. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I N T R O D U C T I O N
aribana, Caribbean Carnival, was just beginning when I arrived in
in 1997. The city was full of Caribbean music, food,
and arts and crafts, and the huge parade, in which thousands of people would
take to the streets dressed in fantastic costumes and dancing to live calypso,
soca, steel-pan, and reggae bands, was only days away. It was no coincidence
that my trip to Toronto coincided with Caribana. I was doing fieldwork on
Caribbean migration by studying three Caribbean family networks that had
become dispersed in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and diverse
Caribbean islands. A central element in this research was life-story interviews
with family members in di√erent migration destinations, and I had timed my
fieldwork in the Toronto area so that it took place during Caribana. In this
way I would be able to experience this important Caribbean cultural festival
and get an impression of the way in which the family members—and the
Caribbean community in Toronto—celebrated their cultural heritage.
caribbean belonging
When I discovered that the first person that I interviewed, Matthew, was a
professional musician and acoustic engineer with a recording studio, I praised
my luck. He would certainly be an eager participant at Caribana, and I
imagined that he might take me along to some of the musical events. Great
was my surprise when he explained that he had no plans at all to attend
Caribana. He did not care for calypso, he explained, and therefore did not see
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