"I work at pleasin' me cause I can't please you, and that's why I do what I do..." Appletree - Erykah Badu
Hey all! Thank the universe for giving us an extra day in this lovely cold ass February of 2008.
A few tidbits for the week:
If you haven't picked them up yet or at least tried to listen to some snippets (it's the digital age, no excuses!!! But we rather you pick them up to support.) - GET ON IT!!
Now that is a good mix here, between the activist, the pop queen (don't care what the haters say) and some mellow grooves you are bound to find something. Cheri Denis' album was released this week as well. The Bad Boy alum has skills no doubt, but with all of the delays I do hope it is a representation of what she is really all about.
Today I have a rant that I have been meaning to get off my chest for a really long time. And since I now have a blog where I am able to do just that - RANT, that is what I plan to do today.
Being a Canadian of St. Lucian descent, I am extremely (and I couldn't emphasize more on that word) proud of my culture - the West Indian side that is. There's nothing like being of West Indian descent. Great food, wicked rum, rich in history, amazing music, beautiful lush lands, sweat-till-you-drop fetes (translation=parties), endless amount of jokes - if you caan take the heat get the France outta da kitchen!!! And the people? Oh the people!! There is no word that can capture the feel and vibe of the people. If anyone has one for me, please do drop a line.
However, there is one enormous tic on my back that sucks the life out of me every time I am encountered with this question. Let me give you a scenario. Sitting on the subway in Toronto, minding my own business listening to my tunes on my IPod. In comes an older robust West Indian man who decides to occupy the seat next to me. Oblivious to my IPod or maybe he just didn't care, he asks me -"Madame, yu West Indian?" In where I responded, "I am Canadian, but of West Indian descent." The FIRST thing to come out of his mouth was, "Oh, so you Jamaican then?" And that is where the tic starts to rob me of my life water. My problem with this question is, instead of sounding and coming across as ignorant, how about asking rather than assuming? There are a plethora of wonderful cultures and countries that come together to make up the Caribbean. I have tried not to go on an ignorant rant myself, but that has not worked. With this perpetually driving me to drink, I have decided to give a speed lesson on the beautiful Caribbean.
The West Indies consist of: The Bahamas, The Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles consist of: Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. While the Lesser Antilles consist of: The Leeward and and Windward Islands (which consist of Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago etc.) I am not going to list all of them, for as I said, this is a speed lesson. It doesn't take but two minutes to do a search, ask an elder who knows their geography or trek to a library (does anyone do that anymore?) to do the research. And it's not just my people who ask these questions, but those who only know Jamaica and Haiti to be the only islands in the West Indies.
And lastly, to my small minded people who are always on the tip of, "oh, that's them small island people..." - you need to check yourselves. I will be the first to tell you that St. Lucia is a small island, but when that statement comes from ignorant West Indians, it burns my soul. I guess you all have not recently checked the definition of "island".
Island: a piece of land surrounded by water - enough said.
I will be leaving you today with a dose of soca...you know something? I'm in a good mood today, make that two doses of soca, in this damn cold it's needed anyway. Enjoy!
Of course some Lucian flavor:
And some of my partnahs in crime - Trini flavor (sorry it's a bit long but good!):
And that ladies and gentlemen, is how we do - see y'all later!