Which island are you representing?
I represent the Bahamas, I was born in Nassau and lived in Freeport, Grand Bahama for 3 years before I went to university in the US.
What’s your favorite thing about the Caribbean?
I can't even choose one because what's not to LOVE. It's definitely a tough choice between the beaches (the Bahamas has the BEST), the FOOD, the people, music (of course) and the varied languages and dialects.
A soca song that best fits your vibe?
I think one that has always stuck is Kes "People" --I just love the feeling it gives me and the message about no matter where we end up, there's always support and good people around us. That's the general vibe I get when I think of soca and life in the grand scheme of things.
How do you know when it’s time to rest and rejuvenate?
I know because my body usually will tell me. Since entering my 30's, it's been doing an EXCELLENT job of telling me when to stop and pause and take a break.
At what point in your life did you feel full of joy for your culture?
In my 32 years, there have been several occasions where I've felt full from experiencing my culture - at a young age at my first Junkanoo parade in the Bahamas, my first carnival, the first time I REALLY fell in love with soca. I hope I never stop having those moments.
What’s the most popular question you’re asked by someone, not from the Caribbean? Does it irk you? Why/why not?
"Is it Bermuda or Barbados that you're from again"? I think the most annoying one is "are you from Jamaica"? Mind you, I love Jamaica and love the island but not everyone with an accent is from Jamaica and what's especially annoying is that I tell people over and over I'm from the Bahamas (people that I know for years) and they still confuse it with Bermuda or Barbados or Barbuda. But it just gives me an opportunity to explain it again ... then I start to think about the Beach Boys song "Bermuda- Bahama, come on pretty mama"... ha! If you don't laugh, you'll cry.
In island form, which slang/phrase you love using the most? And, can you tell us what it means to you?
I like saying the word "dred" a lot, commonly spelt as "Jed" in the Bahamas. It's basically a word you can use to emphasize something you're saying like if someone told you something shocking, you'd say in disbelief or amazement "No dred/jed". I can break down another one:
bey/bhuy - when speaking to a person, about a person or just exclaiming something
"Dis bey think I crazy, ya kno"
Using dialect or slang, on the whole, is fulfilling to me. I used to think growing up how dynamic Caribbean patois and dialect actually is especially because in the Caribbean we do speak proper English but we ALSO have the versatility to form and mold words and phrases to mean several things and form a totally new culture of speaking that couldn't necessarily be expressed properly in "proper English". Needless to say, I marvel at how we are such an intelligent group of dynamic people and varied cultures. I especially love meeting someone from another island and learning and equating basically their patois or meaning of words to Bahamian dialect. Makes me even prouder to be Bahamian and Caribbean.
A favorite spot in the islands you would recommend to someone and why.
A favorite spot of mine in Nassau is the Cricket Club. I love Bahamian breakfast food, I could eat it all day, every day without getting tired of it and they have the most amazing sheep tongue souse EVER IN LIFE. It is an experience for the taste buds. Everyone should try it at least once.
Where can people find you?
People can find me on the blog, http://www.bahamianista.com and on Instagram (@bahamianista), Twitter (@bahamianista242), Facebook (Bahamianista) and Pinterest (@bahamianista).