Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Dem got muh chipping

Well I woke up and its -23C with windchill its -35C, and the high supposed to be -10. What I like to describe as weather not fit for man or beast. I'm frightened to go outside because I might turn into an icicle on my way to work. Anyway just wanted to share a few incoherent notes inspired by my Saturday night at the steelpan show.

(1) Well this woman two seats over was trying to tief the seat next to me and in the process she juck muh hand wid a big hard false fingernail. Lawd ave mercy! Man I see stars. I think she give muh Tetnus, berri berri and carpal tunnel all wid one juck. My hand hurt me so bad den! All like now I could still feel it.

(2) Everytime I go around certain pan folk they are always looking to recruit me for Caribana. Bare sweet talk flinging at me about how I got potential and I should play and about practice and classes and all that. I haven't made up my mind about it yet though, I hoping since I am so prized a recruit they will offer me a signing bonus. Nothing big, I aint looking for no "kill-cow" (interpret that as big or extravagant amount). I would settle for two cocoa bread and a patty.

(3) I don't know about anyone else but have you ever studied the differences with how Caribbean people dance? I being real simplistic here because this would take several blogs to explain but let me break it down for you. Trini's duz do this thing they call chipping. The best way I can think to describe it is as a rhythmic slow march. That in my mind is the official dance of Trinidad and they can perform it to every type of music imaginable. Soca dem chipping, Reggae dem chipping, RnB dem chipping, classical dem chipping. I think it probably originate out of having to parade on the streets for two full days of carnival. When you dancing so long you cant have no big extravagant moves or by the time the second day come ya ketch heatstroke and pull muscles and must run to doctor for time off work and medication and therapy so you keep your movements simple simple.

Anyway Saturday night dem had me chipping to the steelpan music even though I is a bajan cause ya know they say when in Rome do as the Romans and since this was mainly a Trini thing well I had to chip.

Now I get a little sidetracked but as I was saying this is how it goes; Trinis chip to any type of music, Bajans duz wuk-up to anything (wont describe that here) and Jamaicans well amm umm. Man looka Jamaicans got too many dances for me to keep track of. Sometimes I think they should change their motto from out of many we are one to out of one people we invent many dances.

Its like a different dance for every day of the year. 365 dances and counting. I was still trying to learn the cool n deadly and all a sudden I lookup and bram! boggle and the butterfly in my face. Then Armstrong, then next thing I know I hearing about pepperseeds and go go wine, body basic and tate. How am I expected to keep up? Its like I need a dancing instructor or instructional video to keep up. Then I learn one or two and all a sudden mock de dread appear. Then I hear Angel and Log on(an step pun ch...), matrix, then row the boat, signal the place and now I hearing Thunder Clap. And I know the Thunder Clap about a year and a half old now so I know I way way behind the times. They just wont allow me to learn one dance good before I got to learn another one. Look, try and slow down the dances nuh. I aint no Fred Astaire nor James Brown, I got two left feet and it duz tek muh real long to learn dem dances.

(4) Caribbean language is the sweetest language out there. I trying to be a student of all of them and sometimes I get mix up and switch the bajan wid de yardie and the trinibago speech but is all good. Working on some accents too but they aint ready for prime time yet. Regardless its all niceness and it serves to help keep me sane in this proper English society. A few colorful West Indian words sometimes is all I need to bring a smile to my face. I could do a whole post on language actually. Some words mean the same in all the islands and some mean different things. Some words like the Bajans "Wunnah" and the Jamaican "Unna" both from the same West African language root word and both used the same way. Its really interesting to see how the dialects evolved in each island.

Anyway 'Dem got me chipping' is an example of the opposite where the words mean different things in different islands. If I said that to a Trini he's going to think I'm talking about dancing to the music cause that is what chipping means to him. But now if I said that same phrase to a bajan he would think I mean that I'm working really hard today, work busy busy and I cant even get a lil break cause to chip means to be in a hurry or to rush around. Ya see how the words is the same but mean different things? Boy this language thing real interesting I think.


Melody said...

Language is a love ov mine too, Jdid. And dance!! "Out of one people, many . . ." (lol) Good one. Ah doan know de new dance, but mi still doin' de Chaplin an' de Summa Bunx (or Summer Bounce, as mi cousin woulda say).

Abeni said...

And the mames for some the fruits and vegetables so different too.What we call golden apple,Trinis call pommecytere(sp),plumrose Jcans call apple and Trinis pommerac.When I say am having callalloo soup Jcans watch me strange because they call spinach callaloo while for us in the EC callaloo is dasheen leaves.I told a Jcan friend I preferred mauby to sorrel and he had no clue what I was talking about

Jdid said...

yea melody summer bounce? I dont think I know how to do that heard the song but aint see the dance.
abeni man every island have different names for everything. lol

obifromsouthlondon said...

Boy the only thing I can't get used to over in the western world is the cold. It too cold!!!!! I hit a -28C when I went to work in Sweden two years ago. man I stayed three days and ran. couldnt function, nose running, terminal shutdown.

lol at the chipping dance. went a trini bar last year called, suprisingly, the "trini bar". My friend broke down the chipping thingy and we were cracking up.

WIGIT said...

Boy I mus be way behind God's back 'cause I have no clue what you talkn bout. All these dances I couldn't keep up to when I was in the west...now out here even Hollywood movies are 6 months behind here.
Talkn bout language, I just had a Vincy friend tell me he doan know wha I speakn....cause sometimes I sound Grenadian, sometimes I sound Caribbean and sometimes he doan know what the heck I sound like....just trying not to loose my Caribbean status lol.

Jdid said...

wigit I think any caribbean person who spends enough time in Toronto picks up a bit of all the west indian slangs so that it becomes this confusing hybrid. my latest word to be incorporated into my vocabulary is 'allya' from the trinis and my latest phrase is 'all fruits ripe!' from the jamaicans. sumbody soon look at me an say 'wha all fruits ripe you talkin bout, um is winter an the trees aint even got on nuh leaves'

Campfyah said...

Jidid you sure know to put up good topics.
1) Two coco bread and a patty, man you musse got a rel tuff stomach, personally I woulda negotiate fuh some jerk fish.

2) You sure right about the language and differnt words used for the same thing. Having lived in Brooklyn, NY for donkey years, I also can identify with the different words and can use dem accordingly. The accents also. It comes with time knowing how to use the different accents, especially when yuh got good friends from de various islands. Mine is so much so now that when people hear me speak, duh confuse, dey ein kno whey I from, but duh just know dat I got some NY accent in me. ha ha ha ha

Scratchie said...

JDid, the languages are a trip. I had to learn a few of the Caribbean expressions because I was in customer service years ago and had to deal with banks across the region so you had to learn some of the dialects. Do you realize that we tend to write a lot like how we speak. So our blogs have the flavour of the islands we represent. I know I write patois from time to time and I see it in yours, Abeni's, Campfyah's and Wigit's blogs as well.

Melody said...

Jdid, Summa Bounce is kinda like de old Urkel dance, but relax your posture more and don't do that likkle 'toe-tap pose' in front like in de Urkel.

summer m. said...


Anonymous said...

Bwoy, Jdid, you right about the dances still... I'm from Jamaica and I don't know that many of them either! Still, I beg to differ... the Trinis have many dances, check out swinging engine, dollah wine, the Iwer dance etc... you are right though, come marching time its just chip, chip, chipping and you chipping and you chip...
By the way, all fruits ripe? dat is one old, old saying, Iyah... :-)

Mad Bull

Anonymous said...

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Thank you
Jenna stewart