Trinidad & Tobago
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(05) OUR CULTURE
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Trinbago First Miss Universe Queen - Janelle Commissiong                             Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Trinbago enjoyed a lot of cultural shows and pageantary and Janelle Penny Commissiong was one of its biggest winner. Janelle was (born June 15, 1953 and is a former beauty pageant titleholder. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she migrated to the United States at the age of 13, and returned to Trinidad and Tobago ten years later. After winning the Miss Trinidad and Tobago title, she went on to be crowned Miss Universe 1977 in Santo Domingo.
 

She was elected Miss Photogenic four days before the final, becoming the first black woman to win the award in Miss Universe history. On July 16, in the National Theater of Santo Domingo, Commissiong was crowned Miss Universe, attracting international attention as the first black winner in the chronology of Miss Universe.


During her reign, she was an advocate for black rights and world peace. Commissiong was awarded the Trinity Cross, the country's highest award, in 1977. Three postage stamps were also issued in her honour. She married Brian Bowen, founder of Bowen Marine, who died in an accident in November 1989. She later married businessman Alwin Chow.  


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Radio Pioneer - Kathleen Warner                                                             Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Kathleen Warner, née Kathleen Davis (1903-December 1996), was a Trinidadian actress and radio personality. She is best remembered as the long-time host of the popular children's program The Aunty Kay Show, which aired from 1942 to 1985 on Radio Trinidad every Sunday afternoon. A multi-talented woman, during the course of her life she was a medical student, pianist, singer, actress, dancer, broadcaster and teacher, giving lessons in music and elocution, as well as briefly serving as an alderman of the Port of Spain City Council.


Kathleen Davis was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Together with her two older sisters, Meta and Beryl, she completed her education in Britain, attending Redland High School, near Bristol, and later studying medicine in the UK.


As Aunty Kay, she became a popular broadcaster on Radio Trinidad, hosting one of the most important shows for young people of the time, which ran for 43 years (1942—85) and "featured mostly talented young people from the low-income areas who came every Sunday to display their singing talents....It was a half-hour show which began at two o’clock in the afternoon and ended at two thirty. But, that half-hour was enough time for those talented children to get their fifteen minutes of community fame to show their various talents.


In 2006, she was posthumously honoured with an Award for Excellence by the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters' Association, for her "Outstanding & Pioneering Contribution to the development of radio in Trinidad and Tobago, with special emphasis on providing an avenue for the exposure of young talent and contributing to the overall development of young people". On 21 July 2007, she was one of ten women remembered as having "made a mark in culture" to be honoured in Amadi Productions' annual concert entitled "Ambataila Women". 


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Comedy Pioneer -John Agitation (Ramdeen Ramjattan)                                      Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

John Agitation father was a cocoa worker in Caratal, who fired five shots into the wee hours that morning in 1927, when his son Ramdeen Ramjattan was born. In years to come, he would read the newspapers to his father, and at night he would tell him and his sibling’s stories about Socouyants and Douens, around a kerosene lamp, leaving them "frighten like hell". When a friend smuggled him into a beauty pageant at the Queen's Park Oval, Ramdeen was more fascinated with how comedian Jack Spector got laughs than the beauty queens on show.

In 1951 at age 24, another comic, Landy de Montbrun, introduced a nervous Ramjattan to an audience at the Oval. The audience laughed and a comedian was born. He was one of the first non-white comedians to perform at such a venue. The name John Agitation came from a character in a script he had written for a church bazaar.As a comedian he drew inspiration from the people of his village who were either always laughing, or always telling jokes. He is the only comedian in the Commonwealth of Nations to win an election.


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Radio & TV Pioneer -Holly Betaudier                                            
Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014
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Holly Betaudier was born on the 27th January 1925, in the vicinity of the Santa Rosa R. C. Church. During his early years, he attended Arima Boy's R C. School where he cultivated an interest in drama. His formative years at Arima Boy's R. C. School were instrumental in his choice of career in media and entertainment. He has been a radio host, announcer, master of ceremonies, customs clerk and sales assistant.


