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Isiah Lauti 12/10/1710: 40 AmFinal PaperMigration and its Importance to the Caribbean CultureThroughout the history of the Caribbean, a large part of their culture deals with the overall migration that they as a whole participated in. From in part, the obvious reasons that hit the surface area due to socio-economic reasons. An example of something like this would be the large slave trade that impacted numerous people and with better working opportunities (later on). In total from the readings and from the number of class discussions, we are able to see a direct effect for both the positives and negatives for the migration aspect of the Caribbean Culture. Although there are many negatives that came in part of migration in the early times, the avenue of migration really opened the door to the Caribbean Culture history and identity. Migration within the caribbean community is very interesting and has many different roles it serves. It is evident that within the caribbean community that there is more or less an economic crises where people of these communities will do anything to receive money. These people who live in these communities, are put in situations where they have no other choice. For example, within a reading that we did in class, in the article Selling Sex For Visas by Brennan talks about the people within the Sosua community who sell their bodies to make ends meet and for potential opportunity. Noted in the reading about the impact that tourism plays in some of these places is unfathomable. With the amount of people who are traveling to these places every year, there are certain characteristics that Brennan noticed that people have come to accept and take advantage of. What interested me the most when it came to this reading was the parallel the author made towards men who come to these places and fantasize about these women for the erotic experience and to the women who see men as “walking visas”. Brennan continues the article and mentioning, “The practice of consensual unions (of not marrying, but living together), often leads to single motherhood, which then puts women under significant financial pressure… Women who sell sex in Sosua earn more money, more quickly than they can in any legal job available to poor women with limited education.” (Brennan pg 4). This quote alone shows the position that most of these women are put in and how they are sometimes obligated to participate in this type of work for money. The lack of options and resources are one thing but a trend of women using these men to gain citizenship to get themselves out of financial situation is more of what is happening.It is noticeable from the readings and from the class discussions that these people are stuck in situations where they genuinely need help. Issues these people migrate from are either for their own safety or some type of gain. With migration being a big part in the caribbean culture it seemed to be normalized in a way that those within the society will look at you differently if you do not. In the article discussed in class, Modes of Transnational Relatedness, by Forde speaks directly to the aspect of people migrating for different causes. A big aspect that I was able to relate to, dealt with children leaving off to college to pursue education. Although education would be my ideal way of leaving the carribean culture, that is not the case for the majority. Financial gain is the main objective, it seems to be for most of the caribbean population, and with the help of extended family within the caribbean community this is very much normalized. At the same time although all of these people have the opportunity to do these kind of transitions, many can get caught with a lack of paperwork. It was noted in the reading that “On the one hand passports, visas, and airline tickets are costly, and frustrations with processing times and embassies’ seemingly random decisions over vida allocations continue to fuel local debates. On the other hand migrants, can get stuck in their country of destination if they lack necessary documents.” (Forde pg 80). As we can see the process is not easy, but the destination is worth it. From migrants coming from the caribbean to the United States, different new policies enticed these people and seen this as a major potential growth. In the united States today we have seen a large community grow from migration policies over time. This type of mentality that has developed over time, help these families by creating this extended network. From the overall migration theme, it is evident that this serves far more greater purpose in my eyes because it allows the community to fill the void of a lack of options. This in the end not only created a “hope” for all its community members but allowed for sense of nationalism that the caribbean culture carries highly. Alongside having an extended kinship within the caribbean community, it can generally create some issues. From my family being migrants from other countries, simple aspects of family life are emphasized and as cultural traditions are kept but sometimes they seem to get a new twist. This new twist I am referring too is the acceptance and adaptation of being in a new place, and with that, the caribbean culture not only influenced American culture but it also had influence on them. From pursuing higher education to formally filling in these voids by learning a trade, the caribbean culture has been through a constant changing period where it has became normalized. In the book Brother I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat who speaks about personal stories and situation that she has experienced with her overall migration and about the certain characteristics that make the caribbean culture unique. In one portion of the book, Edwidge seen her parents at the airport leaving once again and stated “We were much older now and were more accustomed to being without them than being with them. At least, I remember thinking, we had seen them again.” (Danticat pg 96). To me this quote symbolizes this sense of normalized migration and at the same time why the caribbean community has strong family values. Although these parents and family members are constantly moving, it makes others more independent and the distance between them can grow the family closer. In conclusion I think that the caribbean community and culture has a very rich and interesting history. I believe that with the aspects of the forced migration of many from the slave trade on top of all the people getting colonized are all basis on why these people have this sense to move. On that note as well, it is very evident that these people are moving for either safety, social status gain, or just generally betty opportunities. These reasons helped the caribbean family life by being able to gain opportunities they may have not had before and be able to learn new trades to take back home. As well as that, the same was happening when these people migrated by introducing their culture to a new world, people are able to exploit themselves by their own carribean values. Challenges varied by family and opportunities they were able to get when they migrated but in all, these challenges seemed minor to the bigger picture of what it mean to migrate. Although through a number of ways, migration may seem to be bad we are able to take the caribbean community and understand its fundamental values that make them so unique and special.


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