10 signs you’re culturally Trinidadian

Changing accent, food habits and music taste? Here are some of the signs you’re culturally Trinidadian.

Trinidad and Tobago

1. Talk like ah Trini

Hearing Trinbogians speak for the first time, you quickly notice a melodic sound of the pan-African, French, Spanish, Creole and Hindi dialect that has formed the Trini accent.

The best way to learn to talk "Trini” is to listen to a native complete with his/her inflections and intonations in order to capture the correct accents. The end result is a delightful sing-song that is the country's own unique musical form which you are most likely going to adopt after a few days talking to locals! (Be prepared you may never loose the accent!)

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

2. Your love affair with Doubles

You know you’re culturally Trinidadian when the first thing you crave when you reach Trinidad are Doubles.

Despite its plural name, a double is a singular sandwich made of two pieces of fried bread (bara) filled with curried chickpea stew (channa) and then topped with tamarind chutney, kuchela (chutney made of green mangoes) and pepper (a vinegary sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers).

Not only do Doubles taste so good that it’s hard to describe - they also sit quite generously on your hips if you start eating them on a regular basis.

Trust me they are highly addictive. The soft fried bread filled with chickpeas, sweet tamarind and spicy pepper chutney is quite possibly the perfect food.

Ariapita Avenue, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

3. You know what to order at a Trinidadian take away, without looking at the menu once

The moment you enter a Trinidadian take away, you order without looking at the menu. You order your roti and you are able to instantly tell whether this is a good or bad roti, discussing the quality of roti skin with a friend as if you have been an expert all your life. Yes, you are culturally Trinidadian. 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu
 Isabella Garraway

hott shoppe roti

on 9/6/16

4. The word lime has a complete different meaning to you

To lime, or liming, isn’t a reference to a fruit, but a verb which means to socialize or hang out. A lime is a Trinidadian term that describes an informal party, or unplanned social gathering, or just some people sitting around, killing time together.

Once you start using “liming” in your vocabulary, you are pretty much on par with any true Trinidadian.

Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

5. Fetes

Trinidad and Tobago is the land of fete. Not to be confused with an informal “lime”.  A fete is a full-blown party that must include loud music, dancing and good food. You will hear locals asking “where is the next fete” or “we go feting tonight”. Join in with the locals and let them show you their way to party.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

6. You hardly understand yourself and no one understands you.

With the abundant — almost exclusive — use of slang, profanities, and idioms, and the rapid and abbreviated pronunciation, the Trinidadian language is sometimes misunderstood even between Trinis. You will know you are adapting to the Trini lingo when your closest and oldest friends can’t understand you.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

7. You understand the maxi taxis colour “system”.

Maxi taxis are private, owner-operated minibuses in Trinidad and Tobago that are used in public transport. They operate along fixed routes and use specific colours for each route. Yellow, red, green, black or brown - where am I going? Knowing your way around the Maxi Taxi system means you know the country. You see a blue Maxi Taxi? Ok, you are actually in Tobago and not in Trinidad!

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - found on tumblr chutney boss

8. You’ve learned the precise way to say certain Trinidadian expressions.

Trinidadian love to elongate certain syllables and certain expressions are curiously pronounced the exact same way by every Trinidadian.

 

For example:  Cahneevaal…..(Carnival), Cheups (Steups)…..A noise made by sucking your teeth, Eh Easy …. Not easy, difficult

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu
 Anessa Hamilton

"Yuh eh/ent" easy - I underestimated you, I never thought you could do that

on 8/6/16

9. You get defensive about Trinidadian Soca Music

Soca Music simply means the "soul of calypso”, and is a music genre that originate from the Twin Islands. Not only will you hear Soca music 24/7 during the Carnival season (which starts right after Christmas) you are also ready to defend Trinidadian Soca music against any other music genre. You may even go that far and defend Trini Soca music against Soca music from other islands!

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu

10. Most important time of the year? Carnival. (No doubt about that!)

Your year evolves around Carnival. You start asking yourself - when to start hitting the gym again? One month or better three months before Carnival?  For 6 months before the start of Carnival, you put off all possible expenses and save up for the big event, actually, season. What? Your friend is getting married during Cahhnneeevaal?  Nightmare!  You start thinking of how to tell your friend you won’t be able to make the wedding or you go that far and suggest another date! Does this sound too familiar to you? Well, you clearly adopted to the Trinidadian way of planning your year!

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - RamBu
Comments
 Anessa Hamilton

Love this, I laughed through the whole thing!

on 8/6/16
 LauWe

Same article for the Guadeloupeans, pleeaase!

on 5/4/16
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