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Trinidad and Tobago: Socio-Cultural Issues Research Paper


Introduction

Trinidad and Tobago is “one of the nations in the Caribbean region” (De-Light and Thomas 4). The country has an area of about 5,100 KM2. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the richest nations in the Caribbean continent. The original inhabitants of the country were known as the Amerindians. This country has different ethnic groups and races. Ninety-five percent “of the country’s population is found on the Trinidad Island” (Boodoosingh 7).

The remaining 5 percent is found in Tobago. The largest ethnic group is the Indo-Trinidadians. This group represents 37 percent of the country’s population. These are “descendants or indentured laborers for India” (Boodoosingh 21). The “second group is composed of the Tobaganians and Afro-Trinidadians” (Boodoosingh 23). These individuals are descendants of different African slaves. The third group is known as the Euro-Trinidadian. These are descendants of white settlers and immigrants. This discussion examines the socio-cultural issues associated with this society.

Raising Children

Child upbringing is taken seriously in this developing nation. Many parents monitor the growth and performance of their children. Parents are expected take care of their children after birth. They are later taken to school in order to achieve their educational goals (De-Light and Thomas 12). Many rich families hire nannies to support their children’s growth. Religion also plays a significant role in the life of every child. Religion equips children with the best religious values.

Discipline

The issue of discipline is also important in this society. Parents and guardians are required to discipline their children. Teachers and preachers should also monitor the discipline of every child (Boodoosingh 62). This practice discourages young children from engaging in unacceptable behaviors.

Supervision

It is appropriate for small children to be supervised. Every member of the targeted society is expected to supervise children. They should guide, monitor, and discourage them from indulging in specific misbehaviors. Parents should supervise their children whenever they are at home (De-Light and Thomas 16). They should equip them with the best moral values. Teachers should supervise their students in every educational setting.

Maternal Bond

Boys are expected “to leave their mother’s household after attaining 18 years” (Bissessar and La-Guerre 17). However, some children will stay with their mothers for a long time. Girls tend to live with their mothers until they get married. Many young women are also joining different professions. This practice makes it easier for them to live independently (Bissessar and La-Guerre 17).

Child Labor

Children are expected to perform various household chores. However, forced child labor is punishable and illegal in this country. Some children may become productive at their teenage years. They can join different firms at this age. This transition welcomes them to adulthood (Johnson, Bailey and Padmore 20).

Stages and Rituals

Children from different ethnic groups have to go through certain stages and rituals before adulthood. One of these rituals is circumcision. There are rites for conception, birth, and marriage in Trinidad and Tobago. Such rites are also embraced by different religious groups (Boodoosingh 81). For example, Catholics are required to baptize their children after birth.

Making Couples

Matching

Grownup children in Trinidad and Tobago are expected to establish their families. Young men are expected to select the best partners. Some families used to select appropriate marriage partners for their children (Bissessar and La-Guerre 19).

Courtship

Many individuals in Trinidad and Tobago court for several months or years (Johnson et al. 22). The courtship process makes it easier for individuals to understand one another. Men should initiate the courtship process.

Family Involvement and Brokerage

Family members of the targeted parties are involved before any marriage ceremony. Dowry is a common issue that brings the targeted families together. Parents of the woman should be informed before the process is officiated. This kind of permission is required before the marriage ceremony (Johnson et al. 22).

Incest & Acceptable Mates

Some laws are also common in this society. For instance, members of the same family are not allowed to get married. Incest in Trinidad and Tobago is a major social offense. Parents encourage their “children to select marriage partners from totally different communities” (Bissessar and La-Guerre 17). Some parents discourage their children from courting individuals from other racial groups. However, this practice has become less common in this society (De-Light and Thomas 63).

Sexual Partners

The issue of sex is also addressed with much caution in this society. Many young individuals tend to have sex with different partners. Premarital sex is also common in Trinidad and Tobago. This practice is also common in other regions across the globe (Boodoosingh 94). However, men are supposed to have sex with their wives. The society discourages premarital sex. These practices can have negative impacts on the society.