During his long and exciting career as a radio host and announcer, Holly Betaudier became known as Holly B. He has worked as an announcer at the American Naval Base in Chaguaramas and the WVDI Station. He was the host of "Holly's Happy Moments", a popular radio show that had featured the best of local talent. During his stint at Radio Trinidad, he launched the Christmas program, "Parang with Holly". It later became a television series on TTT, with Holly B acting as producer and host. Holly Betaudier became the host of the long running local talent show "Scouting For Talent". 


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Trinbago Second Miss Universe Beauty Queen - Wendy Fitzwilliam
Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Wendy Marcelle Fitzwilliam was born on October 4, 1972. On May 12th, 1998, two months before her final exams at law school, Wendy Fitzwilliam became the second Trinidadian to capture the Miss Universe title held in in Honolulu, Hawaii. . She became the second Miss Universe in history from Trinidad and Tobago and the third non-white to capture the crown.

Wendy was born to Juditha and Noel Fitzwilliam, one of two daughters. She grew up in Jade Gardens Diamond Vale, Diego Martin and attended Diego Martin Girls R.C before attending St. Joseph's Convent in Port of Spain. she graduated from UWI, Cave Hill Campus with a degree in Law.

Wendy regal air and perfect evening gown presentation won her the favor of the judges and made her the favorite to capture the crown that night. However, once the final 3 were announced, the final answer portion led people to suspense, since there was a deadlock between her and Ramirez of Venezuela, who had won the swimsuit competition with the highest score ever seen at the time. Because there were eight members on the panel of judges and no way to break an eventual tie, the decision promised to be a nail-biter. In the end, Wendy prevailed and became the first contestant in history to win wearing a bikini in the swimsuit competition


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Trinbago Invention Of Wrap Roti - Sackina Karamath
Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Roti is an Indian word which mean bread and it is made from ground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as Atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


Wrap Roti on the other hand was invented in Trinbago and was given to the world. It originated in Southern Trinidad and is a combination of an Afro-Indian dish. The original Hindu did not eat beef and the Muslim did not eat pork so roti was dipped into vegetable using your fingers. It was first created in the mid-1940s by Sackina Karamath, who later founded Hummingbird Roti Shop in San Fernando Trinidad after he saw how the locals were eating it as a wrap for meat instead as a dip finger food.  This style of roti is not found in India and it is the Roti most known in the Caribbean, North America, Europe and most places whenever people mention Roti.


The wrap was convenient as the meal could be eaten faster and while on the go. In Trinidad and Tobago, various wrapped roti are served, including chicken, conch, goat, beef, pork, liver, chana and shrimp. Vegetables is also added including potato, pumpkin and spinach as well a variety of local condiments; pepper sauce (hot sauce) and mango chutney being the most popular.


The roti wrap quickly gained popularity across the island and spread throughout the rest of the Caribbean. "Roti shops" are now abundant in Trinbago and the wrapped roti a staple street food. The wrap is now simply referred to as a roti as in "I want a roti". As Caribbean moved to North American cities such as Toronto, New York, and Montreal, they exported with them the wrapped version of roti. This iconic version is what most North Americans know as a roti. The growth in popularity has recently leaded to referring to the flat-bread its self (roti) that surrounds the filling as a "roti skin" or "roti shell," a practice that is now common in both restaurants and commercial companies. Various types of roti are eaten throughout the West Indies. West Indian style roti is primarily made from wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and water, and cooked on a Tawa. Certain roti are also made with butter. Type of roti are Sada, Paratha (Buss Up Shirt), Puri, Dhalpuri, Piper,  and Allopuri


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Trinbago Doubles Inventor - MamooDeen                                                Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)

Doubles is a common street food invented in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a sandwich made with two Bara (flat fried bread) filled with chana (curried chick peas). This is topped with mango, Shadon Beni, cucumber, coconut, tamarind, and extra pepper sauce. This delicacy is the most popular fast food in Trinidad and Tobago. Bara is made of flour, baking powder, salt, and ground turmeric (which give it its yellow color). It is flattened to a thin round disk about 5 to 8 centimeters in diameter and fried until golden brown. The Bara is then filled with the chana


The origins of this food began in Trinidad by Emamool Deen or MamooDeen. He was from Piparo south Trinidad and was born in 1917. He started his business in Princess Town. He first started out selling fried chana wrapped in cone-shaped rolled paper. He diversified his product line soon after by adding boiled and fried chana, then curried chana with chutney. He then introduced a single Bara with the curried chana. His customers would ask him to double the Bara, hence the name "Doubles" evolved and Deen's Doubles became the pioneering brand.


