The Caribbean is the part of the world that hosts many islands situated in close proximity. These regions are located in the Caribbean Sea, which is found in the Atlantic Ocean. The location is positioned to the far west of Central America and East of Africa. All the nations in this region are islands because they do not link with any mainland. It can be divided into three key locations to effectively understand the place: the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. A country such as Trinidad and Tobago is one of the many Caribbean nations that have massive history.
History of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad was initially occupied by the Arawaks, while Tobago was inhabited by the Carib Indians. In 1948, Columbus explored Trinidad, and it remained under the control of the Spanish until it was ceded by Britain around 1802. On the other hand, the possession of Tobago rotated between France and Britain, but in the end, it was handed over to Britain in 1814 (Springer Nature Limited & Published annually since 1864, 2020). In 1889 the two distinct islands of Trinidad and Tobago were merged to form a single colony. The region experiences and practiced partial government that was initiated in 1925. Trinidad and Tobago became part of the West Indies Federation between years 1958 and 1962, after which it attained its independence on August 31st, 1962.
Governance of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago have a well-formulated form of government based on the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary democracy having three operational branches, namely the Executive, Judicial and Legislative. Each government functions independently from one another. The Executive encompasses the President as the Head of State, the Prime Minister in charge of the government and the Cabinet leading various ministries in the system (Springer Nature Limited & Published annually since 1864, 2020). The country’s President is elected by the Electoral College, which entails the Bicameral Parliament after every five years. On the other hand, the prime minister is appointed by the incumbent President. The Cabinet and Prime Minister are responsible for controlling and directing the government.
The Judicial Department is headed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The head of the branch is the Chief Justice, who leads the Court of Appeal, which is the highest in the country. Lastly, the Legislative branch is composed of the Bicameral Parliament, containing 31 senators who are appointed by the President and the House of Representatives, consisting of 41 elected members.
Symbols of National Unity
Trinidad and Tobago have several elements that promote unity in the country. The symbols indicate how the nation is one community and united following the challenges it underwent to secure sovereignty. Some of them include the national flag, national anthem, coat of arms, the national flower, the national birds and the national instruments. All the aspects differentiate the country from other nations and show its uniqueness and the factors that it values.
The National Anthem
The nation’s anthem is known as ‘Forged from the Love of Liberty.’ The song was previously composed to be the anthem of the West Indies Federation; however, some of its lines were altered after the fall of the federation. The piece of art was aimed at celebrating the self-governance the country received from Great Britain. It was created by Patrick Castagne, whereby the words are deeply reflective of the courage and strength of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. It accolades peace, unity, together and working together irrespective of the diversity in the country. Furthermore, it portrays the history, tradition and beliefs of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The symbol facilitates the patriotism of the citizens as well as reminds the public the glory, heritage and overall beauty of the land.
The National Flag
First is the national flag; it contains black, white and red colors. The Black indicates the wealth and hard work of the citizens, and the white shows the equality, purity and the seas that surround the nation’s borders. The red color symbolizes the sun and the vitality of the country. The national flag is a unique symbol that identifies the country universally. The colors in the country’s flag encompass key features, that is, water, earth and fire, which can be translated to the past, present and future of the people. It promotes unity and togetherness in the land and shows the citizens’ determination.
The Coat of Arms
Trinidad and Tobago’s coat of arms includes symbols that represent the citizens of the country. It entails features such as the hummingbirds, Scarlet Ibis, the three ships, and the peaks. All these motifs communicated a constructive message that made the people feel united. The ships indicate the Trinity and the ships used by Columbus. The peaks show the Southern mountain range, which is known as the Three Sisters. Furthermore, the coats of arms contain the nation’s motto ‘Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve.’ Therefore, it plays a significant role in influencing harmony in the diverse population towards attaining national achievement.
Economic Resources of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago has an effective economy that is influenced by its petroleum and gas industry. In the Caribbean islands, it is the leading producer as well as exporter of oil to other countries, including the United States. It also produces about 115 million cubic meters of natural gas on a daily basis. The products constitute over 40% of its gross domestic product (GDP) (Conrad & Jagessar, 2018). Trinidad and Tobago export other commodities such as fertilizers, sugar, cocoa, chemicals, steel, flowers, citric fruits and coffee. Its Currency is called Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD), having an average exchange rate of 6.30 to US dollars. The availability of economic resources has influenced the rate of immigration because most people are seeking products to improve their well-being.
