“Guyanese or Indo-Caribbean?” – By Aminta Kilawan

“Guyanese or Indo-Caribbean?”

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Aminta Kilawan

By Aminta Kilawan

Hot cross buns-hot cross buns-one a penny-two a penny-hot cross buns,” my dad would sing, with an air of nostalgia reminiscing about Eastertime in Guyana. On Good Friday, an Afro-Guyanese woman would walk down the road singing the tune, with fresh buns in a basket on her head, distributing to her Rose Hall Town neighbors in remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion.

My dad and his family are Hindu. His weekly chore as a child was to offer prayers and flowers in the murthi-laden mandir built in their backyard. Yet my dad and numerous other Hindus attended Sunday school, where they learned and recited the Psalms in the Bible. When I saw my parents close their eyes and state the “Our Father” at my junior high school graduation Mass, I was taken aback by them, the very individuals who taught me the popular Hindu prayer “Twameva Mata.”

As I fried gulgulas for Phagwah, wanting to fill my home with the aroma of this vegetarian sweet meat, I couldn’t help but think of how much unity things like food can evoke. No matter the race or religion, every Guyanese can develop a sense of appreciation for hot cross buns and gulgulas. It didn’t matter whether you were of African or Indian descent. But this begs the question – as a woman born and raised in New York City, which label defines me better? Being Guyanese or being Indo-Caribbean? And is there a need for labels or do they simply serve to perpetuate racial divides?

During the past holiday season, my colleague and I unsuspectingly discovered that our parents both hail from Guyana. Hers, Afro-Guyanese who migrated to the United States a couple decades before my parents did in the 1980s, now reside in Brooklyn, among a large Afro-Caribbean population. My colleague asked me why there is an effort to brand Guyanese either Afro or Indo when we are “one people, one nation, one destiny.” I answered anecdotally with stories of Guyana under Forbes Burnham’s regime, and the dichotomy between Indian indentureship and African slavery. She still could not rationalize the categories we have placed on ourselves. But she also could not find a response to my question of why Indo-Guyanese gravitated towards Richmond Hill, New York and Afro-Guyanese gravitated towards Brooklyn, New York.

On March 15th, 2015, I attended an event that explored this very issue, namely the boxes we place ourselves in and how they inform our identities. Caribbean Cultural Theatre’s “Identifying Identity: Ancient Faiths, New Lands” discussion at Medgar Evers College celebrated being Hindu, Jewish, and Caribbean. The goal of the Theatre’s series of literary readings is to address immigration, heritage, identity, and society by highlighting the work of New York area-based creative writers. The discussion, which was held in collaboration with the Caribbean Research Center, was moderated by E. Wayne McDonald, the artistic director of Caribbean Cultural Theatre and featured Dr. Dhanpaul Narine, contributing writer for the ‘West Indian’ and Guyanese educator and community organizer, and Anna Ruth Henriques, a Jamaican Jewish artist and author.

After a discussion of Holi and Purim by Dr. Narine, and a reading by Ms. Henriques from her book, the conversation quickly turned towards race-relations. When asked whether she considered herself Jamaican first or Jewish first, Anna explained unequivocally that she is Jamaican first.  While Anna was born into the Jewish faith, she embraces all religions. Anna’s Jamaican heritage informs her entire life experience, unlike her Jewish heritage which, while rooting her in tradition, plays a smaller role in her every day life. Dr. Narine indicated that he identifies as a Guyanese first, and has raised his children, including my fiancée Rohan, to also identify as Guyanese. Race did not play into Dr. Narine’s childhood experience. The village he grew up in encompassed Guyana’s six races. In a place where every individual was struggling to make ends meet, there was not a care for skin color but rather the alliances fostered to ensure that everyone would survive.

