Introduction

Welcome to my page about Trinidad and Tobago. I am a Trinidadian and I felt that it is mandatory that I have a page about my country. I grew up in an area called Curepe which is located on the eastern side of the east – west corridor (northern part of the island). My schooling started in St. Joseph, there is alot of memories and history here for my family and I. My mother grew up in St. Joseph and some of her brothers remained in the area. In about 1973, my mother and I moved to Mt. Hope which is between St. Joseph and Port of Spain. St. Joseph was the first capital of Trinidad, many of the streets there are the same as those in, the now capital of Trinidad, Port of Spain.

Location
Trinidad and Tobago are the most southern islands in the Caribbean, located a mere seven miles off the north eastern coast of Venezuela. Trinidad is approximately 185 square miles and Tobago 116 square miles. The climate on these islands is warm, sunny all year round. There are two main seasons, the dry season from January to May and the rainy season from June to December.

The People
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are mainly of African or East Indian descent. Virtually all speak English. Trinidad has two major folk traditions, Creole and East Indian. Creole is a mixture of African elements with Spanish, French, and English colonial culture.

Citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are referred as Trinidadians, Tobagoians or Trinis, or occasionally in an effort to be inclusive, as Trinbagonians.

Trinidadians and Tobagoians are said by Creoles to be ethnically mixed-up like Callaloo, a kind of soup made from dasheen leaves and containing crab. Crab and dumplings is said to be the typical Tobago meal.

The Motto
The national motto is “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve.” The national anthem features the line “Here Every Creed And Race Find An Equal Place,” which is sung twice for emphasis. Some public holidays and celebrations emphasize group contributions to the nation, including Independence Day (31 August), Emancipation Day (1 August; commemorating the ending of slavery), and Indian Arrival Day (30 May).

Topography
In Trinidad there are three mountain ranges, roughly parallel to each other, running east to west in the north, central, and south parts of the island. The mountainous north coast is heavily wooded. The central part of the island is more flat and is where sugar cane is grown. Trinidad has three cities, Port of Spain being the capital of the island while Arima is the capital in the east and San Fernando is the capital of the southern part of the island. Scarborough is the capital of Tobago.

Culture
Trinidad and Tobago is rich in culture such as Carnival and Calypso Music and Natural Resources such as Oil and Pitch – La Brea Tar Pit.

pan around de neck

Pan Around De Neck at 2011 East End Festival, British Virgin Islands. Photography by Martina Jackson.

Steelpan and Calypso
It is recorded to be the country where Steel Pan and Calypso was originally developed. During the early days of the steel band, it was common to play your pan hung from a strap around your neck. This way, the steel bands could travel through the streets and accompany the Carnival masqueraders. The steel bands became known as “Pan ‘Round de Neck” bands. Even today at Carnival in Trinidad you may still find “Pan ‘Round de Neck”. However, most steel bands use stands to hang their pans while they play.

Carnival is the single biggest celebration in Trinidad each year and occurs immediately prior to the season of Lent. Carnival-goers flood the streets as parades of costumed revelers march and dance to the sounds of calypso music blared from DJ trucks. Costumes during carnival range from simple mud and body paint to ornate and very elaborate creations adorned with feathers and sequins. The largest of these costumes can be twenty-five feet tall and so wide that they require wheels to allow the wearer to parade through the streets. Each community rallies to show support in hopes that their representative will win the prestigious and coveted title of “King and Queen of Carnival”.

Considered as the land of the Humming Bird, Trinidad and Tobago has a good number of Indian populations. For that reason, Hindu festivals, customs, traditions and observances forms an integral part of the society, which comprises the unique beauty of the twin island state. The Diwali celebration (a national holiday) has a unique flavor here in the Caribbean island nation.