Posts Tagged ‘Culture


Day 13, 14 & 15/365…

If you’ve been following my 365 project, you’d have realised that I didn’t post anything on Saturday, Sunday or Monday (its early Tuesday morning as I type this).

Well, its Carnival time… and I went to my first Carnival fête: St Mary’s College All-Inclusive (read an interesting review of the 2008 edition of the fete here).  An “all-inclusive fête” is a Carnival fete where everything you need is included in the price.  You get as much as you can eat and as much as you can drink, as long as stocks last.  The fêtes usually go strong for as much as 10 hours… some start as early as 4pm… and they go ’til after midnight in some cases.  St Mary’s is my alma mater, and I usually attend the fete.

In lieu of my lack of photos, here’s a video I recorded of a performance at the fete: Kes the Band featuring Nadia Batson who sings with them as their female lead, although she’s an artiste separate and apart from the band.



The Last Day of Christmas

I love Christmas.  Even though I don’t get to do all that I’d like to do, its always been a special time of the year for me.  Its the music on the radio…  The cleaning…  The shopping… The preparation… The anticipation…   The gift-giving…  The gift-receiving!

Too bad it only lasts for 12 days…

As Christmas comes to a close, I just want to share some of our local (Trinbagonian) Christmas traditional music: Parang.

parang performance

Parang performers... performing! (Image taken from the Trinidad Guardian)

Here are some performances from the 2009 National Parang Champs – Los Alumnos de San Juan – that I was able to capture while attending the 1st annual “Jazzang” (a mashup of the words “Jazz” & “Parang”).   Hosted by the Jazz Alliance and Phase II Pan Groove (in their panyard) the event was well attended and very enjoyable.  I’m looking forward to attend the next one!

Peace and Rice and ALL the very best for the new year!

Enjoy the videos…


Light Over Darkness

[Bobolee Pix: Streetlight]

Today is a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago.  We join with our Hindu brothers and sisters as they celebrate the festival of Divali (pronounced “dee-wah-lee”).

Divali is commonly refered to as “The Festival of Light”, as in the night time, devotees light deyas (small earthen pots used as oil lamps) to signify the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness, and of wisdom and intelligence over ignorance and despair.

[Ministry of Energy]

In TnT, *everyone* celebrates Divali in some way, not just Hindus.  Non-Hindus participate primarily at the invitation of their Hindu friends to help celebrate the festivities by coming over to eat a sumptious vegetarian feast of East Indian treats, after they’ve said their devotional prayers.  Some people just opt to eat some paratha roti with their choice of curried vegetables and meat.

Even if you aren’t invited to a friend’s house, lots of temples (and some neighbourhoods) build massive, intricate displays of deyas in their homes, temple grounds, surrounding streets or public parks.

Almost *everyone* participates in “lighting up” the deyas, which use coconut oil for fuel.  I really like the smell of the oil as it burns.

[Flickr: juniatha]

I just want to wish all my Hindu friends and readers a Happy and Holy Divali.

Let’s hope that the lights we light tonight help us unite as a people, as a country and as a world.

[Read the rest at HuffPo: Dawn Teo {h/t:Frolin} ]

Be safe out there, folks.

Peace and Rice,


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