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The Swinging Bridge

ISU Mind Map
by

Rose Jo

on 3 June 2011

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Transcript of The Swinging Bridge

The Swinging Bridge CHARACTER Babs Bess Muddie (Myrtle) Kello Da-Da Mona Free-spirit Calm, Collected Realistic Dedicated Protective, Trustworthy Calm, Serious, Quiet Money-Smart Brave Intrapersonal Determined Emotional Volatile, Drinker* Ambitious Dependable, Obedient by Ramabai Espinet A Prezi presentation by Veronica Price-Jones Secondary Characters Tertiary Characters Pappy
Mammy
Roddy
Carene
Uncle Ralph Baddal
Aunt Evangeline
Aunt Alice
Sonia
Bree Uncle Samuel and family
Uncle Sweetie and family
Grandpa James
Grandma Lil
Joshua
Devindra (Davy)
Rosanna
Baboonie
Miss Camilla Lee
Miss Lotte
Horatio
The rand
Rajesh
Rajesh's mother
Matthew
Uncle Tristam and family
Gainder
Samdaye
Daisy (Doudou) THEME "No matter how much its members change, the role of a family remains the same: to love, protect and comfort." Muddie Da-Da Kello SETTING Flashback: Manahambre Road Modern Day: Montreal Modern Day: Trinidad Modern Day: Toronto Muddie and
Da-Da's house Hospice POINT OF VIEW: 1st person, by Mona SYMBOLS CULTURAL ELEMENTS PLOT Small Brown Dog Swing Baboonie Swinging Bridge Evidence of Racism pg. 26: Mona enters Ontario pg. 49: Mona and Babs visit Muddie and Da-Da pg. 51: Mona visits Kello at the hospital and he asks her to return to Trinidad to buy back their land pg. 54: Kello moves to the hospice pg. 47: Mona finds out the truth about Kello pg. 30: Mona notices a lack of multiculturalism on the train pg. 17: the Big Row pg. 32: the Christmas after the Big Row pg. 34: leaving the old house on Manahambre Rd. pg. 62: the bamboo wedding pg. 63: the letter from Etwaria, Pappy's bamboo wife pg. 62: Mona floats between Toronto and Montreal pg. 67: La Rosette pg. 70: De Doctah pg. 82: "drunk pies" pg. 85: the swinging bridge pg. 87: Aunt Alice, Jasmine pg. 98: the Calypso carnival pg. 102: San Fernando pg. 108: Ramgoolie Trace pg. 120: Mona arrives in Trinidad, meets Bess pg. 126: Mona has a nightmare of the old house pg. 133: La Pastora pg. 140: Kello leaves pg. 148: Mona returns to Toronto with pictures of the house, which Kello loves pg. 152: Mona goes to church with Muddie and Da-Da pg. 166: Aunt Alice talks about how Uncle Baddall left her as she is making a shift dress for Mona pg. 165: while the land is being developed, Mona and Kello reminisce pg. 173: Mona wears the shift for the second time, and is beaten by Da-Da pg. 176: exams week pg. 178: Mona wears the shift at home; Da-Da comes home, sees it, and destroys it. Muddie defends Mona. pg. 181: Bree pg. 202: Majie the pig, Kello goes to the lodge with Pappy pg. 205: Da-Da and Kello talk and Mona overhears pg. 5: Mona is writing in her journal.
