Caribbean Beat Magazine

Need to know | Events calendar (Nov/Dec 2018)

Essential info to help you make the most of November and December across the Caribbean

  • The celebration of Las Parrandas de Remedios nears its dramatic climax. Photo by Stephen Smith/Alamy Stock Photo
  • Preparing the  garland of firecrackers at Paramaribo’s Owru Yari. Photo by Jason Rothe/Alamy Stock Photo
  • In the heat of Nassau’s Junkanoo rush. Photo courtesy Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
  • Makatau Petroglyph Trail. Photo courtesy Esther Sam
  • Karasabai. Photo ponsulak/
  • Dadanawa Ranch. Photo by Nicholas Laughlin
  • Photo by Splingis/
  • What We Carry II (2018, charcoal, graphite, pastel, and acrylic on paper, 9 x 5 feet), by Heino Schmid. Image courtesy the artist
  • Maurice and Barracuda (2018, digital photography), by Melissa Alcena. Image courtesy the artist
  • Power Girl (Queen Versus Queen) (2018, “African” Chinese wax fabric, hand sewn into laser canvas prints with hanging counterfeit Chinese pearls and Asante/Ashanti handmade beads from Kumasi, Ghana), by April Bey. Image courtesy the artist
  • Merissa Aguilleira on the field. Photo by Mark Nolan —CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images
  • The victorious West Indies team at the 2016 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament. Photo by Indranal Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images
  • From left to right: Kevinia Francis, Samara Emmanuel, Christal Clashing, Junella King, and Elvira Bell — the Team Antigua Island Girls. Photo courtesy Team Antigua Island Girls
  • Photo by Amanda Richards
  • Photo courtesy Green Screen Film Festival
  • Photo courtesy Cayman Pirates Week Festival Office

How You Say: Talk like a local at parang time

Trinidad’s distinctive Christmas music, parang, is derived from the folk music of Venezuela, across the Gulf of Paria — complete with Spanish lyrics. And during parang season, with fiestas and competitions in full swing, you’ll hear many Spanish words and phrases flying fast and furious. Here’s some basic parang terminology to get you started.

Parranderos: The singers and musicians who go from house to house, singing in an old Spanish dialect, sometimes with English sprinkled in

Parranda: The act of spreading musical cheer 

Cuatro: A small four-stringed instrument in the guitar family, a parang staple

Maracas (or shak-shak): A pair of rattles, usually made from calabash gourds

Güiro (or scratcher): A hollow open-ended instrument with a serrated surface played by rubbing a stick along the notches to produce a rasping sound

Guarapo: An upbeat song on any topic

Estribillo: A lively number involving calls and responses from the audience

Despedida: The final tune, giving thanks for sharing good times with the host

On View: NE9

Fifteen years ago, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas’ first National Exhibition was a landmark for contemporary Bahamian art, launching a biennial series that serves as a sometimes controversial, always vivid cross-section of visual developments in the northern Caribbean’s archipelago nation. The ninth National Exhibition, NE9, opens on 17 December, 2018, and runs through March 2019. Showcasing the work of over thirty Bahamian artists — practising across mediums as diverse as photography, video, performance, painting, installation, digital art, drawing, discursive conversation, and poetry — NE9 takes for its theme “The Fruit and The Seed,” looking for works that answer to social practice and engagement, inviting thought about communities and the larger world.

NAGB chief curator Holly Bynoe shares some highlights to look out for. “Heino Schmid has been doing provocative work for years,” she says. “He keeps a rigorous studio practice and continues to have surprises up his sleeve. There are also several emerging artists whose ideas and experimentations give us chills, including Melissa Alcena, Averia Wright, Edrin Symonette, April Bey, and Gabrielle Banks. Tiffany Smith, whose work has been making waves across the US, will be showcased for the first time at the NAGB.” Another new face to Bahamian art-lovers is Jenna Chaplin — “someone who, to my knowledge, hasn’t participated in the field,” says Bynoe.