The economic disparities between Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese were also explored during the discussion. Education had much to do with the financial stability among Guyana’s two major races. According to Dr. Narine, Afro-Guyanese recognized education as a tool for financial success much earlier than Indo-Guyanese did, lending to better standards of living between the Afro-Guyanese population. However, Dr. Narine noted that Indo-Guyanese learned from Afro-Guyanese the importance of attaining education, which elevated them economically. Along the same lines, Dr. Narine thanked his former high school principal Mr. Julius Nathoo of Saraswat High School for promoting academic achievement and for shaping  the lives of countless students.

Women’s empowerment was also addressed as Mr. McDonald alluded to the fact that far fewer women migrated to Guyana from India during the time of indentureship. On the one hand, these women had immense power in their hands since due to scarcity they were highly sought after by men. As highlighted by Dr. Narine however, these women’s lives were often put at risk as they were subject to rape and exploitation. Yet somehow, amidst great adversity and pressure to assimilate, these women managed to pass along their ethnic identities to my generation. When a Rastafarian man approached me at the close of the event, he stated, with no disrespect, “Coolie women like you have held up the culture in the West Indies.” I couldn’t help but think that the Indian experience and the African experience in Guyana are indeed different, but that those differences are what make for a beautiful culture where Africans play Phagwah, and Indian Hindus say the “Our Father.”

Maybe we should do away with the labels and recognize that we are all human beings with the same basic needs. Or maybe the labels we place upon ourselves help us to better understand where we have come from, to help us get towards where we are going. This is a question I will continue to explore. In my opinion, there is no correct answer.

Photo: Some of the participants at the Medgar Evers College event on ‘Exploring Identity.’ E. Wayne McDonald in the center of the front row and on his left are Dr. Dhanpaul Narine and Anna Henriques, respectively. 

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Comments

  • Thinker  On 03/22/2015 at 7:17 am

    Let’s not be too naive. What you guys didn’t touch on is the issue of cultural capital. Discuss it next time.

    • trina  On 08/30/2016 at 9:39 am

      She looks half black dougla to me with that thick curly hair. I have not seen too many Indians with that and I am a black Guyanese.

  • de castro  On 03/22/2015 at 8:58 am

    May also add….class inequalities.
    Upper middle middle lower middle.
    Prejudices in class structured societies is as if not more important than ‘race’

    Cite Victorian england
    Tribal afro/Indian differences.

    In 55 BC on arrival in England the roman conquerers discovered uncivilised tribes with different beliefs and gods.
    Romans adopted their gods to ‘civilise’/rule the inhabitants.
    One reason why Romans had many gods…
    Adrian wall was constructed to keep out the barbaric tribes of the north
    who worshipped/adored no gods.

    Its was nice to read the ‘nostalgia’ associated with growing up in Guyana.
    We should never forget our roots regardless where we were born.
    Unless it was some ET planet…..which makes us aliens to our planet.

    Que sera

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 03/22/2015 at 4:11 pm

    I find Kilawan’s perspective and family experience very interesting.

    Caribbean identity is a difficult topic to address because of its historical complexities. I don’t know when and if we’ll ever be able to “do away with the labels and recognize that we are all human beings with the same basic needs.” But I do believe we should strive towards such a goal for our own survival as Caribbean peoples.

    • Thinker  On 03/22/2015 at 9:38 pm

      Vanity of Vanities. All is Vanity. If Guyanese were Guyanese first the politics of the country would not be race-based. Caribbean identity is even more of a chimera. Most people recognise that we are all human beings with the same. basic needs. They will be more aware of it only when intelligent extraterrestial life is found. Only then perhaps will all the irrational belief systems which form the basis of culture fade away. Until then we can only Imagine.

      • de castro  On 03/22/2015 at 10:18 pm

        Thinker
        Inteliggent extraterrestrial life is found….?
        Certainly not in my /your lifespan !😇

        Like to be more optimistic ….’when peoples of our planet ‘unite politically’….
        My issue is with the political class …..whose desire for power clouds their
        rational thinking/decisions/judgement…..
        Carribean identity is indeed more complex culturally.

