Nothing is as it once was. The immense melting pot now known as the Caribbean has become a place where identities clash and new ones are formed. East Indians and Africans alike have come to put aside their differences and now live together.
From the Lesser Antilles to the Greater, this exquisite chain of islands has had mystified travelers for centuries. Holding treasures that man could not have comprehended or begin to fathom and a history that lives coursing through the veins of each individual. We a people with once no identity, shattered hopes and dreams of a better livelihood, and victims to mans illusion of ultimate power, encompasses what is known today as the Caribbean, the West Indies.
Many of the islands were dominated by tribes like the Carib and Arawak peoples. They lived unaware to the world but lived their lives to the fullest. Then like stories and tales that one would hear as a child, ships came with men traveling from afar, seeking treasures, knowledge and power. Bringing with them change, new life and many unfortunate elements. Ones ancestors were taken either forcefully or willingly from their lands such as Africa andIndia. Some were chained, others gagged, tied and tormented by long perilous journeys over the sea in vessels that seemed to float on the very water it moved upon. Slaves they had become, with no knowledge of the life to come or meet them on the shores of theCaribbeanislands. But regardless these individuals found a way to cohabit on a land unfamiliar to them, a land that they had to work on, where each night and day men and women would have been sweating and toiling. This land guaranteed their survival and their eventual ends. However, as strangers to each other, they became “a people”. They found their voice and after years of pain and anguish and suffering, they arose and fought for their freedom and their emancipation. Race mattered not, as they stood as one body for their rights and received it as to each his own becoming fully independent nations breaking free of the chains that once bore into their skins and hearts.
Nations formed identities, founded governments. Each possessed their own unique style, rules and systems and economies. YesCaribbeanpeople struggled but it was worth going through to be where countries are now at, some elders may boast. Children now grow up with hopes of a future, and dreams that was once never foreseen by the tribal heads of long ago.
Your Caribbean, myCaribbean. Once from ignorance, we moved to the invasion of a people we never knew existed, now to our present day in which case we are a people of our own. We are not as we once were. This melting pot of culture and history rests and resides in the heart of every Caribbean child. We are reminded no doubt of where we came from and events of long ago, but to the global arena and to the international world, we exist and we are the Caribbean….the West Indies as an avid cricket fan would know us as…lol .
(Sigrid Mohammed is a student of Law, based in the island nation of Trinidad & Tobago)
Filed under: FEATURED