I cringed while observing the farce that the Government tried to pass off as national pride, with “Patriotism Week” this past March. Our political climate teaches us that it’s party before country, so why do we pretend?
While watching all the flags and hearing all the speeches, I asked myself, are Trinbagonians really proud of their country? And for the life of me, it was impossible for me to say yes. We’re so bad that the Government has to force us to be Trinbagonians?
For years we’ve seen that Trinbagonians do not support their country.; we’re are an unpatriotic people and we have totally neglected our culture. Our sports leagues barely get any support and our national teams struggle to fill a stadium.
The difference is so stark when you go around the Caribbean (no need to leave the region) and see what other countries do on a regular basis to embrace their culture.
At the Kingston airport in Jamaica, only reggae music (not dancehall) is heard all day through the speakers: Bob Marley, Beres Hammond and Glen Washington, just to name a few of the famous artistes I heard.
In Barbados, there are radio stations that play 80 per cent soca every single day, intertwined with a mix of Rihanna, dancehall and some hip-hop to break up the soca sessions.
In Jamaica, all you get is reggae, “conscious songs” and dancehall on the radios, although I did hear a 30-minute soca session one day.
In St Lucia and Guadeloupe, it’s konpa, zouk and soca.
In Puerto Rico, I was greeted with salsa dancers and, get this … pan!
In Trinidad and Tobago, you might as well be living in Brooklyn, New York, because all you get is hip-hop and dancehall until “soca switch” from Boxing Day. It’s sad.
Every time I come through any of our airports, I hear dancehall or “American” music.
I came through Piarco recently and was greeted with a dancehall artiste by the name of Aidonia singing “sit dong pon de *****”. It took all I could do to contain my absolute disgust. Firstly, it’s not our music and secondly, the lyrics were unacceptable at the airport.
Not even Jamaican airports play that kind of music, so why do we? Is that how we greet guests to our country?
Welcome to (Jamaica?) Trinidad and Tobago!