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The Culture of the Caribbean

Culture of Trinidad and Tobago - history, people, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social, dress To-Z. Perhaps for this reason, Blacks have emphasized Western learning and culture and Indians have emphasized the glories of their subcontinental past. Despite imposed divisions, Blacks and East Indians united in the. In general, Black Americans have a culture that has developed where they are a minority which is largely underprivileged compared to the non-Black majority. have been the majority in their country for centuries, they have been able to retain more West African customs and heritage than American Black people. West Indian culture tells the story of a dynamic cultural situation which is the continuation of a meeting – or clashing of, cultures that has been going on for The African slaves brought with them their traditional values and principles, which today still represents the major characteristics of the culture in the Caribbean.

Depending upon which island in this twin—island state is being discussed, the culture name is "Trinidadian" or "Tobagonian. Black West Indian Culture And Customs, but not Tobagonians, often refer to citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as "Trinidadians" or "Trinis," or occasionally in an effort to be inclusive, as "Trinbagonians.

Trinidad was named by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the New World. On the morning of 31 Julyhe saw what appeared to him as a trinity of hills along the click to see more coast.

The island was called Iere, meaning "the land of the hummingbird," by its native Amerindian inhabitants. Tobago's name probably derived from tabaco tobacco in Spanish. Trinidad but not Tobago is ethnically heterogeneous. Trinidadians of European ancestry are called "White" or "French Creole. The term Creole, from the Spanish criollomeaning "of local origin," refers to Blacks, Whites, and mixed individuals who are presumed to share significant elements of a common culture as well as biogenetic properties because most claim these designations do not represent "pure races.

Creole also serves to modify whiteness. The term "French Creole" refers to white families of long standing whether their surname is French-derived or not. The terms "Trinidad White" and "Pass as White" are sometimes used to deride those who are considered White in Trinidad but would not be so considered elsewhere.

African Heritage

Trinidadians read more Tobagonians the Black West Indian Culture And Customs of Tobago is almost percent of African descent identify strongly with their home island and believe each other to be different culturally.

Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands in the Caribbean Sea. Trinidad is 1, square miles in area 4, square kilometersand Tobago is square miles square kilometers. At its closest point, Trinidad is some seven miles from the coast of Venezuela on the South American mainland. Trinidad is diverse geographically. It has three mountain ranges, roughly parallel to each other, running east to west in the north, central, and south parts of the island.

The mountainous north coast is heavily wooded. The central part of the island is more flat and is where sugar cane is grown. The East—West corridor is an urban—industrial conurbation from Port of Spain, the capital, in the west to Arima in the east.

San Fernando in the south is Trinidad's second city. The Point Lisas industrial park is nearby. Scarborough is the capital of Tobago. Afro-Trinidadians and other Creoles predominate in urban areas and in the north of Trinidad; Indo-Trinidadians live mostly in the central and south parts of the island. According to the census, the total population was 1, The two major ethnic groups are Blacks The remainder of the population in included Mixed, White, and Chinese.

The official language is English. At present, Trinidad click to see more multilingual, with inhabitants speaking standard and nonstandard forms of English, a French-based creole, nonstandard Spanish, and Bhojpuri. Urdu is spoken in some rural areas. Arabic, Yoruba, Bhojpuri, Urdu and other languages are used in religious contexts, and the traditional Christmas music called parang is sung in Spanish.

Trinidadians delight in their colorful speech and like to emphasize its distinctive use and development as a marker of identity. Standard and nonstandard English are spoken in Tobago. The public symbols of the nation tend to evoke the themes of multiculturalism, unity in diversity, and tolerance. The national motto is "Together we aspire, together we achieve.

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Some public holidays and celebrations emphasize group contributions to the nation, including Independence Day 31 AugustEmancipation Day 1 August; commemorating the ending of slaveryand Indian Arrival Day 30 May.

Emergence of the Nation. Claimed by Columbus more info Spain, Trinidad was a forgotten Spanish colony for three hundred years. Native Amerindians died upon contact with European diseases, were forcibly exported to the mainland to work in mines, and those who survived were subject to Spanish missions and labor schemes.

The African slave population was small during Spanish rule. It attracted white and colored French planters who brought their African and African-descended slaves to cultivate sugar and cocoa. While controlled by Spain, Trinidad became French in orientation and dominant language use.

Black West Indian Culture And Customs

Captured by the British inthe island was formally ceded to Britain in British administrators, British planters, and their slaves added to the island's ethnic, national, and linguistic diversity. Enslaved Africans arrived from varied ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious groups from along the West African coast, while Creole slaves spoke a French or English creole, depending on their islands of origin.

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Spanish-speaking peon laborers from Venezuela arrived in the nineteenth century to clear forests and work in cocoa cultivation.

Even before the abolition of slavery in and the end of the apprenticeship system for ex-slaves infree Africans arrived. Blacks from the United States also settled in Trinidad. From toaboutindentured Indians were brought to the island. The majority were from the north of India and were drawn from a multiplicity of castes. The vast majority were Hindus, but there was a significant Muslim minority.

