Monday, September 7, 2009
The 2009 West Indian American Day Carnival
I `am an Bajan-American. I was born in NYC to a American mother and a Bajan father. I have best of two worlds! My paternal grandmother kept my siblings and I culturally grounded. I remember as a child when I visited my aunt, uncles, and cousins, they played dominoes, danced to "fun music" (calypso) as I called it, and ate delicious food( fried flying fish) and chatted strangely (patois) .
My mother introduced her children to many ethnic cultures. Every Friday, in the summer, we would meet her at the job to have lunch. We would enjoy an international dish. She had friends from many cultures, so we would have play dates and enjoy other cultures customs and foods!
When I entered high school, I met and dated a Jamaican who took me to a West Indian club and introduced me to Dance hall.( My mother had already introduced me to Reggae) SOB`s and Club Caribe became one of my homes. I could let my hair down and dress the way I wanted to.
I could not deal with American clubs. Everyone was trying to out dress the other. The women would talk about other women if she came to a club to dresses too provocative. The men would profile and hold up the wall. If you were lucky, you might even get a free drink! That was rubbish to me! I was taught to work hard and play harder because life is too short! Any way, R&B did not move me like soca and reggae. The music is in my soul!
Brooklyn, NY, is a blend of all the West Indian cultures. You can get the food, the music and dreadlocks here! My baby never went to the parkway! He was submerged in the history, music, and food of Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad growing up. I thought the parkway was too much for him as a child. He will be 18 in two months and I thought it was time for him to experience Brooklyn`s carnival and J`Ouvert!
My Baby and I