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Offline Flex

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Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:57:35 AM »
Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
By SHASTRI BOODAN (Guardian).


The East Indian diaspora must forge a new Caribbean identity says Surujdeo Mangaroo, chairman of the National Commission for Self Help Ltd, speaking at the Indian Arrival Day celebrations at the El Dorado Shiv Mandir last Sunday. Mangaroo said this move must not be an isolated initiative but must incorporate the whole body politic.

He said, “To paraphrase this country’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, who on Independence Day on August 31, 1962, pointed out that there was no ‘Mother India, no Mother Lebanon, no Mother Africa, no Mother China, but there is only one Mother, and that is Mother Trinidad and Tobago.’

“This remains very comforting to all of us on paper, but in reality it has no merit, yet the Indian diaspora must continue to advance its cause and its existence. The movement towards the Caribbean identity can be formalised without losing its sense of nostalgia.

Home is for them is T&T, and while they would make sojourns for religious, cultural and tourism, India will always remain the home of their forefathers.” Mangaroo said the agreement signed by the late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and Dr Eric Williams on the construction of the permanent structure for the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Cultural Co-operation in this country, which was inked in October 1968 remains an elusive dream, “We would hope that the newly elected government in India will bring this project to fruition.”

Mangaroo said the continuous staging of the epic Divali Nagar organised by the National Council of Indian Culture remains the cultural showcase for future generations, and it is a symbol of the Indian presence in T&T.

“It knits all sections of the populace together, as during its annual presentations around Divali, peoples of all walks of life, and from all parts of the Caribbean, Europe, North America and even India converge to see a culture and a religion in full display.

It is an anvil for research and duplication across the globe; although some North American communities are already having replica presentations. “Our other cultural and religious observances, such as Phagwa, NauRaatri, Ram Nawmi, Shiva Raatri, among others, continue to be observed in full glare, thus further entrenching our visibility and presence, not only for economic or business or professional reasons.”

Mangaroo said more artists and businessmen should engage with the film industry as a way of promoting the achievements of East Indians in T&T. He also believes that Divali Nagar, Ram Leela, Indian Arrival Day and chutney practices must be given full state support as is the case with Carnival and Emancipation.

The Self Help Commission head praised East Indians in T&T for their contribution to the social, cultural and political development of the nation and said they must promote harmonious relations in the country. He also appealed for the abandonment of the “politics of race” and said T&T must heed the words of our national anthem, “where every creed and race finds an equal place.”

“East Indians have always fostered the ideas of peace, harmony and co-existence. The Indian diaspora must come out in full force and take a stand on any issue, national or international, regardless of the social or political consequences.”

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Offline Controversial

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 08:50:35 AM »
Hinduism and its tie to India is what prevents this in most cases from happening. Less so with Christians and Muslims of east indian origin. Religion has a big part to play in this sadly. However, many migrants from India have held on to their culture. So it is hard for them to let go if they haven't converted in most cases. It is a different experience with the African diaspora because their cultural heritage was stripped from them and their language because of enslavement. So it is easier for the African diaspora to embrace a new cultural identity that has been formed over hundreds of years of living in the region. Simply because only of late many are finding out where they originated from in Africa. And even then they do not speak the language and even then they are so far removed from African culture. Of course they're remnants of it that have flourished in terms of the music and other art forms.




Offline Sam

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 06:36:06 PM »
The hindus in T&T feel they still from India and them Indians from India neglect them.

They need to wake up and smell de shit they shoveling.

By de way, is Jack Warner still a hundu?

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Offline Deeks

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 08:47:43 PM »
The hindus in T&T feel they still from India and them Indians from India neglect them.

They need to wake up and smell de shit they shoveling.

By de way, is Jack Warner still a hundu?



Sam, with all due respects, Hindus have a close affinity to Indian because of their journey to this land. They held on to their cultural traditions which enable  them to survive spiritually, emotionally and also enable them to prosper. It is what it is. In a so called democratic and free society, you can't force people to be something they don't want to be. They have to want to be part of that society. Look at the russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Indos will make that evolution when they see fit.