        Point my finger at the politicians who are mandated by their electorate to
        serve those who voted them in.

        Religious beliefs another issue that influences culture.

        Economicly our world is too ‘class’ oriented.

        Those three musketeers are the reasons why our world is so screwed up !

        Religion
        Politics
        Economics

        In that order.

        My spin
        Salud

  • de castro  On 03/22/2015 at 8:04 pm

    Three of my four children were born in Guyana.
    I returned to UK when eldest was 7 yo youngest 2 yo.
    None consider themselves Guyanese as they grew up in UK.
    In growing up I ‘preached’ that they were Guyanese but in vain.
    They insist that they are not….but will visit on holiday.
    My generation all insist on being Guyanese born/bred.
    We grew up in BG.
    I consider myself Guyanese first every other after.
    Today I am a resident of UK Spain but UK European citizen.
    My ‘flag of convenience’ UK passport although UK is not a signatory to
    SHENGEN agreement I do not require visas to most of the countries I choose
    to visit…..any country that requires a visa I avoid.
    Why should I pay to visit your country…..?
    Discriminatory ! A big issue ‘politically’ charged.😇

    Now when asked Where are you from ? Answer planet earth….then observe the expressions on the faces of those asking question….
    On one of my entries into UK a curious immigration official asked…..
    Where is nabaclais (place of birth on my passport) ?
    Timbuctu was my response with a smile on my face…..she smiled back and handed me back my passport.cheeky yes !😈 friendly 😇?

    On exit will use my ‘British’ flag of convenience at the purely gates…..

    Sir kamtan lord of cherin granada by appointment of HRH QE2 UKPLC

  • Ram Jagessar  On 03/25/2015 at 8:48 pm

    The writer Aminta and several commentators are showing confusion with this topic because they are making the basic error of trying to compare different things, the old apples and oranges problem.

    They are confusing national identity or country identity with ethnic or racial identity with cultural identity, and tying themselves into knots about which comes first.

    To simplify and clarify, try this formula.

    Anita was born in Guyana and lived several years there, during which time she was quite correct in saying her national identity was Guyanese. After moving to the US she is still on solid ground in saying her national identity is Guyanese, though I would say after several years she might find it better to call herself a Guyanese-American. She has now adopted a mixed national identity in that she is a native Guyanese who is now living in America. I would think however that after thirty or forty years living in America you would be somewhat ridiculous in calling yourself a Guyanese-American, especially if you are now an American citizen. You would be totally ridiculous in calling yourself only Guyanese as your national identity when you haven’t lived in that country for 30 or 40 years. At that stage it might be more sensible to just call yourself American and reflect reality.

    As for ethnic identity, that is even simpler. Anita was born an Indian and that will not change no matter what country she lives in. She can call herself Indo Guyanese while she lives in Guyana, and even when she moves to America or any other country. All that means is that she of the Indian ethnic group from Guyana. While in America she might find ot convenient to call her ethnic identity Indo-Caribbean, so that others will find it easy to discover which of the 20 odd subgroups of the Indian diaspora in America that she links to. Indo Caribbean is a convenient term to cover those ethnic Indians from the Caribbean who have something in common. Indo Caribbeans are significantly different from continental Indians from India itself, Indians from East Africa, from Britain, Mauritius, Fiji and several other areas. The operative word in the ethnic formula is Indian, and Anita does not have to choose between Indian, Indo-Guyanese or Indo-Caribbean (the ethnic identity) and Guyana or America the national identity. She can have both types without contradition or worry about which comes first.

    Anita may also have a cultural identity, which normally leaves heavily towards the culture of one ethnic group, in her case the Indians or Guyana or more lately the Indians from Guyana living in America. Indian culture is probably the big one in her bag, but she may well have some elements of black African culture, European or American culture, maybe even something from Amerindian culture. For people in the American hemisphere, nearly all immigrants of one type or another, culture is rarely pure. You can even have some people with one ethnicity but nothing of the culture of that ethnicity. There are Indians in Guyana or America who have nothing at all of Indian culture in them, and we all remember the black white man of the colonial era (The Afro Saxon!) who only looked black but had eliminated all traces of black culture from his life.

