Culture, hmm? What is that? What do you mean by that, do I have a rich culture? I assume so.
CARLA defines culture as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group. Culture is more than learned behaviors as they are many other factors influencing culture such as age, gender, ethnicity and much more. Culture requires interaction between individuals, groups and much more.
Culture is a way of life as our culture influences us, whether it is our beliefs, values or behaviors in so many ways. Culture has such a huge impact upon an individual’s life, from the language used to the clothes and individual wears. Culture can change the way an individual views life, to how they portray themselves. Every culture has a different impact upon each group. Muslim culture, Chinese culture and Caribbean culture all influence individuals in different ways. A Muslim will have different beliefs, values and norms from an Indian, a Catholic or an African. Our culture aids us in our journey to self-discovery, as every culture influences their members in different ways.
A culture is portrayed in different ways and for some individuals they emulate their culture through dress, their beliefs, values or language. Caribbean culture is portrayed in all aspects of life, from the language, to the festive music, dance, performing arts and much more. The Caribbean culture is much more than Rihanna singing, it is the simple things, like how on Saturdays pudding and souse and cou-cou and flying fish is cooked, on Friday night.
We represent our culture everyday, we may not be aware of it, but it is seen by everyone. Our culture is ingrained in our minds and even though it may seems as if we do not like our culture, it is there. In the Caribbean we are recognized by the way we speak and our language is a huge aspect of our culture. In St. Kitts an individual will say ‘He an go to town’, in Monserrat, ‘Me no does do that’ and in Barbados someone may say ‘He don’t ever go nowhere’. These utterances are all features of the Caribbean and come from the creole culture and to this day we still use the double negative when speaking, ‘an’ signifies future and does for the habitual. Our culture influences much more than speech, Bajans still enjoy sugar cane, and Caribbean people do love to part, whether it is for Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Crop Over in Barbados or St. Lucia’s Carnival.
Our culture is much more than just our traditions or our way of life, it is in everything we do. Our Caribbean culture has so much influence over our life and the way in which we interact with not only each other but others outside the Caribbean as well. Our Caribbean culture is one to be proud of as we are the Caribbean. Without us there would only be the islands that were once inhabited, tourists come to visit us, to find out about us, whether they want to venture through Swan Street, go to the beaches or just to enjoy the accents we all have. Our culture is in every single one of us and we proudly portray our Caribbean culture everyday.