I’ve been meaning to write a post about fake accents. Now that I’m in international waters I have officially been inspired. I recall being in route to a fete with my very loud and slightly deep crew and I couldn’t help but overhear a young lady say to her friend “oh gosh these fake Jamaican accents are killing me”. I knew she was talking about my boys and instead of responding I just shook my head and thought “but sweetie…they’re not fake”. I was tempted to say something but I opted not to because that was none of my business. She sounded Yankee so I just chalked it up to the fact that she probably wouldn’t know the difference either way.
So here’s where I’m going with this… In my mind, the only people guilty of having a fake accent are people who have no connection whatsoever to a specific place. That’s like me trying to go to Ireland and talk like the locals… now that would be fake and quite funny. But, if I do have a connection with a country (or place) but don’t speak in that language or with that accent 24/7 is it still fake?
So let me break down my top three islander types first and then get into some details. This is strictly my opinion lol.
1. Pure Bloods: Those who were born in the Caribbean and then immigrated to America with their families. They represent hard and keep up with everything that’s happening in their country .
2. In Denial Yankee’s: Those who were born in the states but raised in the Caribbean with their families (like me). These people usually have dual citizenship, keep up to date on country news and get an attitude whenever someone calls them American.
3. Temporary Islanders: Those with Caribbean parents (from the same or different countries) but they may only go to the country every so often to visit family or go to carnival. They don’t keep up with country news or stay in contact with family and friends on the island until it’s time to travel.
So here’s my personal experience…When I’m in the states people normally don’t ask if I’m West Indian; they usually get straight to the point and ask “which island are you from”? I’m usually shocked by this because I’m under the impression that I look regular and I don’t have an accent (most of the time). Clearly, certain words are always going to be pronounced the TCI way because I was always around Turks Islanders so that’s how I learned them.
Once I get surrounded by fellow West Indians my accent turns on; but, whenever I hit Turks my accent is turbo charged and certain words and phrases come back to my recollection. Since I’m only home a few times a year locals tend to think I’m a tourist. My cousin says it because of my hairstyles and the way I dress. Whatever the reason, they are usually shocked when I open my mouth. I’ve been here for 9 days and I’ve literally shocked someone each day. As I was coming through customs the agent said “you from Grand Turk aye” ? I went to order food and the bartender said “Oh shucks I thought you was a tourist”. I was sitting with my cousins and one of them said “but you don’t sound like no ‘Merican…you sound just like us”. So with that I ask is my accent fake?
Before I go let’s not forget about the “In Denial Pure Bloods”. These are people who were born in America but live in the Caribbean and try their best to put on that American accent and act like they ain’t from country. Is their American accent fake?
What are your thoughts? Which islander type are you? Leave a comment here…it’s easy!