After recently returning from Trinidad, I did find that people where obsessed with skin colour .
For instance while driving with my Girlfriends farther who is part Chinese, sometimes people would shout from there car "Chiney", they said it in a friendly way but it seemed pointless to say that, isnt it obvious hes part Chinese why tell him? On the other hand, maybe I have been 'raceA'sized" by living in England, where if you hint at a racial comment you are in fear that you might get sued or sent to court even if its in a friendly manner. Therefore people are scared to mention anything related to it, with people you dont know anyway. This I think causes more tension.
I think people in England [and probably other countries] are to race sensitive so the Trinidadian way which is just the opposite stands out as a vast difference.
I was called 'whiteboy' a few times, but I dint care, I dint even think on it, yeh I'm white call me whiteboy if you will!
I replied as a guest but decided to join so if this is a repeat please forgive me.
I've enjoyed reading all the posts. Much of this sounds very familiar. My wife is a Trinidadian and we live in the U.S. now. My first visit to T&T was excellent. I'm a white fella and got "hey, white boy"! shouted at me. I just waved. I got some "soots" too but I didn't even realize it. My wife had to tell me, I guess she noticed. Anyways, coming from the U.S. I thought T&T was much more "racial" than the U.S. The U.S. media makes a big deal of race issues but they aren't as common as portrayed. I've had no negative comments directed at me because of my wife. We've been married for 5 years now. We're planning to visit in April, but frankly these postings are getting me nervous, especially with two small children. Too bad tickets aren't refundable. :)
|I got some "soots" too but I didn't even realize it.|
US is way more racial than Trinidad. Here I am not as free as when I'm back home its more like I have to watch myself and what I say.
Just thought I'd throw in my two cents. I've been living in Trinidad for 3 months now, and am very fair complexioned (Scandinavian descent). Just over the weekend I was at Maracas with a local friend of mine. Now she's a fairly light skinned African-descent Trini, but pretty obviously local. While sitting on the beach alone watching the monster waves, a beach vendor tried to sell us some chintzy jewelry, which is not out of the ordinary. However, when my companion said "no, thanks" to the vendor guy, he replied to her with "okay, darkie".
I'm not positive what prompted that comment, but part of me wonders if it was somehow related to us being a local Trini and a foreign white guy. In any case, it had the marvelous effect of making me feel just a little uncomfortable. Maybe in the US I'm around a different strata of people, but if that comment was as racially-charged as it seemed to me, I can't imagine that happening in the states...
|However, when my companion said "no, thanks" to the vendor guy, he replied to her with "okay, darkie".|
|Rather off topic, but...|
As a foreigner, I don't like the use of these terms at all. Having said that, I come from a country where we use a similar term "negrita" (darkie, blackie) to describe a close friend in a very sweet manner, even if the person is blond with blue eyes!
lol That is why you call here more racial than the US? "Darkie" is used most times to describe someone that is well, dark. Maybe because your girlfriend didn't buy anything he wanted to remind her that she was local and not a whitey? Or maybe your girlfriend thinks she is more white than darkie?
That is one reason I like Trinidad!
If you are a white person and someone says 'hey white fella' there is nothing racial in that! Again it comes down to attitude and demeanour of the 'heckler'