Trinidad And Tobago Essay Example
|📌Published:||06 April 2021|
Off of the northeast coast of Venezuela is the small island of Trinidad and Tobago where Andre, a burly man with a large personality, and a laugh to match was born. In 1971, when he was nine years old, Andre and his siblings came to the United States to join their parents, who had already immigrated to Lima, Ohio.
In 1980, Andre graduated from Lima Senior High School and moved to Fort Wayne with friends and worked for the Seyferts Potato Chip factory until realizing that he did not like factory work. Instead, he worked in construction for 25 years until he became injured on the job and had to retire, allowing more time for family. This opened a door for me to ask him about the gender roles in his family. Andre explained that in his culture, the man is the head of the household and “What he says, goes! The father makes the decisions in the home and the Queen is the head of the country since Trinidad is under British Rule”.
In response to gender roles and work roles, “Work is work”, he says as he explained that he does not recognize gender roles within his immediate family. My mom taught me to do everything and I don’t expect my wife to do anything that I don’t do for her. I cook, clean change diapers, do laundry, shop for groceries and whatever else she wants me to do.
Moreover, Andre has adopted more American culture by involving his children in conversation while encouraging them to meet their goals. “In Trinidad, children are to be seen and not heard until an elder tells them to speak.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, the most common spiritual beliefs are Catholic, Hindu, Baptist and Voodoo. He says “They practice a lot of traditional beliefs in Trinidad, where I practice serving a loving God with whoever believes in Him and loves Him, too.” His religious beliefs also influence his health care practices. He does go to a medical doctor, but also prays for healing. This is a value that Andre and I have in common.
“What is healthcare like in Trinidad and Tobago?”, I ask. Andre admits that he is not as familiar with the healthcare system in Trinidad and Tobago because he was just a child when he left. “But I do know that they are provided with free healthcare in the public sector similar to what Medicaid is like here.” According to Pacific Prime Insurance Company (n.d.):
Trinidad and Tobago’s universal healthcare system operates in a two-tier fashion - the public sector (primary tier) provides basic healthcare financed by the government and the private sector (secondary tier) offers those with sufficient funds access to better quality health services. The public sector healthcare is plagued with long waiting times, while its private counterpart is far more convenient.
Many of the holidays celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago are also celebrated here: Christmas, New Years, Fathers Day, and Mothers Day. The day after New Years, Boxing Day is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago. Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is celebrated for one day every year is similar to Mardi Gras that is celebrated in New Orleans. Carnival is a time of feasting and celebrating for two days before Lent, where Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) is celebrated for one day before Lent.
Andre and I share many values, and were raised in similar ways. Most notably, the “Children are to be seen and not heard” opinion of our parents and the generation we were raised in. We also have both abandoned this belief and raised our children to respectfully and intelligently voice their feelings and opinions on matters that will affect their lives. We both were raised to have a strong work ethic, both at home and in the workplace, and have passed this value to our children while not adhering to stereotypical gender roles. Andre and I also both celebrate food, friendship and family with food. Both of us love to cook and we enjoy feeding other people and seeing the reaction when someone loves something that they are eating. Andre loves to cook foods from his culture, such as curry, which is heavily influenced by Asia and the West Indies. I love to cook southern homestyle food such as fried chicken, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, etc. Cooking is how we express our love and appreciation for life and other people.