I few months ago, on my annual trip to the homeland, I was asked to do a nice historical piece for Barbados Independence.
I remember it well; deliciously warm night, whistling frogs out and bad, the stars sprawl out pun de night sky, a glass of rum glistening in the moonlight, my editor’s sweet Bajan tones giving me advice.
I’d locked on to some great pieces I read in Elombe Mottley’s book, ‘Identities: Book One’, like this perfect scene setter:
“And that night, thirty-three years ago, in the flood-lit darkness of the Garrison Savannah, where grass was dying from suffocating feet, with showers of blessing washing tears of hope, from thousands of cheekbones, the Union Jack came down and the Trident fly up high canonized by voices coarsened by the joys of tomorrow.”
But too bad fuh wunna, I too hard ears. So instead I am going to tell you why I’m proud to be Bajan. It’s what I parade every year all over London, waving my flag in people’s faces, reciting the pledge at work instead of sharing the agenda, telling tales of the steel donkey when my boyfriend is trying to sleep.
We don’t mek sport
If something ain’ right or if something bothers us we don’t sit down and keep quiet, we say how it is. We worked hard to have our own voice and make our own choices in 1966, and through hard times we are still shouting out.
We love bare foolishness
I’d like to thank my beautiful island for my sense of humour (and for my editor’s sense of humour if they let me get away with this.) There’s nothing like a random Bajan story, joke or even a buss-out Bajan laugh. We see the sunshine in so many things, even when life’s a beach (sorry).
We big up everything we’ve got
This is my rock, these are my people. We’ve got so many stories to share, not just the one written in the history books (that I forgot to look up for this article). So help me celebrate and share your reasons why you’re proud of Barbados in the comments, or tell us some interesting facts about Independence. The day is yours!
Happy Independence Day!