Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to cellebrate Caribbean American Month. [from The Blackberry Chronicles]

Sometimes I have what I call an "I'm loving me some Barack" moment. This was one of them mid month this past June:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I urge all Americans to commemorate this month by learning more about the history and culture of Caribbean Americans.
This is one of those stories that got very little to no media attention and I wonder how many ppl even know. I encourage everyone to read to official presidential proclamation in its entirety. This is indeed a joyous and monumental day for all of us of Caribbean/ West Indian descent.
Sidenote: Some people like to kick n scream n cuss about names and say nonsense like "I'm not west indian! There were no indians in the west!" Well newsflash! A: Caribbean implies that of the Caribbean sea. Guyana is not an island and its not in the sea but is included. Puerto Rico, Cuba and DR are in the Caribbean sea but are not of West Indian culture. B: Caribbean comes from the word "Carib" whose etymology derives from Cannibal so pick your poison. "A rose of any other name...."
So halfway through the month you might be thinking: "good googa mooga! Holy current roll batman! I have been slacking and not doing my part to honor and celebrate the great West Indian nation. Hark! How for can I ever celebrate and partake in thus glorious recognition?"

Good question little timmy! I'm glad you asked. So in order to help educate the masses, I have braved painstaking liberties to compile the official complete guide to celebrating West Indian American heritage month. One mustn't feel compelled to do everything bc everything is not applicable to everyone. Some of these are old fashioned, some of these are more advance but not for the novice W.I. Tis merely a pallet for allyuh to choose from.

How to celebrate West Indian-American Heritage month:
1. When driving, disregard 40% of your local DMV manual. Standard laws of "right of way" and common etiquette need not apply.
2. Never signal when turning or switching lanes.
3. Drive everywhere as if you have a lady in the back seat, who's water just broke, on april 15th, and you haven't dropped off your taxes yet. Curse at ppl who don't.
4. Hang dice, boxing gloves, shades, baby shoes, tassels, lanyard, flags or any token with your country's colors on your rear view mirror.....and a rosary. Not from the West Indies? Not a requisite. No problem. Just pick an island from your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, cousin, co-worker, best friend, neighbor or the last west-indian you ran into.
5. Pick an island and refer to it as "back home." Any time there's a problem with this country in the news, complain, rant and boast about how "tings" are SOOO much better "back home." Typical opener: "Ya know back in [insert country]..." Use this as an opportunity to threaten ppl about you goin back home.......despite the fact that you:
A: been living here for 20+ yrs
B: was born in the US or last went 15 yrs ago or
C: never even seen "back home" outside of cable TV or other ppls vacay pictures.
6. Exercise tactical west indian utilization of the word "ting" (substituting "thing) as a noun, adjective, verb, adverb, pronoun, subject and predicate in the same sentence. Ex. "Allyuh jus a too damn ting! Ayee minute ayu only tingin di ting till ayu duz ting an ting wi di ting. Yuh tingin on too ting!" You've mastered it when everyone around you completely understands.
7. Point with your nose, chin and use exaggerated hand gestures. This will help with #6.
8. Spend one entire week where you eat rice or chicken, or both EVERYDAY. A true west indian can cook rice or chicken 7 days a week and each day will be a different meal.
9. Men. Brush up on the news and spend at least one day debating politics with a group of friends for at least 4 hours straight. If the subject matter involves a state, or country that doesn't even concern you, even better. Bonus!
10. Women and children. Stay clear of men when debating politics. Particularly older men. They may appear like they are about to fight and knock each other out, but trust. Everyting is ok.
11. Married couples. You are not to show any type of love and affection to each other. Not in public. Not in private. Not ever. Sleeping in separate beds, rooms, states or countries is acceptable. You will know you're successful if your children start asking you for your anniversary date, wedding photos or question if you are in fact, actually married.
12. Spend one day watching an Oliver Samuels Marathon.
13. Contrary to one island (Jamaica) the official music of the west indies is Calypso and SOCA! You must fill the air with as much calypso (pronounced "ky-ee-so") soca and pan music as possible. Must be '09 or up to 5 yrs back. Ol school soca is acceptable at family gatherings, Saturday/Sunday mornings to afternoon or whenever doing household choirs. (And even Jamaica has a soca/cayiso carnival). Its not mandatory but when playing old school calypso, macaroni pie and or potato salad should be within reach.
14. Enjoy the heat......not outside, INDOORS. Disregard the fact that its June and wear sweaters/ fleece and sweat pants indoors and sleep with the heaviest comforter you own. If you're feeling really festive, use a space heater around the house, complain to the landlord once a week about "not enough heat" or turn your thermostat up 5 degrees....regardless of where it was.
15. You must attend at least one "fete" this month. There's a huge difference from parties and "fetes." But that's a whole nother conversation.
16. Fellas. The days of "ma, can I holla" are dead. You need to step your game up to ol' G west indian cat-calling. You need to wow the ladies with the romantic prowess of such beautiful pet names like (but not limited to) BAY-bee, sweet-EE, dAAH-ling, doo-doo, doodoo dAH-ling (thats a combo/advanced concepts), mommy nice child, macaroni pie, dump-ling, suga dumpling, chunkalunk, coconut wata, or consult the nearest elder west indian male, preferably one with gray hair, gold and or missing teeth. Laugh, mock, criticize and poke fun all you want. Most of these dudes have like 10-15 kids with 10-15 women.
Sidenote: Rule of thumb, the most important thing should either go first or last to really emphasize significance.
Most important of all: you must learn as much as possible about all the other islands. Master the accents. This has nothing to do with unity, but quite the opposite. The Caribbean is the most divisive, dysfunctional household on earth. You must use this knowledge to insult and degrade each island....out of love of course. Forget cricket or football, the international past time is hating, dissing, ranking, snapping on other islands.

Hands down the biggest offenders, Jamaicans and Trinidadians. Should they pre-empt an unwarranted attack, call the Jamaican a beef patty and ask why the women talk like Jabba the Hut and the men pants are tighter than them women? Call the Trinidadian a pulouri and make fun of the sing-songy accent. If they persist, jingle your keys or bang anything that will make a "ping-di-ding" noise. The noise will ensue an uncontrollable urge to begin whining. It will distract them long enough to get away. Tell a Baijian they talk like they have hot metal balls in their mouth. If u actually can find one of the 12 ppl from Grenada, Antigua, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Kitts or one of those other small sandfly islands, hold up a magnifying glass and offer an award to anyone who can find these islands on a map. If you see a person with more gold than Mr. T, they're probably Guyanese.
Sidenote: I'm made in America but manufactured with Grenadian parts, but I'm an equal opportunity hater. Our dollar is worth more than the rest of them so kick rocks!!!
Now as a courtesy, leave the Haitians alone. Haiti was the first independent black nations in the west and one of the few armies to defeat Napoleon and for the subsequent 200+ yrs have been unjustly persecuted, discriminated and hated on more than any other island. Respect that rich culture.........but if one of those Haitian booty scratchers should start with you simply remind them that Haiti is not an island or country, but merely a town in the Dominican republic.

WARNING!!! Make sure you only do this amongst close, close, CLOSE friends bc letting a stranger hear you talk like this might lead to lost of teeth (and replacement with gold ones if you're Guyanese). West Indians like to cut ppl. There is a machete in every household even if they don't have a front or back yard.

Sent via Raphael  "I am Raphael Charles and I approve this message"

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