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Old 07-27-2014, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitchisback View Post
This is a sidenote of sorts.

I think in the Caribbean the culture is comprised of all the people who live there blended together into one main culture. As a result you will find everyone being culturally quite similar despite race..

Indo Caribbean people can be described as having a double consciousness. They have had to learn how to interact with the dominant creole culture, which you describe. But there are definite cultural characteristics which Indians (especially rural Hindus) have in Trinidad, Guyana, and Suriname) that distinguish them from the rest of the population.

Indeed there are Indians (Sat Maharaj) who are very vocal in opposing the notion that there is only one creole culture in Trinidad.

 
Old 07-27-2014, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
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Just a sidenote. One time I met an Orthodox Jew from Puerto Rico in Minneapolis- he looked just like the Orthodox Jews you see in New York and Israel but very Puerto Rican in some ways, interesting dude.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by other99 View Post
Also Jamaica is still an British commonwealth country just like Bahamas, Barbados. .

These islands are completely independent. The British Commonwealth is of no more importance than the Organization of American States (OAS). How many Americans even know that the OAS exists?
 
Old 07-27-2014, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
The assumptions is that the people who brought the slaves all left. Or became blended into the rest of the population. Yes people know about the colonial history, but they also know that the colonial rulers no longer are there.
That's funny that people would think they blend in. In my experience Caribbean whites are some of the most cliquish people you will ever meet. Because they have always been a glorified, petted minority they are obsessed with racial purity and tend to not marry out at all. Even the younger ones are like that here. They claim it is because of their wealth that they tend to want to stick with other wealthy people but there are wealthy non whites here too but they would never marry them. What makes it particularly bad is that where other minorities (like African Americans in the US for example) have a distinct culture separate from the mainstream that causes them to naturally form separate cliques, here there is no distinct race-based concept of culture...everyone (including the local whites) shares the same blended Afro-Indo-Euro culture. So they essentially exclude themselves based solely on their whiteness.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
Just a sidenote. One time I met an Orthodox Jew from Puerto Rico in Minneapolis- he looked just like the Orthodox Jews you see in New York and Israel but very Puerto Rican in some ways, interesting dude.
In Miami, there have been a few occasions where I'd meet a very Chinese-looking person, who would be speaking English with a very very strong Caribbean accent, as opposed to the expected Chinese accent. I always found that quite interesting as well.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitchisback View Post
Maybe because I live in Port of spain which has a sizeable local white minority
Except that Jamaica defines what most non Caribbean think that the Caribbean is. I have even seem people wearing T-shirts saying "Hey Mon" and marked Punta Cana. I assume that they bought them in the DR.

The image of Jamaica to the outside world is one of people who reflect African, or mixed (with African) ancestries.

Name a West Indian who every one will know...........I think that you just got my point.

I am not even sure how many Trinidadians know anything about Suriname, so why be shocked that few Americans know or care about the Caribbean? To them its a place to vacation, and nothing more.

And yes I have read articles in the Trinidad Guardian where "local" whites complain that most Trinis assume them to be foreigners, until they open their mouths. Not that people doubt them once they hear the accent, but this is to say that even in Trinidad (one of the most diverse Caribbean societies) a white Trinidadian isn't necessarily at the top of most people's consciousness, when they think of what being a Trini represents.

On another forum a (white) Jamaican was explaining why the census numbers for whites in Jamaica is so low (way under 1%). He explained that some of them check "other" on the census form, because they have an ambivalence about the "white" category because most Jamaicans assign being white to being foreign. Outside of the elites few Jamaicans ever encounter one.

So even within the Anglophone Caribbean this is an interesting issue, so I don't see the angst that an American (bombarded with images of black reggae and soca stars and athletes) will be shocked to know that NOT only do whites exist in these countries, but more shocking to them is that they are usually not culturally distinguishable from their non white compatriots.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
Indo Caribbean people can be described as having a double consciousness. They have had to learn how to interact with the dominant creole culture, which you describe. But there are definite cultural characteristics which Indians (especially rural Hindus) have in Trinidad, Guyana, and Suriname) that distinguish them from the rest of the population.

Indeed there are Indians (Sat Maharaj) who are very vocal in opposing the notion that there is only one creole culture in Trinidad.
I understand where you are coming from. I've found Brahmin Hindus like Sat to be the most distinct culturally from mainstream. But at the same time I've had many friends who were Maharaj, Persads and Sharmas and I didn't find them that culturally different from me apart from the obvious differences dictated by religion. On the scale of race-based culture like you find in the US for example..that is much less prevalent here.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitchisback View Post
everyone (including the local whites) shares the same blended Afro-Indo-Euro culture. So they essentially exclude themselves based solely on their whiteness.

One of the topics that I have tried to get information on is the attitudes of white Caribbean people in terms of their role in our colonial history. As you well know a non wealthy white Caribbean person is hard to find in the English speaking Caribbean, and this isn't because all whites were always wealthy. Alexander Hamilton (who most Americans have no idea is a West Indian, born in the island of Nevis, and raised in St Croix) was an example of poor whites leaving the Caribbean.

The question is to the extent to which they feel a pressure every time we learn about slavery in school, knowing that in many instances, their ancestors were involved. Their role in fostering the skin color hierarchy that lasted even past independence (and some might claim isn't completely gone).

They are a minority group, economically strong, but politically weak as they lack the numbers. So they must form alliances with others to protect their business interests.

When I see Trinidad and Barbados, I see whites operating with a siege mentality. Why this is so is up to debate, as most people ignore them, sometimes even forgetting that they exist. A cousin who lives in Trinidad, explains that they are way more isolated than they were when she was in school in the 70s. Apparently they send their kids to the schools set up for expat kids.

These seem less so in Jamaica, where they seem to blend in more, maybe because every one knows that they no longer represent the wealth, Syrians do.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitchisback View Post
I understand where you are coming from. I've found Brahmin Hindus like Sat to be the most distinct culturally from mainstream. But at the same time I've had many friends who were Maharaj, Persads and Sharmas and I didn't find them that culturally different from me apart from the obvious differences dictated by religion. On the scale of race-based culture like you find in the US for example..that is much less prevalent here.

What I find with many Indians from Trinidad and Guyana is that their culture operates within a context. Among non Indians they revert to the creole. When they are within family settings, or within predominantly Indian communities, things change.

They operate within a cultural continuum, and this is what bothers people like Sat Maharaj, who despairs that eventually this "Indian" culture will be lost to "steel pan, soca, and carnival". I was in Tdad and my cousin was dropping off to the airport. We past a Hindu youth association compound, to hear thundering dance hall. My cousin laughed and said that no wonder Sat is so enraged.
 
Old 07-27-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
What I find with many Indians from Trinidad and Guyana is that their culture operates within a context. Among non Indians they revert to the creole. When they are within family settings, or within predominantly Indian communities, things change.

They operate within a cultural continuum, and this is what bothers people like Sat Maharaj, who despairs that eventually this "Indian" culture will be lost to "steel pan, soca, and carnival". I was in Tdad and my cousin was dropping off to the airport. We past a Hindu youth association compound, to hear thundering dance hall. My cousin laughed and said that no wonder Sat is so enraged.
Very interesting!
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