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.

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7 Responses

  1. LOVED that video. Such happy music, Bajan… And it’s warm here in Georgia during christmas, but not usually warm enough for short sleeves!

    I like the idea of “pulling down the house” at Christmastime. It makes more sense to me. But, after having lived 3 years in New England, experiencing a cold stuffy LONG winter, I understand the need for spring cleaning as well.

    hmmmm…. maybe I should do both. But currently? I don’t really do either!

    • You should see my room …. *grin*

    • Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. BWIA – But Will It Arrive!!! LOL!!

    You mentioned how Bajans like to repeat things for emphasis… You have to see this… it’s a show from the UK called “The World’s Strictest Parents”.

    Yes, I just called home and the Black cake, pone and sweet bread is sitting out on the table.

    A Merry Christmas to you and your family. Enjoy the Day!

    • Merry Christmas Cheryl … mmmmmm black cake…. *mesmerized* 😀

      Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

  3. “T’was De Night Before Christmas”… I was certain that when I got to the end, YOU would be the author. Absolutely hysterical! And the Maizie song… the video was worth saving and passing on. In your culture, Christmas is FUN! In my culture, ughh… it’s all about money and cocktails.

    And that’s why I’m glad you are continuing your SERIES about your delightful culture! It makes me happy just reading all the silly stuff you post, and grateful to have a wonderful friend in a far away place. Next year I’m celebrating Christmas Bayan style. 😀

    • Yeah I WISH I had written it myself 😀

      I have other nonsense Christmas songs too; will try to put links to them if I can find them online .. .they’re all pretty old, before the invention of the internet … but we’ll see ….

      You wanna celebrate BAJAN style? Come on over!!!! I’ll get u some sorrel, hamcutters, jug jug and great cake…. 🙂

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