taken by me.

There are so many aspects to our culture that's beautiful, but I must stop here because I'd love to know more about you. Please tell me, what are the things about your country, your people, and your culture that you like the most?

A Mother's Day Greeting

Happy Mother's Day in advance to all the amazing mothers who use this platform. I am so honored to be in your company. I hope to post a blog for mothers on Mother's Day, but in the event that we don't connect then, please have an amazing day.

Our role in the household is so important, our charges are so precious, and it is so critical that we embrace every second of it as we raise the young men and women who will one day contribute to shaping the world tomorrow.

May we continue to raise them in love so that they can similarly view the world through these lenses, learning to respect, value and appreciate each other.

Resources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picong

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2 years ago

Comments

Every culture has some diversity. And these diversity is the Beauty. My country name is Bangladesh and the rural culture of our country is so diverse. I just love to see these and i travel a lot in this regard.

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2 years ago

Yes, @Zahid001, there is definitely beauty in diversity, we need only the eyes to see it and the heart to embrace it. Have a great day, my friend.

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2 years ago

I do wish I was the one touring all these beautiful places. Hopefully one day

$ 0.02
2 years ago

I hope you will, @Aimure, you will enjoy every minute of it. :)

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2 years ago

I love my culture too, I love our dress, language and foods, it's all nice

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2 years ago

Thanks for the comment, @Ayomike. Which country is this? I'd love to know more.

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2 years ago