    We should understand this clearly: There is certainly a Guyana national identity, but there is no Guyana cultural identity and no Guyana ethnic identity. Guyana is too young a nation to have developed those identities yet.

    So in conclusion, let me offer the opinion that Anita can proudly call herself an Indo-Guyanese American without fear of contradiction or riducule. I acknowledge that this 20 word monster is a bit of mouthful for an identity statement, IGA the abbreviation being no better as many people will think she is a grocery chain! But whatever choice she makes, Anita and all the rest of us have to make sure we can defend it logically and convincingly. Please don’t call yourself a citizen of the world. There’s no such creature!

  • de castro  On 03/26/2015 at 2:23 am

    Nice one……!
    Citizenship V resident.

    Am a citizen of UK and travel on a British European passport…(flag of convenience)
    Am a resident of UK Europe (Spain Italy) Guyana Brazil and Canada.

    What am I ….
    1. Religiously
    2. Politically
    3. Culturally

    These are what really matters to most ‘citizens’ of our planet.
    Religiously I believe in a god.
    Politically left of center
    Culturally Guyanese……born and bred.

    Am now retired from occupational hazard (work) and travel north south on my flag of convenience…..UK not a signatory to shengen agreement yet Switzerland is….all 26 european countries.
    Google Shengen for signatories….visa requirement.
    Any state that requires me having a visa I avoid visiting …..

    At 71 am a resident of the planet a citizen of ukplc.
    My stay on the planet is limited to 100+- a few years but it is a “certainity”

    Its is appointed onto men once to die but when ?😇

    We are who we think we are first and foremost….
    Whatever secondary.

    My wish
    My belief
    My dream

    Sir kamtan resident of timbuctu”. By appointment of HRH QE2 UKPLC

  • dhanpaul narine  On 03/26/2015 at 12:36 pm

    Aminta was born in the US actually and that makes her piece all the more compelling and readable. It would be easy for her, and others, to identify with the US and forget all abut Guyana but as we can see she has a lot of the ‘old country’ in her, thanks to her parents and the Caribbean institutions in New York.

    • Ram Jagessar  On 03/26/2015 at 5:18 pm

      Aminta’s piece is indeed a fine read, But as I mentioned, she is confusing various identities when that is not necessary, and trying to rank things that cannot be ranked. I will explain.

      In paragraph 3 she asks which label defines her better Guyanese or Indo-Caribbean. This question cannot be answered, as Guyanese is (or was) her national identity, the one which appears on her Guyanese passport and ID documents, while Indo-Caribbean is her ethnic identity, which has nothing to do with her citizenship.

      In that same paragraph 3 she asks if there is a need for labels or do they simply perpetual racial divides. Again these are somewhat naive questions to ask. Your citizenship or your ethnic identity or your cultural/religious persuasion are what exists in reality, whether you think they are needed or not. Even if the country or some group gets rid of the labels, the people will remain what they are. And of course labels do not perpetuate racial divides: people and situations do. Removing labels will not heal racial divides: we’ve tried that before. When we changed the labels from niggers to negroes to coloureds to Africans to blacks to Afro-Guyanese or Afro-Caribbeans, did any racial divide close up?

      In paragraph 4 she noted :My colleague asked me why there is an effort to brand Guyanese either Afro or Indo when we are “one people, one nation, one destiny.” She couldn’t answer, probably because this is one of those wooly, feel-good politically correct statements that means nothing at all on examination. There is no effort to brand people as Afro or Indo in Guyana. That is how people self define themselves and how they are seen. Guyana is definitely not one people, but at least six, and nobody in their right mind would try to say Guyanese are a united people. There is certainly one nation, but as for one destiny, that is little more than a bad joke for a country with this kind of political, economic and ethnic history.