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 03:47:41 PM »
Is it really true that Indos don't see themselves as from the Caribbean.   I don't think that is accurate at all. 
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Offline weary1969

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 06:43:46 PM »
Is it really true that Indos don't see themselves as from the Caribbean.   I don't think that is accurate at all. 

Yes they do not consider themselves as Caribbean people.
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Offline Deeks

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 08:00:07 PM »
Is it really true that Indos don't see themselves as from the Caribbean.   I don't think that is accurate at all. 

Yes they do not consider themselves as Caribbean people.

The  Indians I knew(I lived St. Joseph, Tunapuna, Five Rivers) definitely considered themselves West Indian, even though they retained a lot of their cultural traditions. I lived in St Joseph in the 60 and early 70s, so there was more mixing and interaction. Carnival, Indian weddings, Divali, Christmas. I can't say for Central and South. As a matter of fact the EW corridor, the Indos tend to "assimilate" in certain things, and they practiced their cultural norms without any problems, as far as I can remember. I don't know about now.
 I think that the Hindu intellects(Sat, DeGuerre, Tiwari,etc)  want to take TT in an Indo-centric direction. Because they have always cried out against being overwhelmed by Afro-Caribbean culture. They say that Indo culture was marginalized. I agree to a point that the dominant culture was/is Afro Caribbean. But that is  because of history. If the Brits had brought mostly Indians, the culture of the Caribbean would be Indo-Caribbean.

Offline Ramgoat

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 08:12:23 PM »
 What is Caribbean identity?

Offline Deeks

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 08:49:44 PM »
What is Caribbean identity?

There are different Caribbean identities. Depends on who was your massa. Then each island has developed its own unique culture. To an outsider, all you islanders are Jamaicans. A Trini might want to buss ah slap on him.  Even in our twin island republic, Tobago has it own unique culture which they think Trinis ignore. Then in Trini we have our Indo vs Afro culture wars. So where do you fall in ?

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 10:07:57 PM »
Is it really true that Indos don't see themselves as from the Caribbean.   I don't think that is accurate at all. 

Yes they do not consider themselves as Caribbean people.

I'll need some proof of this.   INDIANS where are you?  Speak up. 
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Offline Ramgoat

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 10:21:00 PM »
What is Caribbean identity?

There are different Caribbean identities. Depends on who was your massa. Then each island has developed its own unique culture. To an outsider, all you islanders are Jamaicans. A Trini might want to buss ah slap on him.  Even in our twin island republic, Tobago has it own unique culture which they think Trinis ignore. Then in Trini we have our Indo vs Afro culture wars. So where do you fall in ?
You haven't really defined what the Caribbean identity is . You mentioned that there are many different identities or some sort of amalgamation
 How can some here then accuse the Indos of not embracing the  Caribbean identity . Which one  should they   embrace .?
  Shouldn't their religion music etc . be classed as part   of Caribbean identity by your definition?... Just askin 

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 10:45:42 PM »
Yeah that's why I don't buy it to say that Indos don't see them selves as Caribbean people.   I think they know that the Caribbean real sweet compared to what they would have been doing in Indian.  :)   I think the difference are apparent.  I need to hear a point of view to the contrary.
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Offline AB.Trini

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2014, 07:55:04 AM »
Lawd- is this fuh real? Like what is a Caribbean identity? In a region that is so diverse within each country one is clamouring for a Caribbean identity? Right here in T T we still trying to figure out our national identity. One that is becoming increasing challenging when political agendas held by some sectors are bend on divisive discourse- 'divide conquer and rule'
So this jump to a Caribbean identity is ah big leap - leh we try to establish unify and harmonize right here in TNT before we talk CaribbeN Identity.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 08:18:38 AM by AB.Trini »

Offline Controversial

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2014, 08:06:05 AM »
Is it really true that Indos don't see themselves as from the Caribbean.   I don't think that is accurate at all. 

