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zoe's thoughts for the day

From: zoe smith <zoesmith@fastmail.fm>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 19:52:34 -0700
To: public-ws-desc-meps@w3.org
Message-Id: <1097895154.12551.206584581@webmail.messagingengine.com>

Trinidad probably isn’t what you expect from a Caribbean island. Sure,
you’ll find sun, sand, and sea, if that’s what you’re looking for; plus
friendly locals, music, parties, and ample opportunities for relaxation.
But Trinidad is also cosmopolitan, fast-paced, industrialised, eager to
prove we can hold our own among the much larger nations of the developed
world. This energy and drive are also here for visitors to discover,
alongside an unexpectedly multi-ethnic culture and an astonishingly rich
natural environment. 

We like to think of ourselves as the original rainbow nation. Our
ancestors came from Africa, India, Europe, China, and the Middle East,
speaking dozens of languages, professing dozens of faiths. After a
couple of eventful centuries of mixing and colliding, we’ve evolved a
unique common culture – vibrant, colourful, tolerant of the eccentric –
but still manage to hold on to important elements of our ancestral
traditions. This makes for a nation where ethnicity is a fluid concept,
where we share with each other the music and food and festivals of four
continents, where visitors are often amazed by the diversity on display
on the average city block. 

No wonder that our most famous cultural phenomenon, Carnival, is also a
rainbow of traditions and innovations, colour and noise, always
over-the-top, always just a little controversial. The full-scale abandon
of the street masquerade is a marvellous display of the freeness of our
spirit; each year, the construction of thousands of costumes, the
composition of hundreds of calypsos, the perfection of awe-inspiring
steelband performances reminds us of our creative potential.

Carnival Tuesday evening, when the celebration is at its height, shows
off the true Trini soul; as do the thousands of people of all races and
creeds helping to light the flickering lamps for the Hindu festival of
Divali; as do the crowds singing and chanting at the Queen’s Park Oval
when a cricket match comes to a climax. Spend some time with us and
you’ll understand what we mean.

  zoe smith
Received on Saturday, 16 October 2004 02:53:56 UTC

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