      Also in paragraph 4 she did not know why her colleague could not answer the question why Indo Guyanese gravitated to Richmond Hill in New York while Afro Guyanese moved to Brooklyn. The colleague was indeed not very smart. Whyd didn’t Aminta tell her the simple truth that the Indos went to Richmond Hill because there was a big Indo Guyanese community there, and the Afros to Brooklyn for the Afro-Guyanese community there? That’s not racism, just fact.

      In paragraph 5 she does not question Anna’s assertion that she puts Jamaica first before her Jewish identity, nor Dr Narine’s assertion that he puts his Guyanese identity before his “skin” identity, presumably Indian. These are both nonsensical statements which falsely and foolishly try to rank different things like nationality, ethnic and religious identity. These are all invalid analogies.

      In paragraph 7 she notes without comment that “Dr. Narine noted that Indo-Guyanese learned from Afro-Guyanese the importance of attaining education.” Now that’s a more than questionable assertion, and I don’t know if Dr Narine showed any evidence for this. But Aminto acccepts it at face value. I would think that Indo Guyanese could see for themselves that one way of escaping the grinding poverty of sugar cane labour was to get educated and get a better paying job. They didn’t need to learn that from the Afros. The Indos also realized quickly that another way to escape “bitter sugar” was to go into self employment through small business, farming, transport, and the like. Or did they learn that from the Afro-Guyanese too?

      You may find that I’m being very picky about a simple article which Aminta offers in all honesty and good intent. My point is that when anybody is writing about potentially contentious issues like race, identity, and politics (which is the same as race!) in Guyana, that person has to be very careful to define his/her terms, check their assumptions, and be very rigorous in the logic of their argument. You just don’t throw in “he-say, she-say, everybody knows…” kind of statements, or you are going to get the frying pan treatment. This is dangerous territory, and you venture here at your own risk. If you doubt me, check the reaction when people like Freddie Kissoon or Eusi Kwayana write pieces in the newspapers.

      I don’t want to stop Aminta from writing. I simply want to tell her and any others who want to write or talk on race, ethnic, or identity issues in Guyana to double check their words to make certain they can defend what they say. We here in North America tend to forget that people have been killed in Guyana because of race/ethnic issues, and for race-political issues. I have a list of the 400 odd people who were allegedly killed by the Phantom Squad not very long ago. I would not be surprised if we see more people killed in the runup to the Guyana election next month, and yes, race identity and race politics will be at the root of it.

  • walter  On 03/26/2015 at 5:04 pm

    Pretty good stuff. Reminded me growing up in Kitty, we had a bat and ball team of young hustlers. It was made up of, Hindu, Muslim, Methodist and Anglican. What was important we respected each other, and would wait patiently whenever any one had to practise their religion. We attended each others’ celebrations, knew each others’ family. We were successful as a team, because we respected the specific strengths of each other. That was always how I accepted, being Guyanese. Different backgrounds, similar aspirations. Well, in Canada, in the eighties I noticed a sad change, introduction of” Indo ‘”Caribbean/Guyanese this was spear headed by the Indians (India) needing to strengthen their influence in Politics and commerce. Needless to say I was totally against this trend, did not think we needed it, and knew it would not end well. Unfortunately, I was producing Television at the time, my partner, who was Indian (Guyanese) was torn, but thought we might not get the commercials that were promised. We did not, but still went on to have a fairly successful show.I still think it is a lot of crap, it seperates more than anything, and leaves out, today , more so a large part of the Guyanese/Caribbean population.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/27/2015 at 11:01 am

