October is Calypso Music Month, and we couldn’t let the month go by without paying ode to one of our favorite genres.
Calypso music has often been replicated and watered down, and it’s likely that the Calypsoes that you may have been exposed to weren’t as true to the genre as they should be; to get the raw, unfiltered goodness of this style of music, one has to go back to the days of the Calypso giants, many of whom came out of the Caribbean and, particularly, Trinidad and Tobago.
From the outside looking in, many persons deem island folk to be one big, happy family, all sharing cultural and behavioral similarities and all rooting for each other, and when one Caribbean island accomplishes something, the others claim it as their own cause for celebration. When Janelle ‘Penny’ Commissiong of Trinidad and Tobago became the first black woman in history to win the Miss Universe title, the entire Caribbean was overcome with excitement. The same occurred when Olympian Usain Bolt made an unforgettable impression on the track.
However, the people residing in the Caribbean know that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies among us, and, often, we create the drama ourselves.
On August 1st, 1985, the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago became the first country in the world to officially declare a national Holiday for the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. That Holiday, Emancipation Day, replaced (and rightfully so), Columbus Discovery Day, a Holiday which commemorated the arrival of Christopher Columbus in a southern city (on the island) called Moruga on 31 July, 1498.
Yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the declaration of that holiday, and I couldn’t help walking around looking like the Conceited Reaction Meme all day; reason being, I do not feel Emancipated.
The twin island of Trinidad and Tobago may have gone down in the Guinness Book of Records for the nation with the most federal holidays, but it may pretty soon set another record for being the island with the quirkiest festivals.
The twin island will host its first annual “Bra Festival” entitled “BRAVO”, an acronym for Bras Really Add Value Overall.
Chantal Newallo, a 20-year-old national of Trinidad and Tobago, is the first recipient of the Payless ShoeSource (Payless) scholarship to the University of Miami (UM) School of Business.
Newallo was chosen from among several eligible applicants from the Caribbean and Latin American countries ( including : Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Honduras; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Panama; and Trinidad and Tobago) in which Payless is offering the scholarship.
A recent list comprising 20 of world-wandering experts’ favorite destinations includes two Caribbean islands.
The collection, compiled for CNN by Danae Mercer, featured Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, and was based on recommendations that came from a variety of sources, including travel photographers, tour operators, pilots, hospitality professionals, and travel writers.
Dr. Camille Waldrop-Alleyne is a Trinidad and Tobago-born NASA aerospace engineer who has recently partnered with The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) Commission to motivate girls in the OECS regions to reach for the stars against all odds.
Alleyne will use her personal journey and success story, along with the positive message of the film Hidden Figures, to inspire and empower 10,000 girls in various parts of the region to reach their full potential.