Word of Mouth: “When other teams play against the West Indies, they come hard”

Laura Dowrich finds out how the West Indies women’s cricket team is preparing for the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 Cricket Championship, running for two weeks across the region in November

This isn’t the first time the West Indies have hosted the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket Championship, but in 2018 the tournament is being held as a standalone — that is, not alongside the men’s championship, but as the main event. As expected, the West Indies women are excited, not only to play before their countrypeople, but also to keep the trophy in the region. Batswoman, wicketkeeper, former team captain, and overall motivator Merissa Aguilleira tells us how the team has been preparing, and why fans’ support is so crucial.

How do you feel about the West Indies hosting the T20 tournament again?

I am pretty excited. It’s always a good experience to play in front of your home crowd, it is more motivational. I truly believe the preparation over the past four months will pay off. 

You are the reigning champs — what would winning the trophy again mean to you and the other players?

It would mean that 2016 was not a fluke. A lot of people were leaning towards Australia, and we came out there with one mission, to bring it home. Winning a second time, in front of our home crowd, history would be created. Just thinking about everything we have been through as a team — to do it on home soil, in a standalone tournament, we want to be able to accomplish it.

Tell us about the preparations for the tournament so far.

We have been in camps in Antigua, three so far — first one was a month, second one was two weeks, and the third one three weeks, so we have been working hard. We are dealing with our skills, mental preparation, fitness, dealing with the media — it has been an all-round camp, very informative.

Has the camp experience brought you all closer together?

Right now, we are in a series against South Africa, and a lot of people are talking about the team looking well on the field, and you can see the comradery. We are like a family now — once you are a family off the field, it is easy to transfer that onto the field. 

Do you think that, as reigning champs, the WI women’s team will have an advantage with the game being held here in the region?

Yeah, we will definitely have a home advantage. Some of the countries are trying to come to the West Indies earlier to get used to the climate, the pitches, and the environment. We have lived it, we know how our pitches play, and we have to stay a step ahead of the rest.

Do you think there is much excitement around women’s cricket right now? And what can we do to improve that?

From where I started off to now, it has grown tremendously. We have to be ambassadors for the game — we need to market ourselves, we need to go out there and play exciting cricket, because that is what people want. The popularity of the game has been moving to a different level, but we need it to move faster.

This tournament will see the use of an Umpire Review Decision System. How do you feel about that?

It is pretty exciting, because on many occasions the players have been trying to get that going, and people would say it’s about time the women’s game has this — so we are moving up to the men’s’ level. It’s about time we break this stereotype.

Are there any particular teams you are excited to play against?

I am excited to play against all, even though there are top teams in the competition, such as Australia and England — they really dominate. I know all the teams, when they play against the West Indies, they come hard.

Any last words to Caribbean cricket fans?

Come out and support us. I am talking on behalf of the team, I know we can go out there and produce good cricket. All we can ask for is the support, and we cannot do it without the fans.


From November 9 to 24, the top women cricketers from around the world will come to the Caribbean for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018. The ten-team tournament — featuring three-time champions Australia, reigning ICC Women’s World Cup winners England, plus India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, defending champions the Windies, and two other qualifiers — will be played across three venues in the Caribbean.

The November tournament will be the first-ever standalone ICC Women’s World Twenty20 event. All twenty-three matches will be broadcast live for the first time, while the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used for the first time in any ICC World Twenty20 event.

Defending champions the West Indies are in Group A, along with England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and and one more qualifier, while Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the final qualifier will be in Group B.

The tournament will open at the Guyana National Stadium, continuing at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia. The Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua will host both semi-finals on 22 November and the final on 24 November.

The Windies team is led by all-rounder Stafanie Taylor of Jamaica, rated as one of the best women’s players of all time. She has alongside her Denadra Dottin, who became the first woman to score a century in a T20 when the West Indies hosted the tournament back in 2010, and Hayley Matthews, who was Player-of-the-Match in the final when the West Indies won back in 2016.

The West Indies have an excellent track record in the event. They won in 2016, and reached the semi-finals in 2010 in the Caribbean, 2012 in Sri Lanka, and 2014 in Bangladesh.