Title: Moving to Trinidad
Comments: I'm a white middle aged woman moving to Trinidad with my younger black husband who is from Trinidad and been living in Canada for 5 years. I can't wait and we plan on living with his family in the south until we get on our feet. I've always fitted in anywhere I go and I do expect some challenges but that's what life is all about. I'm a well educated woman and plan on working and fitting in with all races in Trinidad as I do here in Canada. The white Canadian has now become the minority here so we are quite used to dealing with every race and all attitudes. I'll be smart and keep myself safe but I will mingle with all people. I don't see colour or race I only see good and bad.
That's all good Candie however this thread is really more about local whites (Trinis). We're just a small bunch of us here. As a foreigner, they will see you just like a tourist. Local whites are seen in a different light.
IToldYou I decided to reply to your post here because we're kind of going offtopic in the other thread.
Title: Trini white
Comments: But what are you all realy going on about ? Who is it who really has the inferiority complex ? Colour and race is just anohter excuse for them ! I was born white in Trinidad and lived there for the first 28 years of my life. Yes, I recieved all the sycophantic admiration from black and indian people, and from whites who wanted to assert themselves in front of less bourgousie whites and mixed races. The same thing happens on a lesser scale here in the UK between people from different white backgrounds. In Trinidad the insecurity based around colour is due to the unique situation there. It is very complex and wrong to tar all, or even the majority, of Trini's with the same brush. It is not so at all and this whole conversation seems to come from people who are not really from there. The only other people in Trinidad who have this sort of insecurity, who need to check out this topic so much, are those who feel they are somehow better than the rest.
What I miss most about Trinidad is you could call a man whitey, blacks, or reds, or chinee, and it did not create offense, it was joke, and the feeling of ease with which such exchanges took place was endearing. It made you feel like you had honestly risen above the shallowness of name-calling, ones actions belied the words, and the joke was we all knew we were part of something special, a country were almost every race under the sun shared common aspirations, laughter and gaiety, like nowhere else in the world. We were sarcastic and ironic all at once, because we knew it really didn't mean anything, it wasn't what was in our hearts. Of course that didn't mean that people with a bone to pick, those who felt hard-done by in life, mostly due to the political corruption, and lingering allegiances to some petty bourgoise idea of socio-politico-cultural supremecy, the universal ego trip, wouldn't use race as a tactic. But the vast majority of the people therewere not like that at all.
From early childhood I wandered far and wide across the island with people I hardly knew, from all races and background, and the only time I felt intimidated was when I was obviously getting too close to criminals. Otherwise I was able to completely forget the colour of my skin. I've had more difficulty here in the UK for being white and sounding black then I ever had anywhere else. In Trinidad people purposely tested me to see if I' coming from a silver spoon upbringing, could handle their lifestyle and mentality, but it was always just their way of showing, yes, we are all the same underneath, and I learned valuable lessons about humility, self-respect, and respect for others. Somethng the rest of the world could do weel to do. It would solve a lot of the worst injustices takng place. All I can say to the 'worriers' here is you need to get out of you box. Things have changed there, but not that much, and I still come back regularly and move around feely.
One thing I'll say for advise though, because of the history, so much diversity coming together due to colonialism and all the ramifications of that ( to this day in order to pass the bar exam in London one has to sit a paper on property law devised in Trinidad, the property in question being slaves ),people's senses are very keen and heithened to detect unease, thus how you feel in yourself is easily detected, which can distiguish you as an easy target for chancers. In other countries they do it differently. Relative affluence gives tiame and space for a more sophisticated approach to one upmanship that Trinidadians, and indeed people in lots of other economically corrupt countries don't have. For instance the term 'loser' in the US comes to mind. People are people wherever you go. But in Trinidad to say that because you don't' call someone black or white is just a cover for your own insecurity. Who takes offense has to be a pretty insecure person in and of themselves.
As for the police and other bully's, gangsters and the like, sure, if they know it will intimidate so they can get their own way, they'll use terms that will frighten, and they can sense who is insecure. Body language alone gives it away. And those who carry some pretensions over feeling intimidated because they are different will get picked out. One thing I'll say, Trinidad can be tough that way. The best way to get over it is to ignore it and carry on, after all, it's only stupid people who behave like that, so don't be stupid and react to it. Just understand. People are people wherever you go. No point expecting others to be what you want them to be. Who's perfect ? Who will make the difference ? You could instead treat the place as a testing ground for wether or not you could be the difference that it needs, instead of complaining about things and expecting everyone to be like you.
Title: Trini whites
Comments: I am a black Trini man who came from Laventille, but is living in England now with a white wife and have a mix race daughter, I took my wife to Trinidad and it was a shock the way people acted, it was strange for me as I never realise how my own people look at whites on a whole (starring, people thinking see was rich, etc.). But I must say before I travel to the UK, my views on the whites in Trinidad was that they are the untouchables, the ones with the money, big houses and they see us blacks as lower class, but as I travel I got smarter and realise people are people everywhere. Yes I was small minded before, but hey we live and learn. I thank god every day for traveling.
Shevie thanks for sharing your experience. One thing that bothers the most is to have my own people confusing me for a foreigner even though I was born and raised here.
Comments: HI convent girl , that's really bad that they mistake you for a foreigners, I would have be really upset if someone did that to me in Trinidad, furious to be accurate. To be honest in Trinidad I get why the local whites mostly keep to themselves, and yes most of them do interact with different people from all races, I use to work for an air condition company when I came out of high school, and most of our clients were local whites and they were very nice to me. But getting back to your statement the local community still see whites as better, riches and I think people still feel intimidated by this and don't know how to react. You are the minority in a country still trying to find its way and it comes with the territory.