Yes they do not consider themselves as Caribbean people.

what do you call indo-caribbean? how do you define caribbean identity? i find your tone very dismissive... not that I expected better from you  :D

last time i check even the hindus in trini play mas, speak with the local accent and when they are away they say they are from trinidad.. all the ones i have come across at least... plenty of them is only talk of india and they homeland... trini full of talkers.. but none of them running to mother india... because even with all the killing and corrupt nonsense they still love trini... same with the syrian, lebanese and chinese..
in fact, plenty hindu businessmen made their money under the pnm and flourished.. so all this ethnocentric talk is in large part a load of bull and fueled by racist politicians..

so weary i guess you should stop eating doubles and roti because it is indo-caribbean and they don't consider themselves caribbean? ??? ??? yuh ent see yuh dotish..  :D
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 08:07:48 AM by Controversial »

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2014, 09:27:13 AM »
Lawd- is this fuh real? Like what is a Caribbean identity? In a region that is so diverse within each country one is clamouring for a Caribbean identity? Right here in T T we still trying to figure out our national identity. One that is becoming increasing challenging when political agendas held by some sectors are bend on divisive discourse- 'divide conquer and rule'

So this jump to a Caribbean identity is ah big leap - leh we try to establish unify and harmonize right here in TNT before we talk CaribbeN Identity.


Consider this: it might be easier to place oneself in the context of Caribbean identity rather than in terms of national identity. Seems counterintuitive, but give it some thought.

Also, there is a difference between West Indian identity and Caribbean identity.
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline trinindian

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2014, 01:40:56 PM »
Been a minute but I see that the call for Trinidadians of Indian descent to beat their chest and proclaim their trini-ness/west indian/ caribbean identity to a select few has not gone away.  :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:

like the man say,

"Iz trinidad meh born, iz trinidad meh come from"
 

Offline weary1969

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2014, 02:22:31 PM »
When East Indians back in the day supported India v WI. What did that indicate? When all yuh hear Sat sprout his garbage he comes across as D Caribbean man that Stalin sing bout? I am not sayin that every East Indian do not identify wit the Caribbean but as a collective group they do not. You know when they identify when they are referred to as Pakis and then they are proud 2 say they from the Cbbean.
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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2014, 04:36:00 PM »
This is a good talk please don't let it drop of with negative personal attacks.    This is the first time I've heard the word Pakis.   If you supporting India over the WI that's trifling.  :)   Seeker:  WI vs Caribbean identity.   Not sure there is such a thing but I'm open to hear your view.
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2014, 04:40:14 PM »
Been a minute but I see that the call for Trinidadians of Indian descent to beat their chest and proclaim their trini-ness/west indian/ caribbean identity to a select few has not gone away.  :frustrated: :frustrated: :frustrated:

like the man say,

"Iz trinidad meh born, iz trinidad meh come from"

Good talk! Unfortunately, the tinge that has ... is lost on some of us. History is replete with the "other" having to prove loyalty and affinity etc. Nonetheless, it still must be stated that there are perceived grounds why this debate arises. Probably doesn't help when yuh consider Narendra Modi's election and its meaning.
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline weary1969

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2014, 04:46:48 PM »
This is a good talk please don't let it drop of with negative personal attacks.    This is the first time I've heard the word Pakis.   If you supporting India over the WI that's trifling.  :)   Seeker:  WI vs Caribbean identity.   Not sure there is such a thing but I'm open to hear your view.

I bed 2 differ if u supportin India where yuh neva been vs a team of WI where yuh born tells me that yuh eh identify wit here.
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2014, 05:01:46 PM »
This is a good talk please don't let it drop of with negative personal attacks.    This is the first time I've heard the word Pakis.   If you supporting India over the WI that's trifling.  :)   Seeker:  WI vs Caribbean identity.   Not sure there is such a thing but I'm open to hear your view.

So ... West Indian identity ... those ties that bind which we share with everyone else who experienced the British colonial model etc.

Caribbean identity ... those ties that bind with which we can identify common shared expressions etc. with islands and territories beyond the islands and territories that experienced the British colonial model ... so the Martiniquais and the Guadeloupeen; the Sint Maartens and the Curacaos etc. from food to housing to the broader shared Caribbean experience ... reflected in events like CARIFESTA. CARIFESTA is Caribbean. Cricket is West Indian.