The Population Size
Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing an increase in its population over the past years. Currently, it hosts a total of over 1,400,000 people on the islands. In 2020, the population was about 1,3800,000 based on the data provided by (Springer Nature Limited & Published annually since 1864, 2020). The land area of the country is 5,1300 per square kilometer. This implies the population density of the region is approximately 273 per square kilometer. The majority of the people in the country live in urban settings.
Migration and Languages
Over the past years, Trinidad and Tobago experienced a massive influx of people following its wealthy land and available resources. The items attracted citizens from different continents, such as Portuguese, Indians, Chinese, and British (Ryan, 2020). The migration resulted in assimilation leading to the development of foreign languages in the nation. English is the primary dialect; however, there are other well-known vernaculars (Hoyte-West, 2021). They include French Creole, Patois, Tobagonian Creole, Bhojpuri, and Chinese.
Culture of Trinidad and Tobago
The culture of Trinidad and Tobago is influenced by the variety of early settlers in the region. It contains African, Amerindians, British, Chinese, Portuguese, Indians and Spaniards. The joining of the British Empire impacted the county’s norms, such as speaking the English language that has dominated the region. Furthermore, some games, such as football and another field sporting, are part of the nation’s culture inherited from British values. Similarly, the French ways of life, such as the Carnival celebration, is practiced on the island (Mahoney, 2019). The citizens also value Christmas, which is a result of many individuals being Christians. In the country, Carnival and Christmas are the most significant public celebrations. During Christmas festivities, the people play the traditional type of music called the parang. Different varieties of meals are also consumed, such as fruit cake, sweetbreads, pastel, and black cakes. Moreover, Diwali, Shivratri and Holi, the Hindu festivals, are part of the parties on the island.
Religion in Trinidad and Tobago
There are various religions in the country, which include Hinduism, Roman Catholicism and Islam, which makes the largest faith in the nation. Other beliefs include Sikhs, Jews, Taoism, Anglicans, Buddhists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Traditional African Religion is, the smaller groups of religions in the islands. Currently, some of the fast-growing churches are evangelical and American fundamentalist (Forde, 2019). In addition, the Spiritual Baptist, two Afro-Caribbean and Yoruba faiths, are also gaining popularity in the region. The practice of different religions in the land has impacted the country in various ways, for example, immigrants are able to reinvest in their home cultural practices. People are able to enjoy and uphold their faiths, making them to remain in harmony.
Theatre, Literature and the Art
In the early days, the Little Carib folk dance was established in the country. Indian plays such as the Ram Leela also make up part of the theatrics in the nation. Some of the famous oral literature include Calypso, Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener, Drupatee and Mighty Chalkdust. The Erin Ritual Bottle having white ground and red designs, constitute Pre-Colombian art (Bryce, 2019). The painting connects the Erin settlement found in the South Oropouche, Trinidad and Los Barrancos in Venezuela. Various arts present in the country allow citizens to understand the value of the land features they share in common and thus remain committed towards achieving peace and togetherness.
Music of Trinidad and Tobago
In the country, Calypso is an integral part of the music that originated in the islands. It is a combination of the Afro-Caribbean genre style. The melody is linked to the enslaved Africans who came into the country around the 18th century (Sylvester, 2019). In addition, there is Soca music which encompasses the Indian and Calypso rhythms. The Indian and the Soca combination has also created the Chutney and Chutney styles. Pichakaree is another genre formed due to using Trinidadian Hindi and English words. The different types of genres in the country bring the people together since various communities tend to embrace and value the culture of one another in the land.
In summary, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Caribbean nations with rich cultural and economic history. The country hosts several diverse individuals leading to the birth of many languages. Its key economic resources are petroleum and natural gas, which yield massive GDP. There are various beliefs and religious practices on the island. The government consists of three branches that perform independent roles in the system. The country’s national anthem plays a significant role in promoting unity and togetherness in the land. Therefore, the history of Trinidad and Tobago has conspicuous historical, economic and social culture contributed by the different races that migrated to the island in the past centuries.
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