Households

Individuals in a Household

A typical household in Trinidad and Tobago is characterized by less than five people. These people “include a husband, wife, and children” (Boodoosingh 98). Some families might have one or two grandparents. Some families are comprised of more than six people. Such families have house-helps and laborers. The number of household members reduces after children join different colleges (Bissessar and La-Guerre 92). This situation leaves three or less members in a household. These changes are arising from the current developments experienced in the country’s economy.

Household Division of Labor

Household labor remains a highly-contested issue in many communities. Different members of a typical Trinidad and Tobago family are expected to complete various tasks. For instance, women are expected to cook for the other family members. Women can wash houses, cook, and clean the surrounding compounds. Some affluent families hire housecleaners to complete such chores. Boys and young men can also complete various cleaning tasks. Girls can help their mothers to raise their younger siblings (Johnson et al. 24). Men are expected to provide the required security to their families. They should also support the financial needs of their families. Many women are also supporting their husbands. These household chores explain why many families have been able to achieve their goals.

Social Life

Social Activities

The people of Trinidad and Tobago engage in different social activities. Such activities make it easier for them to support their cultural values. The first activity is voting. The people engage in periodical elections to choose their leaders. Some sporting activities are used to bring more people together. Different sporting events include football, hockey, and volleyball. Religious celebrations are used to bring people together (De-Light and Thomas 84). Younger generations have embraced modern technologies to chat over the internet. People gather for music festivals and dances. Special holidays such as Christmas, Labor Day, and Happy New Year bring more people together in the country. These social activities encourage people to share their values, beliefs, and opinions.

How Friendships are formed in Trinidad and Tobago

Human beings work hard in order to establish the best friendships. In Trinidad and Tobago, friendship is one of the most treasured values. Many people establish their friendships from their local neighborhoods. Individuals who “grow up together end up becoming good friends” (De-Light and Thomas 39). Schoolmates and workmates have higher chances of establishing new friendships. Such friendships are established along racial lines. Couples bring their families together thus resulting in friendships. Business partners can also become good friends. Many friends have common goals or objectives in their lives.

How the Targeted Society Defines Friendship

Many individuals in this country value the power of friendship. Every person in Trinidad and Tobago wants to have good friends. That being the case, friendship is a treasured value in this society. It makes it easier for more people to focus on their goals. This society promotes the concept because it has the potential to address the problems affecting many people (De-Light and Thomas 66). The people of this country promote the best practices in order to establish long-lasting friendships.

Boundary between Family and Non-kin

Members of the same family have a unique bond amongst themselves. For example, brothers and sisters share their secrets. The bond bringing them together is stronger than that of friendship. Parents tend to be close to their children. Persons of the same family focus on the issues affecting them. The other individuals in the community are not required to know the issues affecting a specific family (Boodoosingh 87). This practice explains why the family remains a meaningful unit in every society. Members “of the same family should not share their secrets with their friends” (Bissessar and La-Guerre 82). These practices support the welfare of many families in this society.

Works Cited

Bissessar, Ann, and John La-Guerre. Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana: Race and Politics in Two Plural Societies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. Print.

Boodoosingh, Edison. Trinidad and Tobago: A Caribbean Expression of Colorful Diversity. New York, NY: Plain Vision Publishing, 2013. Print.

De-Light, Dominique, and Polly Thomas. The Rough Guide to Trinidad and Tobago. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2012. Print.

Johnson, Emmanuel, Kernita-Role Bailey and Jacqueline Padmore. “Issues and challenges of social work practicum in Trinidad and Tobago and India.” Caribbean Teaching Scholar 2.1 (2012): 19-29. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Trinidad and Tobago: Socio-Cultural Issues." July 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/trinidad-and-tobago-socio-cultural-issues/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Trinidad and Tobago: Socio-Cultural Issues'. 3 July.

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