Celebrating 50 Years of Independence: Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Sweet T&T: Happy Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago!

Celebrating 50 Years of Independence: Trinidad and Tobago

Today, Trinidad and Tobago celebrates 50 Years of independence! Seems like ancient history, but in the grand scheme of things – it is very recent.  My mother was already married and living in England by the time her native country achieved independence.  It is hard to even imagine that she grew up in a country that was governed by another.

In celebration of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence day, let’s teach our kids, and ourselves, some interesting facts about Trinidad and Tobago. Here are some fun ones…

1. Love the movie Annie? He was Punjab. Do your kids watch Cyberchase on PBS? He was Master Pi.  Did you try to copy the dance routines on the Wiz? He won two Tony awards for direction and costume design. How about watching Ray on Bear in the Big Blue House? What about James Bond movies? He was an actor and choreographer in Live and Let Die. Geoffrey Holder was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and has one of the most recognizable voices and faces in American TV, commercials, and movies.

He and his wife are the subject of the documentary Carmen and Geoffrey.

2. Have you ever done the limbo? Did you know that the popular party game/dance originated in Trinidad and was taken back to America and Europe by sailors in the 1950’s? The world “limbo” comes from the Trinidadian English pronunciation of “limber”, and it is believed that it has its roots in African traditions.

See Shemika Charles of Buffalo, NY – via Trinidad – Guiness Book of World Record holder limbo on Regis & Kelly in 2010.


3. Quick throw back fact… the actors Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, and Alfonso Ribeiro (grandson of the late Calypsonian Roaring Lion), who portrayed all three of the Banks children on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were of Trinidadian descent.  Oh, and so was the girlfriend of Will Smith’s character, actress Nia Long.

CORRECTION: 2 out of 3… Karyn Parson’s siblings are Trini…

Happy Independence Day!

Share more fun and interesting facts about Trinidad and Tobago in our comments section!