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​Good Morning, Green Corner!

My name is Jarrod Ricardo Butts and I feel like a tourist in the land of my own birth.

That might very well make me a reluctant Trinidadian, but a Trinidadian nonetheless. Maybe I’m a different kind of Trinidadian. The kind who says what he thinks and feels. And for some people that’s just too much to handle.

I’m a Catholic/Hindu with a little bit of agnosticism thrown in. My thing is, how is it that the most gifted artists are gone and the politicians are alive?

Trinidadians have an issue if, eg, you speak differently or talk with an accent. It’s not a question of self-hatred, it’s just asserting one’s right to be an individual. I respect the way the nuts man speaks, I could talk the same dialect. But I wouldn’t use that kind of language with someone from the corporate world.
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​Hot-Wired for Attention

My name is Darren Sandy and I believe life is a lesson – so pay attention!

I’m from Plymouth, Tobago, but I was actually born in Trinidad. My mum is from Trinidad. And when her pregnacy was going along apparently kinda rough, she went down by her family, had me and came back.

I’ve never spent a day in Trinidad as a boy. I was literally born there and then spent my entire life in Tobago.

I’m the real definition of Trinbagonian.

Our family only interacted with ourselves with the siblings. I have three sisters I’m the only boy but not the baby boy. I have one sister after me. We were close growing up until probably the later stages of primary school. Well, you know, a boy will be a boy. He can’t stay home and be with the girls all of the time
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​From Dancing Cocoa to Carrying Gucci

My name is Marcia Cedeno and I take my pet Chihuahua Gucci anywhere I can take her.

I was born in Carenage and spent the first four years of my life there, not much of which I remember. And then my father uprooted his young family, my mother and four of us, by accepting a job to manage a sugar cane, cocoa and coffee estate in Central Trinidad.

In Central Trinidad in the mid-60s, there was no electricity. People used gas lights. In Port of Spain we had basically everything. In Central, we had nothing. We had this big stereo, records, a television, washing machine – all just sitting there because there was no electricity to plug them in! We may have been living there for many years before electricity got as far as us.

Running water was a luxury. We got water from the standpipe a few days a week.
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English Accent, Trini Emphasis

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Shane Collens and, when they hear my Queen’s English, BBC Radio accent, people don’t believe I was born in Trinidad.

My accent is more South Ken than Southend.

I’m fourth-generation Trinidadian and have lived here for 40 years. I was born in Henry Pierre Street, my father in Dere Street. My great-grandfather, the English implant, was posted here as Inspector of Schools which, today, would be the Minister of Education.

I’m from Cascade and have never wanted to live anywhere else. I have a view from the hillside. I can walk to Hi-Lo and the Savannah. I even walk Downtown. I love the exercise and, if you take the car, it takes as long to park as to walk.

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​Service Ace

My name is Curtis Gopie and I am an x-ray technician. The old English term is radiographer.

Gopie is G-o-p-i-e. The rich Gopees have the double-e.

I come from San Juan – or, as people in San Juan like to say, “Sah Woh.” As Denyse says, “I was born here, I grow here – well, when I had hair – and I stay here!” I lived Maraval for a while but I’ve [mainly] lived in and around San Juan. Right now I live Barataria. Boy days, school days, family days, all in San Juan.

I was an only child and my parents, Ena and Basdeo Gopie, particularly my mother, were very protective. She would have all my friends come over to our house, to keep an eye on me. But also to judge my friends. She would make sandwiches, drops, cupcakes so all the children were happy to come to my house because they know they getting juice. So I had nice boy days.
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