Nurse's Lounge: Chicago Carifete, connected by culture

>> Saturday, August 15, 2009

Few people realize the impact that Caribbean people are making around the world. Carnival is just one small aspect...but it stands as a big reminder in any diasporic community that WE have arrived, and we intend to stay. It is a gift to our new lands that showcases the best in our creativity and spirit.

A lot of the Toronto crowd has trekked an hour north today to a city called Barrie in order to take one more jump in their Caribana costumes. I decided to stay back, as Karen the Poet (yeah, that's me performing tonight at a venue in the T-Dot) Didn't wanna be tired out...or even worse stuck in traffic while the audience awaits.

Anyway, south of the border it's carnival time too. Isn't it always. This time around it's Chicago's turn. Not a city we usually look to for Caribbean influence, however, as America's 3rd most populated urban know there are West Indians around...and they doing they thing.

THe Chicago Carifete people turned my head with their slogan. It rings truer to me every day.

"Divided by water, Connected by Culture"

Let's strive to keep that spirit alive. When I say that, I mean all aspects of the, literature, dance, visual art. I love Caribbean tradespeople, the handiwork of our carpenters and masons, the architecture. I respect the marine culture of our fishermen. We are adept at making plenty out of little.

See how out tiny islands dot the sea? Now see how we make a bold statement about our identity everywhere we go? Take pride in that. We are richer than we even believe.

Chicago, Barrie and Grenada...enjoy your jump today.

Love and Culture,

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