The Difference between North and South Trinis
There is an unspoken rule that there are things that only Trinis could say about one another and any foreigner considering uttering a bad thing about us could receive a well deserved ‘bellas’. Like squabbling siblings, we alone can affectionately call each other ‘cantankerous’, ‘bacchanalish’ or ‘Trickidadian’, while any outsider doing such can find themselves in the middle of a tag-team cuss-out session.
It’s the same with ‘bussin the files’ on the differences between North and South Trinis, so whether you from San’do or Diego, grab the clip and have a good laugh at our ‘cultural differences’.
For a North Trini, anything and everybody past the Lighthouse living in country and is a ‘Southie’. Like the Fringes in John Wyndham’s Chrysalids, life beyond said monument is dismal, frightening, and, worst of all, boring. Since Movietowne and Fridays are a stone’s throw away, why waste time going ‘quite-o’ Sout’? For why, they ask?
Northerners are ignorant about the beauty of South landmarks, and know what the Pitch Lake looks like from postcards and textbooks. While South people have to know about the runnings of North, either for work or for the latest fete in the Savannah, Northerners panic when the Highway suddenly ends at the by-pass by Cross Crossing.
Northerners claim they have the best nightlife and while Zen is still featured in design magazines across the region, who can forget Celebs? Southies took the concept of ‘the hole’- a poorly lit, ram-packed, music-thumping dancehall session – and made it worthy of your Wednesday to Saturday nights, including a banging pre-club session in the car park.
Well, since Mr. Soong is the legend behind Celebs and Zen, Southies will claim that they know about ‘session’ before a Northerner had time to hang their Bishop’s school tie. And while the common rebuttal is, “but ent allyuh does come up in we zone to lime?”, the common answer is, “Yeah oui!”, and mean yes, but that doh mean we want to stay up North.
A Southie comparing life in South to that of North is like buying doubles from George by Brooklyn Bar. Is not like yuh wouldn’t buy it, or deny that it tasty, but yuh know it have better home.
While North life bursts to the brim with countless social events and limes on D Avenue, is more of a ‘who see who’ fiasco than the traditional ‘neighbour lime’ Southies bussin’ by their friends. Where friends can sit in on the culvert (for the Northerners: a sewer or drain crossing under a road or embankment) with a nip of overproof rum and a half-pack of cigarettes and call that a Saturday night.
With prices rising everywhere, Southies have revived the days of the ‘small lime’, while Northerners insist on paying the $100 every Friday to see the same people they saw in the same place last week.
Northerners does cross-dress. Ok, it not so dread but you ever see Saucy Pow in South? Being more sophisticated and in-tune with popular culture than Southies, Northerners embraced the tight pants and cut-off capris before those in South had a chance to say, “Wha de hell!”
Propagated by North “celebrities” like Hollywood Sachy and ‘if it not tight, it not right’ Jiggaman TC, Northerners boldface with everything, including their fashion choices. While Southies remain daresay, more traditional, Northerners had DirecTV and cable back in the days when TSTT was still issuing dial-up home phones. Whether this information has made them superior to the still excited Southie Flow subscriber, is greatly debatable.
The accent! Yes, I know you know Southies and Northerners speak differently. As a child we categorized it as the “news reporter” voice, perfectly annunciated, well modulated…and highfalutin. Oh, and clone-like. Listening to a conversation amongst Northerners, you wonder if they’re all related or at least classmates from Maple Leaf.
Southies’ accents are a melee of tones, pitches and slang, dependent on geographical location, level of education and occupation, and to live in South you must understand all of them. In the mutation of popular slang, a Southie has at least a dozen ways to say ‘friend’, while in North you can still hear “breds” and “pardner”. While some Northerners may argue that they are as up-to-the-times as any Southie, ask any of them if they know what a ‘piper roti’ is. Piper roti does real ‘lash’ by d way. Northerners dat mean it ‘cut’. And if you doh know what ‘lash’ or ‘cut’ means, go and ask someone.
As a born and raised South girl, first in Siparia (for the Northerners, you know where Penal is? No? Deeper South then) and now San Fernando (yes I am biased). Those of us in South understand the pull of the buried navel string and will gladly eat cascadura to ensure that we spend the last of our days here. That being said, when yuh in foreign like I was for seven years, the distinction between North and South Trinis don’t matter, you just glad to hear, “Waz d scene?”, and be with someone who understands the meaning of ‘allyuh’ and know that wine is more than something you drink.
Whether you agree or disagree on the differences above, I’d love to hear your views.
PS: Check out this new tune by local Hip Hop artiste Da Face featuring J-Smoke and Kane called “South dat we reppin'”.
Image credit: http://perspicacity.wordpress.com