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Nothing Like A Trini Xmas (video)

The following article appeared in the 24th December, 2006 issue of the Trinidad Express.

It’s hard to believe that BWIA was still active then! Will you be spending the holidays where you want to be this year? I hope so! If not, hopefully the recipes posted so far (and still to come) will help 🙂

HOME is best for the holidays, at least judging from the number of Trinis flying in for Christmas and the not-so-happy ones who are leaving.

“When you live in a different country you die a little bit,” Robert Mooking, home for his first Trini Christmas in 37 years said.

“There is nothing like being in your own country, back with your roots. Its a feeling you can only get at home. That feeling of completely belonging. I come home to eat some black cake [1] and re-live old times.”

Mooking has lived in Venezuela for the past 37 years where he has married and has a family.

“Everything is not so different. In Venezuela there are pastels [2] and parang [3], but there, New Year celebrations are more important. Still there is no place like home for the holidays.”

The two major airlines flying in to Piarco have both reported heavy in-flow passenger traffic and far fewer people departing.

American Airlines country manager Ernesto Quidgley said flights coming in have been full starting from two Fridays ago. American has two daily flights from Miami with one flight a day from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“In-bound traffic is full. We expect departures to pick up after the holidays from about December 30.”

BWIA’s corporate communications manager Dionne Ligoure said that the airline has had a “quite healthy” number of passengers coming in with full flights from North America.

“There is just no comparison,” Wayne Goitia Snr said.

Goitia is here for Christmas for the first time in 25 years and has brought his 13-year-son to experience his first Trini Christmas. The Baltimore resident says he hates feeling cold and has gladly left the snow behind.

“I feel like something was missing, something that I had to get back in touch with. There is nothing like being home. I can’t wait to drink ponche de creme [4] and souse and meet old friends.”

Odette Athanas is one of those “sad Trinis” leaving the island for the holidays.

She has been living in Toronto, Canada for the past 32 years and came home for a village reunion.

“My mother is ill so I want to go back to Canada to spend Christmas with her. It saddens me to leave,” Athanas said.

“I wish I could stay. I was so happy to see people still fixing up for Christmas, painting and baking. I want to parang [3] and be in all the bacchanal. In Canada it so different. Nothing can compare to being home for the holidays.”

Point Fortin resident Lystra Grant is looking for something different this holiday season. She is leaving for a three month stint in New York.

” I am looking for something a bit different this Christmas. To get away from the noise and rum drinking.” One Irishman working here for the past year and on his way to Dublin said he would never take sides as to which Christmas was better, here or in his home country. “I enjoyed my Christmas here very much last year but this year I am going home to spend the time with my family.”

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About Sarina [10]

Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes" [11]