Waiz d scene?
Wha gine on?
All ways to say “What’s up!” all the way from the Caribbean.
Hello hello. My name is Kershelle and I am the latest addition to The Ugly Writers Team. I am absolutely honored to be here and I have to say that I am so excited to begin another part of my life. As we go along, you will find out more and more about me, my website “The Angry Marketer”, my life in the Caribbean and of course, you’ll get to read my poetry, prose and a bunch of other stuff that’s bungled up in my head.
But, guys. Guys. I want this relationship to start off right. I want this friendship to be based on trust and mutual understanding. I need y’all to know…..about these incorrect perceptions that people have about the Caribbean.
Now, I know it’s not your fault. Most of you have probably never been to the Caribbean in your life. Heck, most of you have never been out of your own country before. So, what you know about the Caribbean may have come from movies, television shows, and books. I look at them and I have to wonder if it is the same Caribbean that they are in or if there is an unknown oasis that I have somehow missed. But just so we’re clear, here are some things that the Caribbean is not:-
Number One: We are NOT all Jamaican.
This is the thing that pisses us off the most! “Oh my gosh. I love your accent. Where are you from? JAMAICA???” No. Don’t…..don’t do that. We are not all from Jamaica. The Caribbean goes way beyond Jamaica. Jamaica is just one island. In fact, there are 27 more of us of including but not limited to Grenada, Barbados, Guyana, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda and, the best of the lot, Trinidad and Tobago (Sorry. My bias came out for a minute there). When people clump us together, it’s like you guys are saying Jamaica is the only island worth mentioning and that is just not true. Sure they have Usain Bolt and Bob Marley and jerk chicken and dancehall and reggae and Sean Paul and Beenie Man but on the other side there is calypso and the steel drum and limbo and Nicki Minaj and Heather Headley and Nia Long and Cardi B and Zouk and an endless list of people and things that are DEFINITELY NOT from Jamaica. So no matter what you do, if you hear a strange accent and you’re tempted to think “Jamaican”, think again.
Number Two – We are NOT always partying.
This is also really bad to think about Caribbean people. As much as we would like to live off of the land and party for the rest of our life, we can’t. We have bills to pay and families to raise and obligations to fulfill. So, yes. We do go to work just like the rest of the world. We are teachers and engineers and electricians and politicians. We have magistrate courts and parliament and protective services. We do our little part to keep the economy turning on its pretty, fragile, little head. But when we’re not doing that, we turn up!!!!
Number Three – We do NOT all live on beaches.
Our beaches are gorgeous. And at least for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, to live by the beach day in and day out would be living the dream. But because of a little thing called erosion and, uh, tide changes, we can’t all be there. It is a very small percentage of us that live on the beach. That small percentage is now experiencing that very stark reality. We have gated communities much like your country probably does. We have 3 bedroom-2 bathroom houses with security systems as well. It is very normal and I hope with this article you got that cleared all the way up.
Number Four – This is NOT the only musical arrangement that we have in the Caribbean
I am so sick of hearing this arrangement, or variations thereof. in movies, it’s not even funny. Guys, y’all can ask us, you know. We would be happy to lend you some music for a small fee. To hear our music in your movies and earn some coin while we are at it would be an honor. However, in case you were confused or now categorize all Caribbean music because of this silly song/arrangement, I need you to know, we did not make this.
Number Five – We are NOT from Africa
This is just as bad as—–you know what? Let’s move on.
Number Six – NOT everyone can do Jamaican accents
Even though they steal our limelight without even bothering to look back at the rest of us, I have to stand up for my Jamaican people. Y’all, please stop trying to do Jamaican accents. We live in a world where there are many beautiful accents and it’s okay if you’re not Jamaican. It’s not cute or funny especially when you do it wrong. It is seriously a bother to them simply because so many artists are capitalizing on the accent even though it is absolutely off. By miles. If you can’t do it, then please don’t and if you think you can, think again and ask a Jamaican friend to vet you. You do NOT want to piss a Jamaican off with that.
Number Seven – NOT every boy looks like a Cabana boy
We come in all different shapes and sizes and we are all beautiful. But sad to say, we do not all look like this.
We do not stay oiled up or toned up like we’re waiting for a photo shoot. We have all kinds of people but I’m sorry to disappoint. We’re not all gorgeous and fit. Sorry again.
Number Eight – We are NOT always nice.
We are known for our hospitality and our good customer service. But there are bad days and chances are you may catch us on a bad day. That’s because we are not angels from the gates of Heaven. There are some people who look like it just like our friend above but we are not. I assure you. We are very much human and all I can ask is that you be very patient with us on these days. Because we really are nice and friendly and helpful. You will see that most of the time that we are there.
Number Nine – NOT everything with coconut is “Caribbean Infused”.
Contrary to what The Food Network has told you, we have a variety of flavors. Some of them don’t even have names really. Just descriptors. Because of the slave trade, we have Asian flavors, West African flavors, European flavors among others. So, coconut is NOT our signature flavor. Let’s all stop thinking and saying that because it’s a pile of poo.
Number Ten – Do NOT fail to stop by soon.
Even with all the bubbles that have been popped here today, we would still love to have you. We are fun loving people with a great sense of humor and lovely beaches. There is always something to do and we would be happy to do it with you. Just don’t piss us off.
Guys, this is not a post meant to scare you into submission or to bash anyone. I feel like this is just information that needs to be shared and so that we can get used to and appreciate each other with as much accurate information as possible. That, and I just want to shake off the writing rust.
Thank you so much for reading my debut article and I look forward to interacting with you all really soon. Feel free to check out The Angry Marketer where I post articles that help bloggers improve their blogs and I also give opinions on marketing stories that are pretty great too.
But that’s it, for now, you guys! I will see you next time.