“I doh mind we practice the cultures that come from a foreign land, but we have our own thing right here which needs even more attention”.
Tremendous words of truly an inspirational song entitled “Culture” in 1988 by Christopher ‘Tambu’ Herbert, he absolutely mash-up the Queen’s Park Savannah with that special number, the ‘big yard’ audience was beaming with such pride and joy as patrons could be seen dancing to the infectious rhythms of the drums.
I could remember as a little child listening to a radio talk show, when some folks telephoned in to voice their level of dissatisfaction with the lyrics of song, because in their opinion Trinbagonians loved their culture first! However vividly I recall at that period in our nation’s history more calypsoes focused on being musical advocate of sorts to support local music rather than dance hall. Bally Maxi Dub…..
Tambu’s positive words were strong enough to forced us to somehow engaged in some kind of ‘pep-talk’ in order to re-evaluate our priorities, aspirations and further national development , rationally attempting to safe guard our cultural assets for a brighter future.
Every now and then, while the hype is in command, it’s very easy, quite practical to admire another person’s work, craft or ingenuity, but please love yourself first, of course minus the ego then relax embrace your creativity and contribution after all you deserve it!
In spite of this valuable musical food for thought, twenty-four years later early one Thursday morning whilst driving on the north bound lane along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, I gazed at the most peculiar yet patriotic site.
It suddenly occurred to me being patriotic is more than a mere state of mind the architect of this road side shack ignored his/her circumstances expressing his emotions towards love for country regardless of present status. Now in all honestly, we could possibly agree he/she lacked the financial resources to build elsewhere maybe a flat apartment, with air conditioning intact, a classy sofa, nice cozy bed and a hot cup of cocoa tea in a fabulous place to call home.
Just perchance in this moment while the builder applied nail to wood, comfort was purely a secondary objective, whilst remaining nationalistic and true was ultimately his/her primary goal.
Amazingly, in Trinidad & Tobago we have this infinite knack to overlook challenges in a heartbeat transferring these daunting situations into a magnetic box until all of the excitement dissipates. Whether it’s ‘palancing’ in a fete while the rain falling, or trying to complete in a flash any particular task at hand.
I often wonder though if being entirely occupied, someway takes away the effort from us the citizenry to look around and lend a helping hand, fixing our country first.
Today the shack has been demolished , without a doubt forever etched in my mind is the high level of ‘patriotism’ displayed by this unfamiliar builder.
My dear friends this loyal draftsman reinforced the theory Charity begins at home” therefore no matter which part of the stratosphere your reside, lets not fall asleep nor lose our identity. Continue to strive for authenticity, bearing in mind being patriotic and possessing a quality state of mind is serving tow entirely different masters all at once, however they do require a singular component of ‘consciousness’.
To you the architecture of bridging gaps I love you and thank you, your homely structure gave me more reflection than any book, archive, or lecture could have provided me in a passing moment!
By Nicole Fisher