I am happy all of the excitement of the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations is over, especially the fireworks. I am getting older and just cannot take the jamming. It isn’t easy to have fireworks bussing in your ears for hours, and they call that celebrating. I feel sorry for the elderly and pets who have to endure this annual torture. I wonder if this form of celebration can be banned outright—it is terrorism by noise. Where is the Environment Management Authority (EMA) in all this? However, let me get down to brass tacks. I did not take part in the red, white and black parade, Journey To Jubilee, or the Woodford Square bram. I celebrated Jamaica’s Independence Day on August 31. I did not put on the red, white and black and shout I am Trini to the bone; instead I opted for the black, green and gold (or yellow), and the House of Marley show staged smack in the middle of Independence celebrations. Only in Trinidad and Tobago that could happen, eh? Now Jamaica got their Independence on August 6, but I didn’t celebrate it on that day. I left it for our day. You see we are not truly independent, we are an arm of Jamaica and who vex because I say so...lorse. I am not surprised when people ask if Trinidad is in Jamaica. I don’t blame them, because we are now embracing everything Jamaican, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Now when you talk about national pride, passion and patriotism, you are talking about Jamaica. They don’t need no National Patriotism Month, a flag in every home, or on their cars on special occasions. These people genuinely love their country. They support anything Jamaican. They fill their national stadium whenever their people are on show. They don’t need to drink rum like water in St James to celebrate their sense of national pride. Life in Trinbago is real kicks I tell you. We only ketching vaps about national pride and patriotism. So my new heroes are Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, not Hasely Crawford and Keshorn Walcott. My favourite food is no longer pelau, it’s pan chicken, jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish. The Jamaican music influence has pervaded the national consciousness, so much so that I talk like a Jamaican. People don’t understand what I say, but that doesn’t bother me. Vybz Kartel is a national hero in some communities as we grapple with crime. Every car that passes on the road is blaring Jamaican music; if not reggae, is dub or dance hall. Deejays and radio stations promote Jamaican music ahead of our own. Whatever happened to the music of Sparrow, Melody, Duke or Kitchener? These guys are no longer our heroes? You see me, I gone!