"January 15, 1995. Lately, words have been assailing me. Words like ashes, cocoyea brooms, sem, chataigne, roti, cunkaying, lepaying, washing wares. Everyday domestive words from long ago, a far-off time and place... Mona Singh. That's me. I live in the eye of a storm. My whole life arches backwards and forwards according to the speed of the gust around me. In the centre, near the eye, in the place where I live, is still. A small mercy." (Espinet, 5) Inciting Incident Exposition pg. 5: Mona recieves a phone call from her motherand learns that Kello has lymphoma. "The telephone rang and it was Muddie on the other end. Her voice was brisk but I heard something else, something like death stalking through the lines, she in Toronto and I in Montreal, and my brother Kello lying in a hospital bed, his lanky figure stretched between us like a hammock." (Espinet, 5) White = Modern Day Yellow = Flashback Rising Action (Series of Crises) Climax pg. 211: Kello dies. "As Kello had predicted, his illness did not last long. He died of a pneumonia that could not be brought under control, just three months and eighteen days after he had collapsed in his apartment." (Espinet, 211) Denouement pg. 213: Mona has a fight with Roddy, followed by Kello's funeral pg. 219: Muddie has a viral infection pg. 212: Horatio visits pg. 251: Mona talks with Muddie pg. 232: Jerningham Junction pg. 234: sexual abuse by Baddall pg. 239: Pappy's decline pg. 262: Mona vows to get to the roots of her family history pg. 264: Mona revisits Trinidad pg. 265: Mona has a nightmare about Grandma Lil's house pg. 266: Mona discovers that Bess is Davy's grandchild pg. 270: Mona searches through the boxes in Grandma Lil's attic pg. 276: Mona and Bess visit the rand, then the Matikor pg. 282: Mona meets Girlie pg. 286: Bess tells Mona about Ma Toussant, Doudou and Uncle Sweetie pg. 290: Mona and Bess visit Mt. Hololo and stop in to see Bess' boyfriend Raj and his mother pg. 293: Mona visits the rand to decipher Gainder's songs pg. 299: Divali night, Bess sets up a booth pg. 302: after Mona and Bess return from the beach, Girlie arrives, beaten; Bess does not seem surprised Conclusion pg. 304: Mona returns to "normal" life in Montreal. "It is late November and the Montreal city streets are slick with freezing rain when I return. I hunch my shoulders and walk faster. My walk is purposeful and strong. The chill in the air is pungent, the leaves have fallen, the year is coming to a close. I am part of this city I live in, and right now I want no other place. Like any other migrant navigating new terrain, I bring my own beat to the land around me." (Espinet, 304) The fragility of life, fear, lack of understanding Carelessness, Freedom Loneliness Courage, Self-worth Indian (Hindu) Trinidadian Creole "The day was cold and windy. Mama and Da-Da lived in a North Toronto suburb where all the houses were identical. In summer Muddie's gardening magic would transform their miniature front yard into a field of rhododendrons, peonies, day lilies, clematis vines, and climbing rose bushes, but now it was winter, and the line of ugly grey-toned warrens stretched into the distance. The stand of evergreens was splendid, though, pines and junipers shielding the windward side in a protective arc." (Espinet, 49) "Kello sooned moved to a hospice, located on a quiet treelined street in downtown Toronto. The neighbourhood conveyed an atmosphere of settled values, Victorian chic, and elaborately concealed Anglo-Saxon attitudes." (Espinet, 54) "... early one morning in January..." (Espinet, 5)
"... she [Muddie] in Toronto, I [Mona] in Montreal..." (Espinet, 5) "So many, many years have passed and yet I know it well, the rise of land from Cedar Hill curving upwards to Hope Road and then down the hill again, bending twice into looping hairpin curves before stretching out to a semicircle around our land, then rising up again, gently now, to Pierre Street, once a boundary before Da-Da's family had begun to own houses and shacks out on the tiny street, the land where Da-Da had brought Muddie as a bride. (Espinet, 120)
