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Elspeth

What you've said is true - about needing to know our own back yards ... exploring and getting to know our own islands as if we were 'tourists' ourselves. Rough Guide to the Caribbean through the Pancollective. I didn't know Aruba didn't have rivers and lakes until you mentioned it. I can't imagine what that must be like! Maybe we could do up a simple questionnaire for each island. Do we even know the colours of all the different flags? The words of our national anthems? Etc? I know Jamaica's anthem because my Jamaican nephew used to sing it on many occasions (until he came to live in TT and got obsessed with singing that anthem instead) ... but beyond that, I'm not familiar with other Caribbean anthems. (By the way, we drive on the left).

arubagirl

You're right, Elspeth, I don't know the flags of the other Caribbean islands (except Bonaire and Curacao). I do know the flags of many other countries.
On the anthem part I'm woefully lacking, because I only know the Aruban one properly, although I can recognize the Venezuelan, American and Dutch anthem when it is played.

I think interest in the other Caribbean islands should be encouraged in elementary and highschool, and the topic should be left as an afterthought.

Elspeth

Somehow I get the feeling that the Caribbean generally isn't perceived by school children as being 'exciting' enough ... in comparison to 'bigger' places.

arubagirl

Yes, I understand that, but instead of going to Venezuela for a school trip, maybe a Caribbean island could be an option.

Elspeth

Maybe the Caribbean needs new 'packaging'.

Christopher

I know exactly what you mean. I always a little shocked and humbled when I find other islands that shre similar slang to Trinidad. I didn't other islands had the word douglah (however spelt) How can I? At no point in daily life are we exposed to Caribbean Content but to just to American stuff. It drives me up a wall

Elspeth

Exposed to too much of America is right. Selling out. Driving home past Curepe just now I saw some men selling TT flags and little holders to stick them on your car window so they will blow in the wind. My first thought was "Next we'll be driving around with American flags." Time for reclamation.

Francine

This is oh so true, and something that has always bothered me. One of the reasons I am so happy that I went to UWI is because I got to meet people from all over the West Indies. Sometimes we would sit and talk about the names of fruits, slang etc, that were different or the same in our islands. I will always be so thankful for that experience, and I think those 4 years are what made me love the West Indies even more. I was also lucky to live in more than one island so I got to learn alot.

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