As the demand for Deen's Doubles increased, MamooDeen employed his two brothers-in-law, Asgar Ali and Choate Ali to sell Deen's Doubles in 1937. The Ali brothers launched their own Ali's doubles brand in 1938. Asgar Ali chose San Fernando for his sales district and Naparima College in particular as his historical starting point. Choate Ali remained in Princes Town while MamuDeen expanded to San Juan and Port of Spain.


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Trinbago World Recognized Model - Sintra Bronte

Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2014)


Her Picture graces the walls of airports world wide. Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) offices, hotel lobbies, board rooms, travel agencies and museums internationally. The red wet T-shirt clinks to her body, caressing her full bosom and perfect 10 figure.


But for 28 years the girl on the poster has remained a mystery until 2000. She is Trinidadian Sintra Arunte-Bronte who caught the eye of a photographer from Doyle Dane, an American advertising company commissioned by the JTB to do a poster. As she stood outside the hotel, Sintra was dressed in a close-fitting orange, brown and gold knit top, with a low scooped neckline, the photographer was scouting for a woman who could portray the beauty of an island woman and he was captivated by her. He did not care she was Trinidadian, she was a Caribbean Queen. So famous was Sintra that a Swiss watch company called a line of their Rado watches Sintra in her honour. It is also rumored that T&T Billy Ocean saw her picture and the tune Caribbean Queen is about her.


Sintra and her husband went on to runs a successful destination management company, A.J.M. Tours, in her homeland Trinidad. Her company handles air and ground charters, as well as tours between Trinidad and Tobago and a charter from New York to Tobago with 112 passengers every week. 


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Liming - Edited by Kemet Newsletter (2015)


There are many stories how the word Liming originated. The base fact to all the stories is that non-whites was working very hard, as the whites were doing nothing while rubbing lime on they skin for scurvy protection and other skin problems. Scurvy was one of the limiting factors of marine travel and European tropical life. It often killed a large numbers of the passengers and crew on long-distance voyages. This became a significant issue in Europe from the beginning of the modern era in the Age of Discovery and Conquest from the 15th century and continuing to play a significant role through World War I in the early 20th century. When early Trinbagonian got the opportunity to do nothing they called it liming and turn the act of doing nothing into an art.


Liming is an actual activity. The art of doing nothing sometimes turn to sharing food, drink, conversation and laughter. Liming is an important part of the Trinbago culture and it gets even better if it is accompanied with Shit Talk (Jokes). In fact, it’s not uncommon for locals to say something like “let’s go lime” to mean “let’s chill or hangout.”

Trinbago is part of the Caribbean, and therefore has that laid-back vibe that is present in many of the islands culture. Trinbago however, takes doing nothing to another level. For hanging out to be considered liming the activity cannot have any other purpose other than just hanging out. Additionally, the activity is inherently social, requiring two or more people with the ability for others to join in at any time.


What’s interesting is that while many other cultures consider lounging around doing nothing as shameful or lazy, the activity is actually something Trinbagonian take pride in. Class and status play no part in this cultural facet, as everyone from the unemployed to the wealthy partakes in liming. The word has even become infectious in the international community wherever Trini migrate. You can hear people in other Caribbean Islands, North America and Europe saying they Liming.


You can lime almost anywhere as long as it’s a public place and your intentions don’t go further than just hanging out and being social. Popular spots to lime include rum shops, restaurants, street corners, lamp post (Street light), parks and the beach. For the most part, a lime is considered successful if it includes lots of drinks and leads to a party or something larger later on.