"Any minute now - but no, here is a Coca-Cola plastic logo nailed up on the door of a cheap-looking café, next to a poster of the Carib girl, lush and full-bottomed in her yellow bathing suit, a blank and broken street sign dangling loosely form a lamppost, a little knot of limers around it." (Espinet, 120) "We lived in a rambling board house set back from busy Manahambre Road. Facing the traffic was Muddie's flower garden, which she had lovingly planted as a new bride and which, years later, continued to reseed itself into a spectacular array of zinnias and sunflowers. On one side of the house was a massive celamen tree and a chenette tree with spreading branches. At the back the land sloped downwards, and the structure rose on high pillars, leaving a clean dirt area underneath where we played, with a washtub at one end and a little tin bathroom standing next to it. Those pillars, pilotries as they were called, had to be constantly strengthened and propped up as the land threatened to slip further down the hill." (Espinet, 17) "I talked about my anxiety with Muddie. Her unaccustomed gentleness was disquieting. She embraced me and pushed the hair back from my forehead. The concern and affection were so unlike her usual reserve that I felt the panic rising in my chest." (Espinet, 250) "I watched the sunlight catching the red glints in his wavy iron grey hair, his still handsome face upturned and thoughtful, and I realized with a sudden fearful pang that my father was old." (Espinet, 79)
"When did his great lashing impatience disappear, when did he begin to accept the hand dealt to him, when did he grow old?" (Espinet, 79) "But Da-Da had aged so much in the last few years that he was now only a shadow of the rambunctious man I had grown up with." (Espinet, 94) "This gentleness was new to Kello, new and touching in its simplicity." (Espinet, 57) "His newly acquired softness, his longing for reminders of that early time in our life, its different rhythms, its soft Trini-Creole phrases and intimacies, oftten brought tears to my eyes." (Espinet, 158) "Me too. I had become their child again, locked with them into the tightness of yet another fragile shelter." (Espinet, 96) "Da-Da offered the quickly seared chicken liver, his special treat, as if we were children, almost forgetting about Kello's illness." (Espinet, 148) "Children, we were children again that day..." (Espinet, 151) "The impact of that last word, its old-timeness, a sweetness flowing out of Kello's hard brown face, his tightened lips, was overwhelming." (Espinet, 158) "Muddie and I talked a lot that weekend. I felt her closeness and warmth again as on those ironing nights so much years ago." (Espinet, 252) "As for Babs, born that same year, the question never arose except when she chose to asset her place as everybody's favourite girl; no wonder she remained a butterfly." (Espinet, 17) "That Babs should fall apart shocked me." (Espinet, 13) "Babs, amazingly, was thinking of marriage to one of the men she had been dating the past year..." (Espinet, 250) "Bess dedicated herself to the making of a museum of Indian heritage." (Espinet, 282) "Bess preserved his [Grandpa James'] section of the study intact." (Espinet, 276) "There is nothing of the outside child in Bess, nothing tiptoeing and apologetic." (Espinet, 122) "'Sometimes the bare truth is the biggest lie'." (Espinet, 125)
"'And Canada is not a transshipment point too? Canada don't have plenty of drugs in the street too?" (Espinet, 125) "'I don't expect it to be easy, Mona.'" (Espinet, 285) "You see, Mona, the grand picture is still what everybody wants... Wife-murder? Beatings? You must be mad, they would say." (Espinet, 296) "In all our lives Muddie had been the force holding together the fragments, creating something out of nothing each time." (Espinet, 39) "In a daze I heard Muddie muttering, almost to herself, "I can't tell him anything. If I tell him anything, Mona will never escape. Mona will never escape.'" (Espinet, 46) "As for Muddie, I was uncertain. She believed Kello could move mountains, and once he had floated the idea, perhaps she knew it would come to be." (Espinet, 148) *Trustworthy people are often more trusting. "A shadow passed over Muddie's face and I knew she was wondering how much I had seen. I realized that she was already behaving as if nothing had happened and was going about her work as usual." (Espinet, 38) [Following abuse by Baddall] "I rushed out of the bedroom to see the Christmas tree in flames and Da-Da shouting in panic, standing immobile next to the blaze. It was Muddie who unplugged the lights and smothered the flames with a blanket." (Espinet, 32) "Muddie, whose real name was Myrtle, was the opposite - a serious, studious girl. Her prettiness was quiet, even shy." (Espinet, 28) "Muddie had never censored my reading and I couldn't undestand why she didn't say so. She only sighed and said nothing." (Espinet, 157) "After she fell asleep, I lingered in her darkened room, relieved at the sound of her regular breathing and thinking of how her even, ordered spirit had presided over our live's disorder - mine, Da-Da's and Babsie's." (Espinet, 219) "Kello had never been sickly as a