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Culture & Identity of Trinidad & Tobago

Introduction

The culture in Trinidad & Tobago is heavily based on ethnicity, religion, and history as the country is fairly diverse and each ethnic group has different traditions and customs. The way of life is just as diverse as it seems there is no regular in Trinidad & Tobago.

Trinidad & Tobago is an oddity in that nearly the entire population lives in more rural areas, but few work in agriculture. Most people work in the services sector, but there are a great number of jobs in other fields as well. Many of these occupations help contribute to the daily routine, but so does the many individual cultures.

Many jobs provide a set schedule, giving many people a daily routine, but other jobs have inconsistent hours, especially some services jobs in rural areas, and others, like farming are based on the weather and other things out of the people's control, meaning there is no real set routine.

Like the varied schedule jobs provide, the way of life in other ways is just as unpredictable. Many of the Indians have dietary restrictions as most free time is spent with family, many of the Europeans live a life that more closely reflects that of the North America or Europe, and many of the Africans maintain a lifestyle that mirrors that of much of the Caribbean.

From work to school and from entertainment to family, there is no single way of life in Trinidad & Tobago. Like the culture, the way of life is diverse and quite individual.

Identity

The people of Trinidad & Tobago identify in numerous ways. For most people, they first identify by their ethnicity, which can be Indian, Chinese, African (or black), Hispanic, or American Indian. The ethnicity of the individual often has a stronger impact on the lifestyle and culture of each person and therefore this is the primary identity for most people. Nearly everyone also identifies in a secondary manner. As the people talk to each other on the islands they often view themselves as Trinidadian or Tobagonian to distinguish where they are from or even by their city or town. However, as they speak to foreigners they tend to identify themselves as a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago and they wear this identity with pride, even correcting others by saying they are not "Indian," but rather are an ethnic Indian who lives in Trinidad & Tobago as if this is a source of pride and a means to differentiate themselves from Indians living in India.

This page was last updated: December, 2013