Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trinis and Public Names

One interesting cultural quirk that I have noticed that is a real point of different between Trinidadians and Jamaicans is that Trinis like to name all sorts of famous places after living heroes.
There is the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Brian Lara Promenade, The Brian Lara Stadium, the Wendy Fitz-William Highway and others.
I think this shows a tremendous faith in people.  It shows that you trust them not the screw their lives up royally after their named has been used as a label.  It shows that you believe that they have arrived, and are unliekly to depart from some high pedestal on which they sit.
In Jamaica, it seems that we don't trust them until they are good and dead.  At least, then, you can limit the embarrassment that might occur.

It just seems to be a safer bet to use dead people rather than live ones. Some people argue that Lara was never the same after he broke the world record the first time, and they named half of downtown in his honour.he as only in his twenties, and he had already arrived.

What if he runs for prime minister and does an excellent job, saving the country from ruin?  Would they rename Port of Spain to "Brian Lara City?"


At 10/07/2007 4:06 AM, Blogger said...

Francis, great post!

That Trinis honor the living rather than the dead speaks volumes about their openness and capacity of spirit. By honoring the living, we celebrate the achievements and this can sometimes spur others to see beyond their "skin bag" and live fearlessly.

And so what if they "mess up" afterwards? Sometimes I think that some Jamaicans are so controlled by the fear of failure that they never risk anything and rob the rest of us of their treasure.

We are all impoverished by fear.

Live a little or as Dennis Scott once wrote,"Clap a little."



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