child, but in the past few years he had been ravaged twice by severe colds that turned into pneumonia. He had made light of these illnesses..." (Espinet, 7) "I stopped only when Kello said in his old teasing way, "Stop bawling like a cow, Mona, I ain't dead yet." (Espinet, 51) "With this Da-Da burst into a wild howl and began to kick the tin door so viciously that the whole structure would have come down on is if Kello had not rushed out the door before Muddie could stop him." (Espinet, 21) "Laughing, I reminded him of the used cocoa tins he would save money in and how stingy he always was with those few cents." (Espinet, 56) "But Bess insisted on holding out for the upset price if Kello could wait, and Kello said that he could. He wanted the land, but he was still reluctant to spend a bad cent." (Espinet, 61) "Kello had taken what he wanted from the world... He had wanted money and had found it; he had closed his hand." (Espinet, 160) pg. 53: "He was intent on purchasing land from his deathbed, yet the decision did not strike him as unusual." pg. 55: "As for Kello, as his talk was about my going to Trinidad as his proxy for the land deal. He was bent on buying, but I couldn't help trying to tell him how ownership meant nothing to me." "I was moved to tears by his grasp of the sheer endurance..."(Espinet, 59) "He had borne our teasing with good humour, saying little. But then Kello never said much about what was going on inside. Had I ever known Kello? Roddy's words forced themselves on me again and again." (Espinet, 31) "'This is Kello's business. Kello is dying. He may be bisexual - I don't know how he describes himself, but his present relationship is with a man. I've met him a couple of times - his name is Matthew. A nice man. That's all I know because Kello does not share.'" (Espinet, 48) [Babs] "He [Kello] had lived his life quietly..." (Espinet, 160) "Kello only stared at me in silence. He was intent on shutting me out..." (Espinet, 164) "When did people leave the place they were born for an illusion of a better life? I wondered." (Espinet, 26) "When did my rough, tough, hairiness disappear? (Espinet, 133) "Reading my own words in a teenage journal startled me. Could I have changed so little? Did life harden me at such as early age?" (Espinet, 180) "Escape was my goal; the means, her [Muddie's] eloquent gift to me. And daily I witness how deeply my mother's signature is written on my life. She signs herself in my walks through roads without end, through lengths of time longer than twine, in the click of a pot spoon, in the winding and knotting of silver threads around a too-fast bobbin, in the creation of a whole meal, a dress, a life, out of scraps of nothing." (Espinet, 220) "Something had cracked inside of me. I felt it, although I had no ready explanation. Something had brought my drifting lifestyle to an end." (Espinet, 242) "Me, I was her creature totally. Sometimes I was sure that she did not love me very much and would never like me. But that did not matter. I was still her creature, her female child, her right hand." (Espinet, 39) "Leave it to Mona, of course, the one she had made to be her own right hand, the one whose mind was supposed to keep the details of family life together while she dealt with her task of the moment." (Espinet, 160) "I was suddenly enraged by the charade, and I wanted to tell my mother than Kello didn't need help from Uncle Tristam in Saskatchewan, his ultra-blonde wife Kathy and their two ultra-pale children Jason and Kirsten, who live on another planet. But instead I left the room quickly, knowing my place." (Espinet, 162) "No matter how she and the others tried to persuade me, though, I knew that I had to leave at six because Muddie told me to do so." (Espinet, 172) "I was Mona, the helper, the organizer, the sister in charge, Muddie's right hand; I was Mona, numbed and suspended in a glass orb somewhere between fine dry sand and the cliff at the far end of the bay." (Espinet, 175) "In church I noticed Da-Da's voice breakinig and cracking a few times, especially when they sang..." (Espinet,19) [At Mama's funeral] "Da-Da held me close, tears in his eyes, and said softly, 'Aim for the stars, Mona. Always aim for the stars.'" (Espinet, 136) "Da-Da's voice broke, and without a word Muddie walked over and sat beside him on the big couch." (Espinet, 150) "Da-Da's dream, as we all knew, had been to become a lawyer, and throughout his youth Mama and Pappy had encourage him to pursue this ambition." (Espinet, 27) "In the end the big row didn't change Da-Da's plans and he sold our house and land and everything we had ever owned." (Espinet, 34) "...while