Today, as we reduce boundaries through cultural sharing ... there's an overlap.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 05:05:59 PM by asylumseeker »
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline trinindian

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2014, 06:19:05 PM »
I don't know what generation supported India over WI, that wasn't happening when I was growing up, and I should not be judged by what others did before me, but who cares who they supported, I like they have a mind of my own and a right to use it...
 

Offline Preacher

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 09:30:37 PM »
I don't know what generation supported India over WI, that wasn't happening when I was growing up, and I should not be judged by what others did before me, but who cares who they supported, I like they have a mind of my own and a right to use it...

True you have a mind of your own.  But if you don't support the place that you live the question of your allegiance is fair to be raised.   And you will find that same question raised in every country everywhere.  Am I an American first or a Trinbagonian?   Even though I love and live in the USA i hold on to my roots because I identify with that more.  My identity is T&T.  So I can see a case being made for Indians not seeing themselves of the West Indian or Caribbean Identity.   

Tell me this, for those of you that have travel the region.   How do the other islands view us in T&T?  Desirable or undesirable. 
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Offline trinindian

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2014, 10:34:40 PM »
I know some of them refer to us a trickidadians, like you I live in the  us,  having moved here when I was eighteen, I often find myself declaring yes I am of Indian decent but foremost I am Trinidadian and I grew up seven miles of the coast of Venezuela. My caribbean "heritage" is a matter of pride and I hate having to defend it to folks especially those for the same place as me.

My support of Italy and the Netherlands every world cup hopefully did not me less west Indian when Jamaica went in 94?
 

Offline weary1969

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2014, 11:09:18 PM »
I don't know what generation supported India over WI, that wasn't happening when I was growing up, and I should not be judged by what others did before me, but who cares who they supported, I like they have a mind of my own and a right to use it...

True you have a mind of your own.  But if you don't support the place that you live the question of your allegiance is fair to be raised.   And you will find that same question raised in every country everywhere.  Am I an American first or a Trinbagonian?   Even though I love and live in the USA i hold on to my roots because I identify with that more.  My identity is T&T.  So I can see a case being made for Indians not seeing themselves of the West Indian or Caribbean Identity.   

Tell me this, for those of you that have travel the region.   How do the other islands view us in T&T?  Desirable or undesirable. 

U know I doh really care what others think bout us I am concern bout the way we treat each other. I was in UWI Mona 89-92 Trinis never united u know how I knew who Trinis were? D Fri b4 Nov 19 when everybody wore red we all red. 2 Bajans would never passeachothers straight on d hall corridor. When the Leeward Is cricketers come theirstudent association would host them on campus. I always say Trinis eh like Trinis so y should others like us.
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Offline Jumbie

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2014, 05:35:55 AM »
Every time such a topic comes up is the same old 'cricket' thing people use as a measuring stick and to be quite honest it's BS! It may have happened (not since I've been a fan), but in what numbers? Does it still happen? When WI playing cricket the entire region backs them. I also do not see a problem supporting a team YOU like.. has nothing to do with lack of national or regional pride.

I live in Canada (travel on the people passport) and if they playing a Trinbago team in marble pitch... I supporting Trinbago. Does it mean I'm a less patriotic Canadian?


People mix-up the Hindu religion (which many Indians maintained) as Indians trying to distance themselves from being Trinbagonian and/or embracing a Caribbean heritage.

Only recently I found myself at a Guyanese Hindu wedding and I had to sit and take note. Hindu Guyanese have retained even more of their Indian culture than we have (food, dress etc).


(my take).. Indians in Jamaica are different than the Indians I've encountered from Grenada, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Not sure if it was due to the low numbers in Jamaica, but they (again my opinion)  have taken on a strong Jamaican / African finish.


I strongly believe that new generation of Indians are as patriotic as any other Caribbean national and are very prideful of their Caribbean roots.

* Can the word "Indian" be a contributor to people thinking that Indians align themselves with India and not the Caribbean?

