My Last Post…..


This is going to be my last post.

Ever.

For 2010.

I’m sorry if I scared you…. I just wanted to take this time out to thank every single person who passes through these virtual doors, meanders through these cyber corridors and those who bunk here, soaking up the electric ambiance.  Thank you for making the decision to take up the blogging banner again (after my failed attempt for a couple months in 2007) one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Relationships were forged and nurtured here, and lives have been impacted here.  People have met God here and I have found lifelong friends.  And for all of that – I’m thankful.

I want to close the chapter on 2010 by challenging all of us to go after something in 2011.  For some, the pursuit of freedom from oppression is foremost on your minds.  For others, walking through emotional trauma in 2010 has left you cynical and jaded (I know that describes me pretty much!)  Others look forward to the new year with anticipation, as 2010 rocked and was the best year you ever had!

Whether you are anticipating or dreading the turn of the clock from ’10 to ’11 – I am gonna encourage you (and myself) to keep going forward.  Like I said in my last post, my one word focus for 2011 is ‘momentum’.  Specifically ‘forward momentum.’  (Yes, that’s cheating, that’s two words.)  But if I can’t cheat on my own blog, where can I cheat, huh?  Right.   Anyway, where was I?  Okay, so I am encouraging everyone reading to start moving and pick up your momentum next year.  I don’t know what that entails for any of us, but I know that on a personal level I am going to take what one of my friends said to heart: that it is insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

So, here again – this is my last post for 2010.  But I’m looking forward to many more in 2o11!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

One Word – Momentum


(Author’s note: I will return to Bajan culture in my next post. This, however, is where I am right now…)

My friend Alece of  Grit and Glory has started a tradition at her blog called One Word … where you condense the tradional New Year’s Resolution into a single word and focus on that one word all year.  You can read about it in her latest post.

My word for last year was ‘Resurrection’.  In a lot of ways, there has been a lot of death in my life.  Death of relationships, of trust, of the passion that once drove me into the arms of the Saviour… a whole lot of death.

I have had some great friendships and people who have pulled me from the brink of the abyss, and some who have even walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me.  I have great respect for them, and, though the majority of them I have never met in person, I hope to rectify that pretty soon.

As I stated in an earlier post, “I guess I’m in the perfect place for God’s resurrection that he has been talking to me about since last December, because I have no fight left in me whatsoever.”  But that has changed somewhat.  I now am feeling the urge to MOVE – to move forward and not stay in my state of death.  Now I am convinced that the only one with the power to lay his life down of his own accord and pick it up again is Jesus himself, but I also acknowledge that resurrection is possible only through him.  I can’t do it.  I can’t make myself get up and be back to my old self – but I can move forward as much as I can and continue to press in whatever way I can.

Therefore, my One Word for 2011 is momentum.  This is defined by http://www.dictionary.com as:

force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical objector course of events:

The car gained momentum going downhill.

I have started to try to work on myself and will continue to come out of my cocoon of pain along with some wonderful friends, both here and online.  But as I have started, I will attempt to continue.  Here’s to FORWARD MOMENTUM!!!!

What areas in your life do you need to focus on for next year?  Go over to Grit And Glory and read the post – and come up with your own One Word focus for 2011!

Bajan Christmas!


I didn’t realize it was gonna be  a  ‘series’ until my friend Linda pointed it out to me in her last comment – but I’m glad to have kept you entertained as well as informed about my culture! 😆  Now, to a season specific post –  Christmas is coming!

I will point you first to a traditional Bajan Christmas carol by Red Plastic Bag – Maizie.  Click on this link,  and listen to this song.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

……

Great, wasn’t it?  That is one song that plays every single Christmas!   “But Maizie, in all honesty… why not under the Christmas tree? Maizie I am vex because you making movements with Santa Claus…..”  😆

(Public announcement – I do not endorse cheating on your partner, even if it is with Santa Claus!)

Remember when I mentioned that “Bajan is a very onomatopoeic language“? Check out this poem I found!

Twas De Night Before Christmas (Bajan Style)

Twas de night before Christmas, when all tru dehouse,
all de fellers was tinkin ’bout puddin an’ souse.

De hams were all hung by de sideboard wid care,
in hopes that tomorrow, there’d be nuff sweet food to share.

De chil’ren were ball-up all tight in their beds,
while visions of pumpkin fritters danced in their heads.

You cud smell de sweet bread in de oven from far,
and I had just crack a fresh bottle of Cockspur 5 Star.

