Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most multi-ethnic islands of the planet. The descendants of African and European settlers formed a culture of "black Trinidadians", while the descendants of mixed marriages often call themselves as French Creoles, although there are Spanish, Portuguese, Scottish and English roots present in their ancestry. As a result, a mixture of different groups there formed a motley multicultural nation, which is often called Trinidadian, although it is based on the nations and culture from almost all over the globe.
It is believed that there are such a characteristic trait of the local people, as the joy of life, a kind of self-indulgence and a penchant for organizing events, even in the most critical moments of his life. Therefore, there is no wonder that the local carnivals are among the biggest festivals of the world. Trinidad Carnival is the undisputed leader in the South America region in its scope of activities and the number of guests (Nurse, 1999). Moreover, almost all members of the society are involved into the action, regardless of age, status, wealth or religion. Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most popular fun action that usually takes five days before the start of Quadragesima. Trinidad carnival is one of the oldest in the world. French colonists introduced the first event in the first half of 19th century. The idea of this carnival was picked up after the abolition of slavery in 1838 (Nurse, 1999). It is, indeed, quite similar to other Caribbean festivals, however, it has many distinctive features, thanks to the variety of races and cultures of the island's inhabitants.
Trinidad Carnival usually starts on Friday with a choice of king and queen of calypso. The participants of the festival play the Afro-Caribbean music during the whole period of this action. At night, on the street of Grand Stand in Port-of-Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, the final Panorama passes with the competition between so called "steel bands»; this is the mandatory attribute of the holiday (Nurse, 1999). During the days of the carnival, all the cars are removed from the city center, giving place to a huge number of people dressed in colorful clothes. The organization of the carnival begins in September from preparation of costumes and designed themes for performances. Another entertaining feature of the Trinidad festival is when participants daub each other with a special mud or a special paint. They usually complete do that on the Carnival Monday morning, which is called J'Ouvert (Nurse, 1999).
The most noticeable highlight of the carnival is, for sure, the masquerade parades. The streets are full of groups of people in the carnival costumes, dancing according the rhythms of the music of calypso with the “steel bands” accompaniment. All the inhabitants of the country along with the tourists can join the parades. They are having fun and dancing until the early morning.
There are other favorite ways of hanging out such as cricket, indispensable for all countries of British Commonwealth (in this sport Trinidad team is one of the leaders in the region), European football, netboll (a game, somewhat similar to basketball), field hockey and volleyball, as well as various beach sports and, of course, horse riding. On the islands, there are many excellent golf courses, but this is sport is the most popular among tourists and wealthy islanders.
So called “liming” is another typical concept of the total joy of life of the islanders. This complicated local idiom is usually translated as "idle chatter", or simply "idleness". It includes a wide range of different aspects of the local lifestyle (Nurse, 1999). Liming includes: walks and social events, the contemplation of natural phenomena, light outdoor games and many other ways of relaxing pastime or recreation. However, the locals themselves say that "liming" is a significant part of the whole lifestyle on the islands, which includes a way to have fun, a way to relax and "not-doing" something on purpose (Nurse, 1999). Therefore, any tourist will see the manifestation of this way of living almost anywhere: on the beach, on the streets, in the bars etc. Hence, it is possible to identify the well-known slowness of local residents in the affairs and decision-making. They always prefer to carefully think out about this or that action, obviously not rushing with conclusions or bother haste. If to take into account such a characteristics of island inhabitants, the communion with them will not be a problem, otherwise, local people may encounter a frank incomprehension.
Nurse, K. (1999). Globalization And Trinidad Carnival: Diaspora, Hybridity And Identity In Global Culture. Cultural Studies, 13:4, 661-690