Chou Poule | Yuh is ah Trini

Triniglish|Trinididioms spoken and explained  #59 | Chou Poule | Yuh is ah Trini

How many times have you heard people say I am "Trini2DBone", "Trini2MehMarrow" and at the same time beating their chest simply to say I am a Trinidadian and proud to be one. But is there a situation when what you believe in your heart is not considered politically correct? Either "Yuh is ah Trini" or you are not? Well maybe, not exactly...

Today I was listening to the radio and there was a discussion taking place regarding the Old Age Pension scheme designed for those in their golden years. Many persons aired their annoyances during the feedback session. However, I was surprised when I learned the qualification one needed to have to receive the pension. 

Now don't get me wrong when I say what I have to say about the qualification. The qualification itself is not an issue with meh but something else I heard really got me thinking. Now in order to qualify for the pension, a Trinidadian must show a residency status of fifty (50) years. Sounds like a lot but I don't take issue with that. This is what annoyed me: someone who was born in another country and decided to move to Trinidad and gain residency/national status only had to reside in Trinidad for twenty (20) years to qualify for the pension at age 60. "Dat ting vex meh bad, bad, bad eh!"

Now wait a minute a born and bred Trinidadian had to show residency of 50 years while someone born elsewhere only had to reside in Trinidad for 20 years to qualify? What nonsense is that? It isn't that I want that pension (I lived in Trinidad for 33 years before migrating to the US) but it irks me that I was born in Trinidad and find myself a second-class citizen to someone from another country. That is a choops, steups and cheups situation as far as I am concerned. That is not right!

In such a situation it is only fitting to say "chou poule" and it simply means "to hell with that". Now when I say "chou poule" it can mean many things. I have lived in the US and never once considered giving up my Trinidad and Tobago citizenship for US citizenship even though dual citizenship is obtainable. Now I feel like the barrier has been lifted for me to now consider becoming a US citizen. As I said before it isn't that I want the pension but I feel cheated of my rights as a citizen, a born Trinidadian that I am less important than the person who moved to Trinidad and became a citizen. 

Just recently the Prime Minister was in New York and she addressed Trinidadians about returning home to 'give back' because there are many very educated Trinidadians living abroad. This to me is like the hiring of the new Commissioner of Police. One rate for the local CoP and another for the CoP who is a foreigner! One must always treat your own with respect, not just talk about it but show respect. From the days of slavery and indenture-ship, we were treated as less important than the foreigners, that has to change. We need to be treated with equal respect especially from our own people; only then we can move forward as proud people. Until that change is seen I will continue to say, "Chou Poule" (to hell with that)!

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