These last couple of days with my visiting friend are rather hectic so I am reposting my first TriniTuesday with minor tweakage. I've met a lot of new folks in the blogosphere since then and this post will define a cornerstone of Trini culture for those who came late. It will also explain why I go by the nickname 'Lime.'
TTfootball has asked for some info on the differences between Bolivia (since that's where my visitor is from) and Trinidad so I will try to do that next week. Travelling Spirit has asked for roti and stewed chicken recipes so I will try to do that the following week. I am open to any other questions or topic suggestions people have regarding Trinidad so feel free to leave them in the comments. In the meantime, all yuh come by me and we gonna make a good lime....
Trinidadian slang for a group of friends hanging out together. It can be large or small, pre-arranged or impromtu. It often involves food, and ALWAYS requires beverages (not necessarily alcoholic, but it certainly may). It is NEVER a hurried activity. It can occur on a beach, by a river, at someone's home, or on a street corner.
By now you may possibly be wondering what on Earth a small green citrus fruit has to do with a bunch of buddies hanging around. The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago was a British colony until 1962. Trinidad, since it is only 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela, had been originally colonized by Spain as a military outpost from which to launch expeditions for El Dorado. The Brits wrested it away from the Spaniards and, like so many other Caribbean islands, it was turned into a sugar producing colony peopled by African slaves and later by East Indian indentured servants. When the locals would go into the capital (ok yahoo-ers...I'd better hear it in unison) Port of Spain, they'd see British sailors all lollygagging about having a dandy time being unproductive with their mates in the tropical heat. Slang for the Brit sailors was "limey" (since they had to eat limes to prevent scurvy) and hence the Trini slang was coined by the locals watching the foreigners.
You can enjoy a river lime or a beach lime. You can lime at someone's house or in the street or at a bar. You can be a limer anywhere. Liming is for everyone. But when one does suck teeth and say, 'Gooooosh, look at dem how dey does jus' lime aroun' all day.' It is time to start movin yuh bamsee and gettin to wuk.
True to Trini character, they raised liming (along with calypso, steel pans, and various other things) to an art form and made it their own. It is not merely a slang term. It is an outlook on life that values good times with good friends and defines a significant part of the culture in Trinidad.
Happy Trini Tuesday!