Da-Da, always reaching for the big kill..." (Espinet, 55) "How Da-Da pulled it off, by hook or by crook, I could only guess at. Did Kello even know that after the sale, buying tickets and necessities gobbled up most of the money? That there was precious little left for starting up in Canada? That for Muddie and Da-Da, a barrelful of hope was all they had brought to their new life?" (Espinet, 205) "Da-Da steupsed loudly but said nothing in return. He was vexed, though; we knew by the way he flung his shoes down, slammed his feet into them, and pulled the laces so taut that if they had come away in his hands, no one would have been surprised." (Espinet, 18) "It was then the big row started. The quarrelling quickly became nasty and Da-Da was soon cursing in a way I knew he never would have dared had Mama been alive." (Espinet, 20)
"I had never seen Da-Da looking like this; his face was red, and every few minutes he would pull his hand through his tick hair so that wild tufts stood up on his head." (Espinet, 20)
"After he had tramped through the house and smashed many valuable pieces from the dinner wagon..." (Espinet, 20) "Da-Da's talk was fierce..."(Espinet, 64) "But Da-Da's unbridled anger was raw, and without a shade of remorse he shot down any chance of such a reunion." (Espinet, 66) * Mostly visible in Flashbacks "Da-Da exploded. He shouted, 'So you didn't see me here all the time? I look invisible to you? You don't have the manners, the simple courtesy to treat all customer here the same way? What kinda people are you, man? What kinda service is this?'" (Espinet,, 155) "Muddie spoke very low but Da-Da sounded irritated. He steupsed a couple of times before breaking out in anger, saying that people like Lotte and Laura always came to backward places like here to do what they couldn't do at home." (Espinet, 156) "Once we were out of sight, Da-Da turned and stared fully at me. He face was livid; he had become a cold-eyed stranger, full of hate. He spoke then in a voice I had never heard before, even when he was drunk and cursing, yet it was a voice that I knew well, it was the voice of a stranger." (Espinet, 174) There was no preamble or ranting explanation. He lunged at me and tore the back of the shift off my shoulder. 'You little bitch. You ho.' He spat the words out. 'What the hell you doing again in that ho dress? You ain't find you attracting enough men already?'" (Esepinet, 178) "Apparently, when they landed in England, a porter picked up their luggage and Grandma Lil was alarmed, remonstrating with poor feeble Grandpa to take the suitcase from the white man's hands. She couldn't accept the reversal of the world, in which they tipped and gave menial tasks to white people, even though her very own money had bought the trip." (Espinet, 35) "I half-turned and saw the radio owner's face leaning down solicitously. Bending closer he asked softly, "Are you hearing that conversation?" I nodded. Then without warning he put his lips directly to my ear and in a piercing whisper hissed, "Then you must be listening too hard! If you don't like it, why don't you go back to where you came from?" (Espinet, 46) "As Da-Da walked through the streets of Toronto in a state of high expectancy the day he arrived, he saw walls and fences scrawled with graffiti that read Keep Canada White." (Espinet, 104) "But between us lay the place Bree and I had come from, where our racial difference was solid, immense, never leaving us." (Espinet, 189) "'But after the lady spoke, I just wanted to clear out of the place. I didn't like them talking about us as 'the Indian people' as if we weren't even present.'" (Espinet, 203) [Kello goes to the lodge with Pappy] "'Mona, Kello was telling the truth. I was frightened for you, I didn't know what would happen if you went with that Creole boy. And people were talking, the place was small, people would spot you with him and then tell me. I had to do something.'" (Espinet, 208) [Da-Da] "'Listen to me, Horatio. Back then [in Trinidad] it was like spinning top in mud. Every day you seeing yourself getting pass over for promotion, for housing, for government loands, everything. You had to wake up and see it wasn't Indian time.'" (Espinet, 224) "When I arrived in the early seventies, Canada was a white country. If multiculturalism was an idea, it never touched me." (Espinet, 242) "'You know people talk about Trinidadian culture and another culture called Indian culture? So Trinidadian culture don't have a place for Indians too? And you know, is not only the prejudice against Indians by Creole people and white people and red people and Chinee people I talking about. Is the