Monday, June 19, 2006

The crying game

These days whenever I read the newspapers, I end up crying. Not out of sadness or horror, but just from being moved by the national and global shows of respect and solidarity for TT and the Soca Warriors.

A friend of mine was saying that when she encounters people who are not interested in seeing the Warriors playing, she tells them: "You don't have to be a football fan. This is not about football only. This is about Trinidad & Tobago." We discussed the way the energy of the country is lighter and more open, the people seem woven together by threads of hope and excitement ... etc. I'm hearing many people say that this is the first time they feel really proud to be a Trinbagonian. I myself normally just think of 'being from Trinidad & Tobago as a geographical fact, something stated on forms (passport, etc.).

The fact is, this sudden global love of and recognition for T & T was not inspired by Patrick Manning or any politicicans or by the Tourism Development Company and their cultural entourages and glossy publications. Whatever is happening now has been inspired by the people of T & T. The people of T & T are not interested in racial division and political gimmicks normally thrust upon us through the media. The truth of what we want is evident now (real unity and support for and pride in each other). Face it, PNM, UNC and all you other political hopefuls: until you can INSPIRE and MOVE the people of this country with humility, honesty and dedication, you are nothing. You are far from "Warriors".

I know many do not want to think about 'the other side of T & T' and spoil their euphoric football mood, but ... in the papers, there are letters to the Editor and articles which address other realities ... like two days in a row of cases of father-kills-self-and-other (other being either children or wife). For some people, the hundreds of national flags waving on cars in support of the Warriors is a massive boost to the national spirit. To others, the flags are useless plasters on a volcanic, festering national sore. Read Debbie Jacob in today's Guardian if you want to shake your head in sad, knowing disbelief.

One citizen, in a letter to the Editor, states that people who have flags on their cars should consider what that really means. The letter raises questions about why a car with a TT flag would throw rubbish out of the window ... why men with the flag painted on their faces or wearing the TT t-shirts would stand by the roadside and relieve themselves ... (I agree with the writer, but I would also add: flag or no flag, can't you wait until you get home to use the dustbin and or toilet?!)

Some sources will say: Win, lose or draw, the fact is, one day this national football-induced euphoria will die and the flags will come down. Then what?

In this heartfelt letter to the Editor (one that made me cry), the writer speaks about his personal experience of the outpouring of love, respect and admiration from people the world over (on and off the field) for T & T. He asks: "Why should it ever end?" And he's right. Why should it?


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