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Home How Caribbean R U? How Caribbean Am I?

How Caribbean Am I?

by caribdirect
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To begin, I guess I can say I am 100% Caribbean, while I am also 100% Dominican. Though I have lived half of my life in the United States, I have never on any occasion lost sight of the pride of being a Caribbean man.

I have always been a crazy Caribbean cricket fan. I remember following the team wherever they went, and listening late nights and early mornings with my Dad when they toured. Or catching as much as I could before the school bell rang after lunch break, while I stood at the door of one of the shopkeepers, listening to the team’s successes and failures on his radio. Even going as far as creating my own scrapbook of the famous players…and who could forget the days of the Shell Shield tournament, when you cheered heart and soul for the Combined Islands…

Although I have not had the opportunity to visit all the islands and enjoy what they have to offer – the foods, music, hospitality, whatever, I still believe in the Caribbean, as one people. I have been to Montserrat, (before Soufriere changed the landscape), Jamaica, Barbados, Anguilla and St. Vincent. A small part, one would say, of the Caribbean…but hoping that maybe some day I may get the opportunity to visit a few others.

My appreciation of the music is an area where I can consider myself a Caribbean man – I have enjoyed the calypsos (the fun, wit and humor) of Sparrow, Kitchener, Chalkdust, Swallow;  the reggae of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh; and the cadence of Grammacks, Midnight Groovers and the many bands from Guadeloupe and Martinique…All highlighting the creativity and beauty of what Caribbean art is, and in my opinion, helped forge stronger ties between the islands of the Caribbean, because almost all the forms of music seem to have a bit of each other.

Yet, it is in my own way that I consider myself a Caribbean man…as an author, writer, as a follower of the art form, from George Lamming, Jan Carew, Derek Walcott, V.S. Naipaul and we know the list can go on. Stalwarts who have set the path for many other writers in the Caribbean…and we can add Paul Keenes Douglas – all in their own way telling the story of life in the Caribbean.

I too, though not in a grand scale as those notables, have contributed to being a Caribbean man; having published five books, the latest Ma William and Her Circle of Friends – a story of life in a Dominican community that can be supplanted in any island of the Caribbean, and have the same characters. As one person who bought the book said “…there is a Bamboo everywhere in the Caribbean, even in Trinidad,” referring to one of the characters in the book.

I no longer see myself only as a Dominican author, because at this stage – with technology and everything else – the Caribbean is no longer that chain of islands many miles apart from each other…but a neighbor next door. We have a common heritage, a common story to tell, to a listening audience who can relate to what the message is all about.

So if you ask “How Caribbean R U?” I believe I can rightly say 100%. And if by chance you lay your hands on or come across a copy of Ma William and Her Circle of Friends, I am sure it will bear testament to that fact.

Giftus R John

caribdirect

caribdirect

We provide news and information for anyone interested in the Caribbean whether you’re UK based, European based or located in the Caribbean. New fresh ideas are always welcome with opportunities for bright writers.

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