way Indians hate their own background. People like your family, Presbyterian people and middle-class people, they hate the history that marks them as coolies. And why? Coolie people wasn't people too?" (Espinet, 285) [Bess] "Race had hit me between the eyes much earlier than it had Kello. The first time I was called a coolie I was only about five years old. I remember that I was just going into Muddie's zinnia and sunflower garden to hide when a bus passed on the road in front of our house. Some girls stuck their necks out and shouted, "Coolie, coolie, coolie!" (Espinet, 203) "A work of fiction that ought to be required reading" -The Globe and Mail "Beautiful, luminous and an utter pleasure to read. A writer as necessary as Ramabai Espinet should be treasured by us for her unique voice and the unique world she shares with us" - Jamaica Kincaid "The Swinging Bridge is a sweeping story... of a rich heritage - a blend of Indian and Caribbean sounds, scents and celebrations" - NOW magazine pg. 86: Mona, to prove that she is not
a "coolie", runs across the forbidden
swinging bridge at the taunts of Kenny
La Fortune pg. 111: Mona meets Baboonie, a suffering Indian woman who is tormented every night by arrogent men. Every night, she sings a song of anguish. "I listened to music and a story, till then unknown to me, coming through the wailing voice of an old beggar women, crying through rain, breaking up the classical words of the Ramyana with her own tale of exile and banishment, and in broken chords and unexpected rifts telling the story of a race. Of racial and trival grief, of banishment, of the test of purity." (Espinet, 111) pg. 264: Mona sees a small, lone brown dog running by the side of the road. "She belongs to no one; she is going nowhere. The cars speed by going north; she is headed south. I read the panic in the dog's eyes... Death runs up and down that highway, stalking the little bitch or indifferently cutting her down. Death doesn't really care; niether does she." (Espinet, 264)
Later, she comes across a small dead dog by the side of the road and wonders if it is the same one.
"There is a small dead dog in a heap at the side of the road. It might be her. I don't know." (Espinet, 265) "Careless is being on the swing at school, the one at the very top of the small hillside with the park benches, the one fixed to the highest branches of the tamarind tree, and flying as high as possible, dangerously, dangerously high, only a few feet away from the top of the tennis court, hair flying, wind rushing, flying free of all the little rules and laws that entrap. Swinging at the top of the world, past the treetops; swinging and never falling." (Espinet, 137) "... the young Mona, her tough hairy forearms ready for anything, swinging and never falling, swinging beyond the tamarind tree, at the very top of the world." (Espinet, 147) The children of a family are the part that require the care and comfort; the fact that Mona and her siblings felt as if they were children proves that their parents and family are still able to provide that level of affection. Traditional Indian Life; "Eating sada roti and tomato chokha, wearing gold churias at weddings, drying mangoes for achar and kuchela, treating nara with a special massage, rubbing down the limbs of babies with coconut oil..." (Espinet, 29) Indian Food; "The food was served on fresh sohari leaves and eaten with our fingers: rice and dhal and curried chataigne, curried channe and aloo, pumpkin, curried mango, achar, kuchela, phoulouries, and roi." (Espinet, 63) Bamboo Wedding; "The groom wore a tall pink hat and a bright pink dhoti. The bridge wore a beautiful red sari embroided with gold thread." (Espinet, 64) Indian clothing; "She tied traditional Indian bells around our ankles..." (Espinet, 68)
"A few girls played Indian men in dhotis..." (Espinet, 69) Indian Outlooks on Intermarriage; "I recalled how Indian men were enraged at what they perceived to be a coercove drive to intermarriage between Indians and Africans in the Trinidad of the fifties and sixties. That deep-rooted fear had never gone away. I had heard only recently about protests from the Indian community in Trinidad about forced doublarization. But dougla was such an old term for a person of mixed African/Indian ancestry." (Espinet, 75) Indian Food; "Accras, phoulouries, even mini-dhal puris stuffed with deboned chicken curry..." (Espinet, 88) Indian Food and Customs; "Jasmine always greeted us fondly, offering us roti and whatever kind of curried vegetable she had made, together with chalta or tamarind achar. After we ate, she would quickly wash the wares with dry coconut