When out in de chicken coop there arose such a clatter.
I jump up from my ottama to see wha de ram-bam was de matter.

Away to the window I flew like a zr van,
equip wid 2 big salt breads, holdin in my hand.

The moon on de dunks tree looked so lovely an’bright,
but it suddenly occured to me that I was tired as shite.

When, what with my malicious eyes do I see?
Wuh loss! A big musty santa-pee (ie.centepede), right by my feet!

Bring de cutlass goah-blemmuh! Dis ting gine bite me!
And de nex ting I look, it was up by my knee.

More rapid than Winston Hall dis ting start to climb,
if I had some Baygon, I knew I’d be fine.

The brow of my forehead was starting to sweat,
But wait! I hadda idea…I wasn’t done for yet.

So I grabble piece a board and give it a chop,
Wax! Puhlax! Bruggadung! Brax! I would not stop.

You shudda see de ting denn, it tek so much licks…
It was now all over the floor, like corn beef on Crix.

But Beryl was ‘busing as bad as could be,
’bout how I dirty up de floor wid dead santa-pee.

Ah tell she doan worry and ah tell she don fret,
bout that foolish old gal like she ain hear ma yet.

She keep making bare noise and giving backchat,
so I chop she wid a salt bread, and dat was de end ah dat.

Author unknown

(reference: http://www.caribbeannews.com/jokes/twas_de_night_before_christmas.html)

Ok let me give you a list of traditional Bajan culture at Christmas:

  1. Getting up early, early and dressing up sharp, sharp sharp to go to Christmas service that starts at 5 AM. (You can tell we Bajans repeat for emphasis!)
  2. Leaving church and parading your finery in Queen’s Park. (Check out these links – here here and here.  Even more here!)
  3. Where the national dish changes temporarily to Farmer’s Choice ham. (It isn’t Christmas without ham, jug jug, sorrel drink and Bajan black cake!) Click here to read more about Christmas food Bajan style.
  4. The traditional “pulling down the house” for Christmas.  Others may “Spring clean”, but Bajans give the house a thorough cleaning, paint job, hang new curtains – the works – for Christmas.  Mainly because it’s the time of year to host great family feasts and family and friends will be coming from over ‘n away (Bajan for ‘overseas’) to visit and you want your house to look ‘proper’.
  5. Carrying on from  ‘mekking de house look proper’, a new tradition is springing up with some people putting up ’nuff, nuff’ ( translated: A LOT) of lights all OVER their houses. Some are so lit up you can see them quite a distance away! Look at these pics!
  6. Bajans are last minute people – so town is packed (And by ‘town’ Bajans always mean our captital, Bridgetown – even although we have 4 or 5 towns in the island)
  7. Back in the day, (since we don’t have snow here) Bajans used to sprinkle marl (crushed stone) or sand or white lime around to simulate a ‘White Christmas’.
  8. We had our own version of carolers as well, called ‘scrubbers’.  (Check out this link)

As you can tell,  I’ve gotten a lot of my links from this site.  If you’re interested, read up some more here.

And have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, everybody!!!!!!!!

NB -“Making movements” – getting involved with, hooking up with…  you get the idea. Sorta like a Bajan version of “I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus” – which was also referenced in the song above.

BWIA – The now defunct Caribbean airline British West Indies Airlines that was the regional air carrier for years until it was re-branded Caribbean Airlines.

Bajanisms Deciphered


As promised – I will decipher the Bajanisms I wrote about in my Independence post.  Hope you all have a good laugh!

  • Bajanism #1: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know who Joe Monkey is…and when to look fuh he. (Used when there’s nothing to eat –  you are told to  ‘eat joe monkey’ when you are extremely hungry but there’s nothing to eat.)
  • Bajanism #2: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know that the “Days” does start at 6pm. (In Barbados, the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” has been showing for YEARS at 6 pm.  We are about 16 years BEHIND the current version of Days that shows in the States, but no one can interrupt the hundreds of Bajans who religiously follow the show.  In fact, in many households, calling on the phone beteween 6 and 7 pm is strictly PROHIBITED! 😆 )
  • Bajanism #3: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh does lower up de T.V. (Raise the TV volume.)
  • Bajanism #4: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know de word “quiet” has one syllable and “worm” has two.

eg 1 “Boy try and keep quet!!”
eg 2 “Looka da Christmas wur-urm.”