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Trinbago Dictionary

Edited by Kemet News Letter (2014)

Voted the 10th Best Dielect In The World - Samples Of Some Of T&T Popular Words


Bacchanal - Party atmosphere, arguments, confusion, "If dey find out, it will be rel Bacchanal."
Back chat - A rude response, "Doh give meh no Back Chat now, yuh hear!"
Badjohn - A bully; A fighter, " He think he is a Badjohn, but he eh meet Badjohn yet"
Bath suit - Swim suit, "Go put on your Bath Suit gual "
Band (Carnival) - A Carnival masquerade band, "Did you see me chipping in the Band?"
Biscuit - cookie, cracker, " Crix is the best Biscuit!"
Bobolee - A person who gets taken advantage of, "He is a real Bobolee"
Boof / buff - To scold, "That man could take Boof"
Buss - To burst; "Dat party was a rel Buss."
Buss it - To leave,  "Boy - when I see she father, I buss it!"
Chutney - A type of music indigenous to Trinidad, "She could dance chutney bad"
Commesse - Confusion, conflict, "He is a maco man and like commesse"
Cunumunu - A foolish person, "What wrong wit you - you Cunumunu or what?"
Dingolay - To dance in a joyful, carefree manner, "If you see how she Dingolay in the party"
Dotish - silly, stupid, "Don't act dotish nah!"
Doux-doux - sweetie, sweetheart, "Don't mind dat, doux-doux."
Dred - Person or friend, "listen Dred, I have to buss it?"
Fella - A fellow, a boy, a guy. "What’s up fella - Check dat fella!"
Fete - Party, "You talk about a good Fete"

Force Ripe – Not old enough or  mature. "She is rel jail bait, She forces ripe"
Fuh real? - Really? Is that so? "She sweet Fuh real"
Gyul - Girl "That Gyal is boss"
Horn - To cheat on a boyfriend of girlfriend. "Boy ah tell yu - He getting Horn"
Lagniappe - A little extra, a bonus,  "I told you she like him, yu see she give him a Lagniappe"
Lime - To hang out in a casual atmosphere.  "Where the Lime is tonight?"
Maco - Someone who minds other people's business! "That Maco man go get what he deserve"
Make style - To show off, "Since he got a raise you talk about make style"
Mamaguy - To make fun of, to fool, "Just so in front of every body she start to Mamaguy me"
Obeah - Black magic, voodoo, "Like dat gyal wuk Obeah on he!"
Ob-Zokee - Unpleasant, out of place. "Where she get that Ob-Zokee man from"
Ole talk - Chit-Chat, Light-hearted chatter. "We was just Ole talking dey."
One time - Right now, immediately e.g. "She start to act rel angry so I buss it one time."
Picker - Thorns, "Doh touch dat rose bush. It have rel pickers."
Pong - Pound, "Gih meh two pongs of tomatoes dey tantie."
Pot hound / pot hong - A mixed dog; sometimes used as an insult. " Yuh lazy Pothound!
Saga boy  - A a male who is cool. "She going around with a  Saga boy"
Screw up yuh face - Angry expression. "He screwin up he face when I ask where he was last nite"
Stupes - Sucking teeth. Usually used as a jesture of disapproval. "That little girl like to Stupes too much"

Soucouyant - Suck dry, "That Soucouyant hook on to my son since he got a big job"
Sweet too bad - Really nice, pleasant, attractive. "Dred, dat gyul eh play she Sweet too bad!"
Sweet drink - Term used for soft drink, soda, pop. " Yu have any cold Sweet drink?"
Sweetie - A sweet, candy. "Ar tell yuh, all that Sweetie go rotten you teeth"
Tabanca - Being hurt in a love relationship. "You see how he looking, Tabanca mash him up""
Toutoulbay - One who is naive, "He so Toutoulbay, he believe that last child is he own"
Vex - Angry, upset, "He get so Vex when he found out the truth"
Wine - To gyrate, to rotate hips in a suggestive manner, "When she start to Wine so, boy it leave me Bazodee"


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