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This linguistic separation is the key factor contributing to our isolation as a separate cultural tradition.

My parents never wanted me to imitate this accent because, for many, it is regarded as a thing of shame.

Though my parents surely meant well, preventing me from embracing my culture for the sake of proliferating my American identity severely deprived me of being able to relate to my existence the way I deserved to know it.

Women were the most vulnerable to this form of “recruitment” and many were commonly used by their European managers for sex while working on plantations. It is from this traumatic history of detention, servitude, sexual violence, and rejection that my heritage emerges.

The first person to console me after my first bout of colonial trauma. As though in that moment our hearts were screaming: This is a phenomenon that I know is common to the immigrant experience overall: this sense of comfort one feels when they find one of their own in situations where they are confronted by their otherness.

It is a comfort that I have continued to seek since that day in 1995.

Outside of religious devotional songs and prayers, however, the Indo-Caribbean speak the same English creole as their national counterparts of different ethnicities—an anamorphic brand of English that can only be formed by a people ripped from their lands and forced to place a strange language on their reluctant tongues.

A patois infused with words gleaned from both African and Indian dialects.

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