(I’d have to attach a sound bite for you to hear how these sound, but they’re basically spelt phonetically above…)

  • Bajanism #5: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when every thing from yuh hip down to yuh toes is your “foot”.
  • Bajanism #6: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know ’bout Tam’brin balls and Sucka-bubbies (Sweets …  Tam’brin is how it’s pronounced, but they are balls of tamarind and sugar; suckabubbies are basically KoolAid in a small plastic bag that is frozen solid,  to use them children bite away a corner and suck the juices through the ‘teat’ that is so created!)
  • Bajanism #7: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know that bakes get fried. (bakes are flat pieces of flour and sugar that are fried golden brown; usually eaten with fishcakes (salted fish balls))
  • Bajanism #8: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know de word “France” can be used as an expletive.  (Telling someone ‘Go to France! is a common ‘swear’ word in Barbados – dates back to the days when we were colonized by the British and in solidarity with our British sovereign during one of the wars, sending someone to ‘France’ was worse than sending them to hell, because Britain was at war with France at the time.)
  • Bajanism #9: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “Cheese on bread” could be a meal, or an expression of frustration. (Usually drawn out – cheeeeeeze on bread, man!!!!!!  – when used in frustration!)
  • Bajanism #10: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat yuh does “Keep” noise as opposed to “Make” noise.  (You tell children to ‘keep less noise’ when they’re making a lot of noise… I don’t know, I don’t understand it either…. 😆 )
  • Bajanism #11: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know how to stupse. (How do I explain this? Also called ‘sucking teeth’, it’s also a sound of frustration or anger – the teeth are clenched together and air is forcibly sucked in between them while the lips pursed together.  Again, I’ll try to get some sound bites.)
  • Bajanism #12: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know bout Sun-duh lunch. (yup. it’s Sunday lunch – in Barbados this is traditionally a feast: rice and peas (usually split peas or field peas), baked chicken, coleslaw, tossed salad, potato salad and macaroni pie (which is Bajanised macaroni & cheese which is baked in the oven.))
  • Bajanism #13: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “Cuttin’ yuh eyes”, “Cuttin’ yuh tail” and “Yuh belly cuttin” aint got nutten to do with scissors, knives or any sharp objects.  (‘Cutting your eyes’ is when you look at someone disrespectfully, usually by squinting ur eyes at them and looking them up and down in scorn; ‘belly cutting’ is the sensation you feel when you really need to go to the bathroom or you have stomachache (called ‘bad feels’) and ‘Cutting yuh tail’ is getting lashes on the behind specifically.)
  • Bajanism #14: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when locations in your house include de veranda, de gallery (both euphenisms for the front porch) and de front house (the ‘front of the house’: the living room or family room.)
  • Bajanism #15: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when you give bad directions. “Guh down past de gas station an’ swing up…” (Bajans are notorious for giving bad directions – you will hear things like, “go straight till u see the third gap on the left – by Mrs Brown cow… DON’T TURN THERE! – Keep going straight straight till you pass a rum shop with a sheep in the front…”)
  • Bajanism #16: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “up de road” and “down de road” could be the same direction. (As before, Bajans are notorious for bad directions – up and down are directions like left and right … and what makes it even MORE confusing is that depending on which side of the island you start from, the ‘up’ and ‘down’ are actually reversed, hence they could actually be the same direction!  The ‘up’ and ‘down’ are relative to the direction you are heading toward or away from the capital city, Bridgetown.)
  • Bajanism #17: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat the phrase “My man” can be directed at males other than your husband or boyfriend. (‘My man’ can be directed at any male you are speaking to, especially if you think he’s an idiot… ‘my man, (tone of sarcasm) I telling yuh (you)  dat (that) yuh  (you) ent (don’t) know what yuh (you) talking ’bout! (about)’)
  • Bajanism #18: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know yuh hair does bite yuh sometimes. (scalp itching is called a hair bite.)
  • Bajanism #19: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat yuh pooch AINT your dog. (That’s a Bajan term for your … um.. posterior. 😆 )
  • Bajanism # 20: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when ‘boxy’ isn’t a description of a box-like shape. (That’s also a term for your butt.  It is spelled phonetically above, but is usually spelled ‘botsey’ when written out.)

Bajan is a very onomatopoeic language – you would hear about bruggadung (or bruggadown) which is the sound something makes when it falls hard;  many people chant ‘bup! bup! brax!’  when excited (this mimics a gun salute.)

I hope that these  Bajanisms made you laugh and, now that you’ve seen the meanings, given you a glimpse into my culture!  All in fun!