    A bartender in America once asked my uncle Herman where he was from,
    “India – by ancestry; Guyana – by birth; England – by naturalization”. He explained.
    “I am very sorry I asked”, she replied.
    I always find difficulty in classifying myself. I am most comfortable using cultural references
    For instance, if I say “from Guyana” to a Guyanese, I will probably get a follow up question – “Which part?” I could say ‘Georgetown’ – and be branded a ‘Town man’. If I say ‘Albuoystown’, I will probably hear something like ‘Oh! Albuoystown centipede!”. I always take references to Albuoystown in my stride.
    Here in the USA, if I say ‘Guyana’, most people hear ‘Ghana’. Recently, thanks to Senator Darrel Issa, some others think of ‘Guinea’. I would find great amusement imagining how they would perceive me in those geographical contexts. If they get the continent right, they may continue the conversation in Portuguese or Spanish!!
    See what I mean?
    But even I have trouble trying to define myself.
    East Indian male, born in Albuoystown, Georgetown, Guyana. Converted (all the elders tell me that I was a Hindu at birth) to Christianity. Agriculturist. Citizen of USA.
    Would that litany let people know what kind of person I am?
    Or merely confuse their efforts at stereo-typing me?

    • Ram Jagessar  On 03/27/2015 at 12:52 pm

      Your uncle was giving too much information, Ron.
      Your reply to such questions of identification should vary according to why the question is being asked.
      If the reason was simple curiosity, your uncle or you can say simply that you came from Guyana in South America. You don’t have to tell that you are Indian by ancestry and ethnicity- the questioner can most likely see that for himself. There is no need to inform such a questioner or anybody at all where you were naturalized or if you are an American citizen or resident.
      If you are not sure of the intention of the asking person, it’s okay to ask him why he wants to know where you are from. And you can follow it up by asking the person where he or she came from.

      Understand that in North America and Europe we can face another motive behind a simple question such as where did you come from. That kind of person is really trying to make the point that you are an immigrant, maybe a recent immigrant, and somehow less than him who may not be a recent immigrant at all. All kinds of implications are behind such a hostile question, such as maybe you are one of those refugees come to spend their taxpayer money, you may be one of those immigrants come to take away jobs from the locals, you are one of those Third World boll weevils looking for a home. He may be just asking where you are from, but his intention is to put you down.
      You are under no obligation to answer such a person, or to hand him a stick to beat you. You have a lot of options.

      Look him up and down as if you find the question impertinent, and walk away.

      Ask him where he is from, and if he is an immigrant like you! He wouldn’t like this response at all especially in North America where everybody but the native Indians and Inuit is an immigrant.

      Tell him you are from your mother’s womb!

      Do like my friend Roop and answer that you came from Calgary (in Canada). If he asks where were you before that, Roop answers Winnipeg (also in Canada) and leads him a merry dance all around the block. Roop never answers that he came from Guyana, which is what the questioner wants to hear, and may sometime close off the issue by saying what does it matter where I came from?

      Tell him I yam what I yam Popeye the sailor man!

      You can be damn well rude as him, or his intention in asking the question. Try this one for size. Tell him the US (or Canadian) government invited me to come from Guyana to produce some children to build up the country, because Americans like you can’t fuck to produce enough children.

      My point is we should not play the innocent with people here who are trying to put us down as something less than them. Even for other people with innocent motives, the question “where did you come from” is a loaded question here in North America.

      My take on self identification is that you do it only if you want to, and using definitions you are comfortable with. Always ask the questioner änd what about you, where did you come from? Very innocently of course. And if the questioner, whether bad cop or good cop, is NOT a native Indian or Inuit, remark very innocently “you are really an immigrant just like me!” And smile! Always smile. We didn’t come to North America to take shit from anybody.

  • walter  On 03/27/2015 at 12:05 pm

    Give you this, you have a lot of patience, probably because you are Guyanese.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 03/28/2015 at 2:29 pm

    Here’s a letter from Vishnu Bisram to the Editor of the Stabroek News that adds to conflicting views of our identity as Guyanese at home and abroad:
    http://www.stabroeknews.com/2015/opinion/letters/03/28/passing-strange/

    Sorry Mr. Jagessar. As a Guyanese-Brazilian-American of mixed ethnicity – and I’m not unique in this world by any means – I’m one of those non-existent creatures” that consider herself a “citizen of the world.” In this warring world, and one in which we marginalize The Other for reasons that serve our self-interests, it gives meaning to my existence as a member of the human species and my place on Planet Earth.

