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Trini Girl In London… Regent’s Park Lime

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Culturs-expert-flagAs I sat down on a Saturday afternoon looking at all the events happening throughout the Carnival season, I got a message from a friend; “Are you going Trini Lime* tomorrow?” This was the first I was heard of it but this was an annual family event held in Regent’s Park a few Sundays before the Notting Hill Carnival. From past experience, I have never really seen any advertisements for this event. I’ve always heard of it via friends and most times usually a day or two before. So I got the info of the event and where and made a mental note to walk with something to drink. This is a free event and where family and friends bring food, snacks and drinks and have a big picnic. Eventually someone will get some games going and some of the older heads will start a spontaneous sing-along.

The next day, I got ready and left home around 3pm. The event takes place from 1-7pm but in true ‘Trini form’ (Trini people are never on time), I left home late. I got out at Regent’s Park Station and proceeded to find the location. I must’ve spent the best part of an hour trying to find the location. It seemed fairly easy to find on the maps located around the park, but some how I still manage to get lost. I did, however, manage to take in a bit of the park’s splendour. The sun was out, people were out in full force taking advantage of that with their families and although I wasannoyed at first that I was lost, I somehow stopped and took in the beauty as well and started strolling and taking my time to find the location. I spent 8 years working right next to the park and never took the time to appreciate the beauty within.

I finally arrived at the location and things were well underway. Games were being played, people eating and drinking and you can feel the excitement in the air. Within minutes I was already eating, drinking and having a good time with my friends. While mingling with friends I came across a group of women who were representing the Miss Trinidad & Tobago UK and Miss Teen Caribbean UK pageants. They use these events to socialise, promote and drum up more votes and support. As I found a nice shaded spot with my friends, as anticipated, the older folks gathered whatever they can use as an instrument and proceeded to sing Calypso** and Soca*** tunes and get a party vibe going.

As the evening wore on, the crowd started to thin out as people headed home to prepare for the week ahead. On my journey home I reflected on the day with a smile and a contented heart that such a spontaneous event could bring people so quickly and trouble free. It sure has set a positive pace for my week.

 

*Lime is associated with sitting under a lime tree, or having nothing more demanding to do than squeezing limes. It is also thought to originate from “limey”, a slang term meaning a British serviceman during World War II (noted for hanging around bars and drinking). Usually means to hang out or chill.

**Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. Its ryythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 1600s.

***Soca Music (Also known as The Soul of Calyso) is a genre of Caribbean music that originated within a maginalized subculture in  Tribidad and Tobago in the late 1970s, and developed into a range of style in the 1980s and later. Soca developed as an offshoot of Kaiso/ Calypso, with influences from Cadence, Funk and Soul.

…Definitions extracted from Wikipedia.

By: Crystal McDonald Lewis

As a correspondent in our newly-formed London office, Crystal McDonald-Lewis is Culturs' Trinidad born London-dweller who hails from a multicultural family. McDonald-Lewis migrated to London in 2004 after marrying a British citizen, and after 10yrs of marriage, she currently is divorced and on a journey of self RE-discovery! Follow McDonald-Lewis as she checks out all London has to offer with new eyes, and a fresh spirit...