Contributing Editor of Diplomatic Watch, Ann Acka’a  (midle) with two of the participants at just the concluded Baltimore Caribbean Carnival.

By Ann Acka’a RN, BSN, CM/DN (Contributing Editor, Diplomatic Watch)

BALTIMORE- In celebration of people and cultures, Diplomatic Watch was first hand in attending the event of the Baltimore Caribbean Carnival 2018 which took place at Lake Clifton Park. As the world turns so does the majestic blending of culture take place in our daily lives. We as the human race blend with each other, form friendships, marriage, children and culture that it becomes paramount to learn more of each other to gain a better understanding and create an avenue for fulfilling relationships that last a lifetime- in other words practicing in diplomacy “cultural diversity”.

These days, we all swim in a stressful world and an ocean of information with data streaming around and by us at lightning speed; we often forget to simply look up at each other and smile- in other words “sensory overload”.

We think you would agree that Diplomatic Watch brings the world closer to each of us and we to the world by being an avenue from which we can find a platform to learn with understanding about each other and the rainbow colors of the cultures that envelope around us even if they are oceans away- in other words diplomatically speaking “fostering understanding of each other”.

Getting away from the hustle of life even if it is on your deck, backyard, park or sitting with your neighbor is a great way to decompress and reduce the effects of life stressors. Attending a carnival affair is a perfect way for family and friends gathering to reconnect with each other, meet, greet and make new friends and simply enjoy life-in other words diplomatically speaking “improving relationships”.

The Caribbean’s carnivals have similar themes, many which originate from Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, based on folklore, culture, religion, and tradition and celebrated throughout the Caribbean and the world. Carnival is a time for fun, relaxation and often colorful and festive. The music, food, sounds, sights, and people create an ambient environment to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, reduce stress and perhaps for just a moment disconnect from media- and the world (even though cellphones will be out and about taking pictures and capturing memories).

Diplomatic Watch was on hand to share and witness this experience and it is amazing how similar we all are from the clothes we wear to the foods we eat.  Almost all people enjoy the same kinds of foods, perhaps in different flavors and styles that actually represent the conducting of relationships between nations which in of itself is, in other words “Diplomacy”.

 I remember trying to answer questions as a person of blended cultures; my question was which one am I? African, British, Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Caribbean or American or am I any other? Then I realized I am all of the above but most importantly all these are me and I am them no matter what one sees when they look at me, I am of the blended race called humanity-  a key ingredient why the human race is not extinct.

Caribbean dish

Carnival tradition is based on a number of disciplines including: “Playing Mask”/masquerade; calypso music and crowning a Calypso King or Monarch; Panorama (steel pan band competition); J’ouvert morning; to mention a few of the traditions and the foods and drinks are interesting and a most delicious way for cultural experience in other words “diplomacy through food”. The events creates an avenue for people to meet, mingle and have fun, and simply be happy and friendly

The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Situated mostly on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays. These islands form the island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands, consist of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south/ eastern region (including the Leeward Antilles), are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which also includes the Lucayan Archipelago (comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands).

The Lucayans and, less commonly, Bermuda, are also sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries, regions, and territories of Belize, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, the Guyanas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil), are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.

The caribbeans Island are beautiful and colorful and a welcoming region to either vacation, invest in or relocate to and they speak a variety of languages with English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Creole and Papiamento as the official languages through out various regions. Other languages can be found such as Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, Ameri-indian and African languages and other Indonesian and European languages as is represented in other parts of the world- Simply speaking one can learn any language so don’t let that stop you!

The islands are made up a group of indigenous people a result of the blending of many cultures, most of African descent but in reality we decent all from one source which is the human race, we just paint the rainbow of humanity with more beautiful colors when we mix and meet:

  • The Arawak-Igneri/ Taino
  • Caquetio people
  • Ciboney
  • Ciguayo
  • Garifuna
  • Kalinago
  • Kalina
  • Lucayan
  • Macorix
  • Raizal

Throughout the Caribbean Christianity is widely practiced but other religions are also practiced such:

Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (Taoism and Confucianism), Bahá’í, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Kebatinan, Traditional African religions, Afro-American religions, Yoruba (Santería, Trinidad Orisha, Palo, Umbanda, Brujería, Hoodoo, Candomblé, Quimbanda, Orisha, Xangô de Recife, Xangô do Nordeste, Comfa, Espiritismo, Santo Daime, Obeah, Candomblé, Abakuá, Kumina, Winti, Sanse, Cuban Vodú, Dominican Vudú, Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Vodou, and Vodun). Anyhow, everyone believes in something or not it’s still a belief! Come experience life and each other let’s make our world and home heaven on earth! Let’s make our lived experience a great one for each other.