    • Ram Jagessar  On 03/28/2015 at 7:12 pm

      I’m afraid, Rosaliene, that just saying you consider yourself a citizen of the world doesn’t make it so in reality. And the saying doesn’t DO anything for the world either. I hope you are not in the category of people who trot out this “citizen of the world” pablum merely to imply that they are better in some vague way than us who are merely citizens of Guyana or America or some other country. Every time the discussion of identities comes around somebody is sure to jump up with this citizen of the world nonsense. There are usually blows against those “limited” citizens of one country who are “marginalizing The Other for reasons that serve our self-interests”, as you put it. It may make the speaker feel good for a few seconds, but that’s about the end of it. I observe that these professed citizens of the world are usually of mixed ancestry or have mixed/confused cultural identities. Sometimes they are saying quite openly that they are above the clash and clangor of race politics or identity debates, and sometimes they are asking for a special place at the table for those of mixed ethnicities/nationalities/cultures. In other words, they are saying I’m neither X nor Y nor Z, so where is the place for me? Now if you read Mr Vishnu Bisram’s article carefully, you will find that he is not adding to the conflict and confusion about identities. He is saying quite clearly that there is no conflict, because people are foolishly trying to compare apples and oranges, or trying to answer which comes first the apple or the orange? Vishnu makes the point that citizenship or nationality is one clearly defined thing, ethnic identity is another, and so is cultural/religious identity. Do you due diligence on this topic, and forget the one off, cute/meaningless phrases.

      • albert  On 03/29/2015 at 12:11 pm

        Thanks Jag for your informative piece of writing. One thing that should be appreciated dearly are discussions in whch there are opportunities for all to learn something in the end. ……. and not to be of the view that the objective of a discussion is to win.

        You are right it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the motive behind a question “where are you from” I sometimes reply US Virgin Island because I know the people there are American citizens with a West Indian accent. This often result in a puzzling look from my brethren in the South but no further questions…..most know little of the world outside the US.

  • walter  On 03/28/2015 at 8:20 pm

    Missing something here, am I the only person seeing, mixed races slowing becoming a large part of the population. Anyway I was always, and will remain
    “Just a Guyanese”

  • Ron. Persaud  On 03/29/2015 at 9:18 pm

    “citizen of the world” is not a mere pablum. It is a work in progress!
    I got an inkling of this some years ago when I read a newspaper article titled “Say Namaste to the Indian Dream” I cannot pull up the exact text, but this link is similar. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/11/opinion/the-great-indian-dream.html
    Then there was this book by Thomas Friedman – “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” which persuaded me that the peoples who now occupy various little corners of the earth affect the rest of the environment and the rest of the populace more quickly and in more ways than we ever thought of.
    About ten years ago, I met an IT guy from India – in Tampa, Florida. Not remarkable in itself; but when he told me that he and his “crew” travel the world wherever their Company’s services were needed – I was almost stunned.
    I thought, “Here is someone from a culture has been historically settled (as opposed to mobile) “living out of a suitcase”.
    There is all this talk of “Global” this, that and the other. It is just a matter of (quick) time before we become a global community.
    And I am reminded of a crisp saying – “When the wind of change is blowing, build windmills – not walls”.

  • de castro  On 03/30/2015 at 1:16 am

    And the “hurricane” of change my concern. Will the windmill withstand the speed of change !

    Am optimistic as ever for mankind’s survival.

    Enjoyed reading/writings tremendously.
    Write on its “free” …dream on its possible !

    Que sera

  • demerwater  On 08/31/2016 at 2:31 am

    “How we see ourselves is not the same as how others see us; and neither is the same as who we really are.” Someone else said that; and if they did not, they should have.

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