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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Trinidad and Tobago: the true Caribbean
    2017-September-26  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

Trinidad and Tobago is made up of twin islands located just off the South American coast, a mere 11 kilometers northeast of Venezuela. Its maritime boundaries also include those with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, and Guyana to the southeast (this last one on the mainland).

Trinidad was visited by Christopher Columbus in 1498, when it became a Spanish colony. It remained so until 1797, when a fleet of British warships arrived and the Spanish governor capitulated. Around the same time, Tobago (named because it resembles a tobacco pipe) changed hands more often than any other Caribbean island, passed around between colonizers from Spain, England, France and Holland. Though they remained separate until 1889 (when they became a combined colony), both islands came under British control in 1802. Independence was achieved in 1962 as a Commonwealth country. Trinidad and Tobago became a republic in 1976.

After the Untied States and Canada, Trinidad and Tobago is the richest country by per capita GDP in the Americas, due — surprisingly — to its industrialization, mainly in the area of petroleum and petrochemicals. It has exploited its large reserves of oil and natural gas.

Though an English-speaking country, it is known for its carnivals. It is also said to be the birthplace of the dance style known as the limbo, as well as calypso and other rhythmic music styles.

Given its history and location, it’s not surprising that the population of Trinidad and Tobago is notably diverse. About a third are of East Indian (South Asian) and another third of African origin; nearly another quarter are described as “multiracial,” whether African mixed with South Asian, or other groups. Less than 1 percent are of “pure” European descent.

Fewer than half of the people are in traditional Christian sects; nearly a fifth are Hindu; and about one in 20 belong to a syncretic Afro-American religion called the Spiritual Baptists or “Shouters.” Their religion blends traditional African religion with Christianity. There are also small numbers of Muslims, Baha’is and other groups.

Vocabulary:

Which word above means:

1. related to the sea

2. a well-known spring festival

3. mixes, combines

4. surrendered, gave up

5. double, made up of two parts

6. religious groups

7. raw material of gasoline

8. had various owners

9. group of ships

10. having a strong beat

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