Planters were encouraging Portuguese speakers from Madeira and Chinese from the Cantonese ports of Whampoa and Namoa to come as indentured laborers. Tobago developed separately, with the Spanish, French, Dutch, English, and Courlanders all laying claim to the island at different times.

Plantation agriculture based on enslaved labor existed alongside a significant peasant sector. The British colonies of Trinidad and Tobago were united administratively in Under British colonialism there was a clear ethnic division of labor, with Whites as plantation owners, Chinese and Portuguese in trading occupations, Blacks and Coloreds moving into the professions and skilled manual occupations, and East Indians almost completely in agricultural pursuits.

This is a really good site, it has all the information to my history SBA and it also has adequte and reliable information. Very Informative and helpful in anticipation of a cross-cultural wedding. I cook a lot of the different foods and is still learn more. I am doing a project on this country for highschool and it is such a small country but this was great! Adults still have sharp recollection of the revolution of and the violent circumstances that preceded that upheaval.

Blacks and East Indians were separated geographically, as many Blacks were urban-based and East Indians were more Black West Indian Culture And Customs in the agricultural central and south parts of the island.

There was little if any intermarriage and little intermating between the two groups. These divisions dictated the course of national identity and nationalist politics. The political process has molded ethnic relations. Colonial discourses on African and Indian ancestral culture depicted Blacks as culturally "naked" and Indians possessing a culture, albeit an inferior one to European culture.

Perhaps for this reason, Blacks have emphasized Western learning and culture and Indians have emphasized the glories of their subcontinental past. Despite imposed divisions, Blacks and East Indians united in the nationalist labor movements of the s.

However, politics quickly became contested terrain. Political parties and candidates appealed to ethnicity. Williams maintained that the PNM was a multi-ethnic party, but its interests were soon identified with Blacks. The PNM held power from untilleading the country to independence in Its perpetual opposition parties were identified as "Indian," given the composition of their leaders and followers.

Black West Indian Culture And Customs

Politics became an ethnic zero-sum game. With independence, symbols of the state and nation were conflated with what was taken to be Afro-Trinidadian culture, such as Carnival, the steel band, and calypso music—turning the colonial hierarchy on its head. Deviating cultural practices, such as "East Indian culture," were labeled as unpatriotic and even racist.

The country was depicted as a melting pot where races mixed under the rubric of "creolization. A discourse of the past entered, centering on arguments over which group historically contributed most substantially here building the nation, which therefore is construed as legitimately belonging to that group. There were two opposing but related processes at work. First, an identification of nation, state, and ethnicity to construct a "non-ethnicity" where there are "Trinidadians" and then there are "others," that is, "ethnics.

Through the Black West Indian Culture And Customs, Afro-Trinidadians and Creoles were able to command this discourse, but East Indians began to mount a serious challenge. At the same time, there was even a small group claiming "Carib" Amerindian identity. Post-independence ethnic relations have involved contests to control the state and the allocation of resources.

The PNM maintained dominance through a patronage network targeted at urban Blacks as recipients. This was accomplished by a tremendous state expansion facilitated by please click for source oil boom of the s, which led to one of the highest standards of living in Latin America.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: The Caribbean's is known for it's great weather - but some islands have better weather than others. Churches are formidable institutions where the majority of religious ceremonies take place. The arts have flourished in Caribbean since the s, and especially since the end of World War II in

Indo-Trinidadians were also able to take advantage of gains in education and fill lower-level state jobs. The government nationalized many industries, including sugar, which employed mainly Indians. A downturn in oil income severely limited state patronage opportunities. Albeit absent from formal more info, Whites, Chinese, Syrian, and some Indo-Trinidadian entrepreneurs control significant sectors of the economy.

But byan Indian-based party, the United National Congress, barely prevailed, bringing to power the country's first Indo-Trinidadian prime minister, Basdeo Panday. While symbolic ethnic conflict seems to permeate daily life, it must be emphasized that Trinidad has never exploded in ethnic violence, as has its neighbor Guyana which has a similar demographic profile.

In cities, glass and steel high rise office buildings mingle with colonial houses with gingerbread fret-work. The colonial Red House is the parliament building, and Woodford Square, the site of political rallies, sits opposite. Exclusive neighborhoods feature modern and colonial mansions with satellite dishes.

Concrete public housing projects evoke their counterparts elsewhere and shanty towns exist on the urban periphery. Suburban developments are reminiscent of American ranch-style houses.

The ever-present cacophony in urban areas is the result of cars, taxis, "maxi-taxi" minibuses, street vendors, pedestrians, and the homeless jamming the streets. Women develop stock responses to men's "sooting" cat calls. Development in rural areas means concrete houses built on pilings to allow a breezeway and carport underneath. Iron lacing decorates a colonial style mansion in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Food in Daily Life.

Cuisine is ethnically marked. A typical Creole dish is stewed chicken, white rice, red beans, fried plantains, and homemade ginger beer.