A few weeks ago, I took a short trip to Trinidad & Tobago with a couple of friends and I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t my first, or even second time visiting the twin islands. I was born there and lived there as a child. No matter how many times I return, the country never ceases to amaze me. Trinidad & Tobago has contagious charm, a long history and a rich culture. Here are some fun facts about this beautiful country:
- Trinidad & Tobago’s national motto is “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve.”
- Cricket is the national sport.
- The Guinness Book of Records lists Trinidad’s Moruga ‘Scorpion’ Pepper as the world’s hottest pepper.
- Trinidad & Tobago is one of the foremost exporters of natural gas in the world.
- CNN rated the Trinidadian accent as 1 of the top 10 sexiest accents in the world.
- Author Robert Louis Stevenson, based his novel Treasure Island, on Trinidad & Tobago. Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, was also based in on these islands.
- Trinidad & Tobago is home to the steel pan: the only new, globally accepted acoustic instrument of the 20th century.
- The literacy rate in Trinidad is 98.7%. Children are introduced to preschool as early as 2 years old. Many children have basic reading and writing skills before they enter school at age 5.
- The world’s biggest natural asphalt deposit, Pitch Lake, is 99 acres wide and 246 feet deep. It is found in Trinidad.
- Soca, short for Soul of Calypso, was invented in Trinidad in the 1970s. It is a category of Caribbean music that combines Funk, Soul, Cadence and most importantly Kaiso/Calypso (of which it is a direct descendant). Soca has developed into an array of styles some of which fuse electronic music, rap, trap and other forms with the fundamentals of Soca.
- Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest Preserve is the Western Hemisphere’s oldest protected rainforest.
- The islands of Trinidad & Tobago form a twin republic. People from Trinidad are called Trinidadians (Trinis for short). People from Tobago are called Tobagonians. When speaking of the people of both islands together, they’re referred to as Trinbagonians.
- The biggest Carnival in the Caribbean takes place in Trinidad every February. It is always one of the world’s most highly anticipated events of this genre. Locals and foreigners alike spend months in preparation (costumes, music, events) for what is essentially a month of partying in celebration of the country’s culture and history.
- Education in Trinidad is free until the completion of the Bachelor’s degree at specific universities.
- Trinidad is home to one of the largest nesting sites in the world for the leatherback sea turtle.
- The limbo, originally a dance performed at wakes, was created in Trinidad& Tobago.
- The island of Trinidad accounts for 94% of Trinidad & Tobago’s total geographic area, and 96% of the country’s population.
- The first black Miss Universe was a Trinidadian woman by the name of Janelle Penny Commissiong.
- Dr Joseph Lenox Pawan, a Trinidadian, discovered that vampire bats transmitted the rabies virus.
- Stokely Carmichael, known for popularizing the term “Black Power,” was born in Trinidad and Tobago before migrating to the United States. He was a key figure in the Black Panther Party.
- Trinidad & Tobago is the smallest country to ever have qualified for the world cup (2006).
- Trinidad & Tobago’s official languages are English and Spanish.
- Notable Trinidadians: Nicki Minaj (rapper), Machel Montano (singer), Trinidad James (rapper), Dwight Yorke (athlete), Destra Garcia (singer), Bunji Garlin (soca artist), Theophilus London (rapper), Nia Long (actress), Alfonso Ribeiro (actor, Carlton Banks), Karyn Parsons (actress, Hilary Banks), Foxy brown (rapper), Mike Bibby (athlete).
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Until next time,