Here we go again. I know that it is said that we, adult Trinbagonians have short memories. However, I want to take you back to the days of the “Hairy Bank” and the problems parents had explaining to their children what that meant, because this calypso received much attention, and was repeatedly played on the airwaves.
Now, we have the “The Red Light District”. It would appear that the whole of Trinidad is now a “Red Light District.” I really did not know that I lived in a red light district. I am sure, dear parents, that you will be asked by your children very innocently “What is a red light district and where is it? Can we go to see it?”
One of my foreign friends told me that a friend came into Trinidad this past week and he sent her a text to say that he just landed in the “Red Light District”. She did not know what he meant, and did not know that we had a “Red Light District” in Trinidad. I had to explain.
As I have mentioned on many occasions before, the father of modern day psychology, Sigmund Freud, posited that culture nurtures conscience, because culture sets downs the rules of our behaviour, thoughts and beliefs: what we say, do, do not do, how we dress, what we eat, and what kind of houses we live in, rules everything about our existence. Now parents, you have to explain to your children what and where is a red light district. Here is another challenge for you among so many that already exist.
I “googled”. I know that many adolescents who are techno-savvy can “google” and find out what it is. Parents, you better “google”, too. Your ten and under-aged children will ask and I know that confusion will reign. You will have to find the words. Maybe, you can say “that is a place where there are no children, it is a place for adults only and as you grow older we will have a discussion about this”.
For your teenagers who should know by now about the dangers of sexual activity, you will have to introduce them to new words...prostitute and prostitution. Discuss careers and how some people earn their living and how some people spend what they earned, and the reasons for this choice. You can also use this opportunity to discuss with them the need to pay more attention in class, improve their grades and focus on a brighter future, abstinence, the fact that other people take advantage of others who are vulnerable.
Parents, I really feel your pain with this one. I also do hope that this piece of music is not played at any of our children’s Carnival events. I can only hope. Do any of these DJs really care? They keep saying “we have to give the people what they want, so allyuh deal with that”. We are in a protection-of-children mode these days, and all citizens should be on board with this, even our culture messengers. I chose not to use the v-word which rhymes with “culture”.
Trinidad and Tobago will now have an international reputation of being a country where sex, drugs and by extension the almighty dollar rule. We continually lament that our children are growing up without a conscience. We continue to pray for protection of our children, for guidance and direction so that we will grow our children to be adults with a conscience and who have an abundance of empathic understanding.Anna Maria Mora