Speaking about Caribbean Identity.. do Puerto Ricans and Dominicans take on the Caribbean identity?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 05:38:43 AM by Jumbie »

Offline Jumbie

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2014, 05:41:37 AM »
I don't know what generation supported India over WI, that wasn't happening when I was growing up, and I should not be judged by what others did before me, but who cares who they supported, I like they have a mind of my own and a right to use it...

True you have a mind of your own.  But if you don't support the place that you live the question of your allegiance is fair to be raised.   And you will find that same question raised in every country everywhere.  Am I an American first or a Trinbagonian?   Even though I love and live in the USA i hold on to my roots because I identify with that more.  My identity is T&T.  So I can see a case being made for Indians not seeing themselves of the West Indian or Caribbean Identity.   

Tell me this, for those of you that have travel the region.   How do the other islands view us in T&T?  Desirable or undesirable. 

U know I doh really care what others think bout us I am concern bout the way we treat each other. I was in UWI Mona 89-92 Trinis never united u know how I knew who Trinis were? D Fri b4 Nov 19 when everybody wore red we all red. 2 Bajans would never passeachothers straight on d hall corridor. When the Leeward Is cricketers come theirstudent association would host them on campus. I always say Trinis eh like Trinis so y should others like us.

well said. I encounter this on a daily basis in the lil wuk I do. I get more love from every other islander than my on countrymen. Is always a fight down scene they're on.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2014, 06:39:33 AM »
...

Only recently I found myself at a Guyanese Hindu wedding and I had to sit and take note. Hindu Guyanese have retained even more of their Indian culture than we have (food, dress etc).

(my take).. Indians in Jamaica are different than the Indians I've encountered from Grenada, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Not sure if it was due to the low numbers in Jamaica, but they (again my opinion)  have taken on a strong Jamaican / African finish.

Guyana: I agree.
Jamaica: I agree ... seemingly due to low numbers and the forces of assimilation.



Speaking about Caribbean Identity.. do Puerto Ricans and Dominicans take on the Caribbean identity?

In a word, "no" ... but this also depends on where they are.

Those resident in places like the BVI, USVI and other places in the Northern Caribbean ... after the dust settles, they do. Perhaps Dominicans moreso than puertorriqueños ... buh others on here might be better situated to address that distinction (PR).

The way things are set at the moment, DR likely is better postured to further integrate ... and nothing will change on that front unless PR achieves independence.
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Think of the 2022 conversation regarding reparations as the item tabled for future discussion when initially raised for negotiation during talks in 1834. A lot of intere$t has accrued.

Offline zuluwarrior

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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2014, 09:46:17 AM »
What is so funny in JA the people of all races consider themselves Jamaicans with all the political divide, in Trinbago it is so different we are the leader in the region with this backward race issue all because we are not patriotic.   
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Re: Time for Indians to embrace Caribbean identity
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2014, 12:49:15 PM »
Very interesting read guys.  Thanks you for this. 

Yeah I have to agree, sadly with a broken heart, now that I've heard your experiences.   Trinis are haters of their own people.  Why is this so.  Is it the fresh water?   I'm sure there's a school of thought out there.   Let me put this out there, mind you its may not be thoroughly developed. 

I believe it's historical residue.  Residue that is passed down through generations, traits that can point to our view of our ethnicity and social complexity.   For example, it's not a by chance that among East Indians gramazhone and the cutlass are the tools of choice when dealing with family issues regarding infidelity.  The African may look at that as drastic.  The history would also point to why the African male would struggle to keep the family together and be faithful to one woman.   So based on the history my take is that our society from the start was set up for self hatred, divisiveness and competition for resources.   Who became the overseers over the indentured laborers?  Ex-slaves..  and of course the indentured laborers had a slightly better situation regarding family etc.   Then in addition, you have the bourgeoisie running around exploiting everything.  And this went on for a long time.  So maybe the mistrust is still there in so much that we feel we have to fight each other to get ahead.   It's sad though, because we have sooooooooo much as a people and the resources are no longer limited.     Wha allyuh think?
In Everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you.