fibres and ashes from her chulhah. She showed us how to make curried mango and ginghee talkari..." (Espinet, 89) Indian Stereotyped Behavior; "There was talk about how Indians girls were hot hot from small - no wonder they had to marry them off as children and no wonder wife beating and chopping was so common among those people. They were not civilized or "creolized" enough. They did not reach the approved standard of proper Trinidad society." (Espinet, 144) Indian (and Black) Punishment; "'But I never punish my children like on the estate, you understand? You don't know, boy. On the estate they use to beat children with rope, thick thick rope tied up in knots. They would make them kneel down on the grater or stand up in the hot son holding up big big stones in their hands. And it wasn't only the Indians on the estate - black people too would beat their children worse than that." (Espinet, 206) [Da-Da speaking with Kello] Indian clothing; "Here the Indian, rural South collided with the urban North. Bright orange and gold saries, shimmering orhnis, women walking barefoot or in flismy chappals but with thick silver churias and bera on arms and ankles, men in dhotis and turbans..." (Espinet, 233) *Called "East Indians" or just "Indians" in Trinidad *"of local origin": Black, White and mixed individuals who are supposed to share the major elements of a common culture and some common ancestry but do not belong to a "pure race" http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Trinidad-and-Tobago.html *Technically relating to anything in Trinidad; very general Divali Night; "Lakhs of light. Divali Night was splendid beyond belief. A night bazaar in a huge public space, the grandeur of arcs and bowers and pillars of lit deyas contrasting with the simplicity of older women who had brought their coal pots and tawas, filling the air with the smell of home cooking. Sada roties, bhaigans and tomatoes roasting for chokhas, pepper, bhandhania leavesm ochroes, bhaji, curried mango, and carilees. All that simple peasant food from the great Indo-Gangeic plain had crossed the kala pani and nourished us during a passage into death and sickness and unending labour, and into a light that was the present. The entranceway was flanked by two huge coppers filled to the brim with water, hundreds of lighted deyas floating on their surface." (Espinet, 299) Creole speech; "...the bad jokes and ole talk, their lyrical Creole speech now proclaimed as a language, kweyol, with its own orthography, its nuanced lexicon asserting what they had become since the Haitian Revolution at the beginning of the nineteenth century." (Espinet, 10) Creole Clothing; "...and the customary Creole white blouses with off-the-shoulder necklines." (Espinet, 68) Creole Culture; "Yet he [Da-Da] was a Creole at heart, as Mama would say, a real throwback to his wild grandfather on her side. Drinking, smoking, gambling, loving calypso, steelband and Carnival..." (Espinet, 69) Creole Culture; "Young men like Da-Da felt a reckless need to break out of these restrains, but where could they go? They drank and smoked and gambled, embracing the Creole culture with a vengeance..." (Espinet, 82) Old Creole Design; "Bess had transformed this semi-dorm into a Creole nineteenth-century bedroom, complete with a washstand holding a patterned basin and jug, a chamber pot and spittoon to the side, a deep armchair for reading with lace antimacassars covering the arms and back, all of it done in deep rose tones. Under the pillows she had tucked a fragrant sachet of vetiver, its name embroidered on the outside." (Espinet, 126) Creole Clothing; "... Creole men in careless shirts and pants, cigarettes dangling from their lips." (Espinet, 233) Trinidadian Culture; "My parents, stylish and cool, keeping in step with the fashion of those far-off times in cosmopolitan Trinidad..." (Espinet, 29) Trinidadian Food; "The food was purely Trinidad of my youth - the dhal chonkayed with geera and garlic, the bhaji perfectly cookied, the carille bitter and crisp, the fried fish peppered to perfection." (Espinet, 106) Trinidadian Characteristics [of the Island]; "Reorienting myself in the taxi to my parents' home was strange, and I wondered about the unexpected homecoming I had experienced in Trinidad. The smells, the familiar lilt of voices, the uneven mix of hustle and neglect, even decay, that characterized the island..." (Espinet, 148) Reflective THE END pg. 273: Mona pieces together the story of her great-grandmother (Gainder) (Or just Cheap) Sister of Son of Husband of Mother of Cousin of Thanks for listening!
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