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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO FACTS

FACT ONE

Dr. Eric Eustace Williams (25 September 1911 – 29 March 1981) served as the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He served as prime minister from 1962 until his death in 1981.

Dr. Williams sent one of 73 Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages to NASA for the historic first lunar landing in 1969. The message still rests on the moon surface today. He wrote, in part: "It is our earnest hope for mankind that while we gain the moon, we shall not lose the world." Below is a video clip of the Trinidad and Tobago independence ceremony in 1962.

 

FACT TWO

Steel Pans (also known as steel drums or pans, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steel band or orchestra) is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists.

The pan is struck using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber; the size and type of rubber tip varies according to the class of pan being played. Some musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand. This skill and performance has been conclusively shown to have grown out of Trinidad and Tobago's early 20th century Carnival percussion groups known as Tamboo Bamboo. The pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Since Pythagoras calculated the formula for the musical cycle of fourths and fifths, Steel Pans are the only instruments made to follow this configuration.

FACT THREE

Limbo is a traditional popular dance contest that originated on the island of Trinidad. The dance originated as an event that took place at wakes in Trinidad and Tobago, and was popularized by dance pioneer Julia Edward (known as the First Lady of Limbo) and her company which appeared in several films, in particular Fire Down Below (1957), and toured widely in the Caribbean, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa in the 1960s and beyond. A film, Julia and Joyce, was released in 2010 by Trinidadian/American dance researcher/choreographer Sonja Dumas which features the evolution of the Limbo and the contribution of Julia Edwards to the explosion of its popularity.

A horizontal bar, known as the limbo bar, is placed atop two vertical bars. All contestants must attempt to go under the bar with their backs facing the floor. Whoever knocks the bar off or falls is eliminated from the contest. After everyone has completed their turns, the bar is lowered slightly and the contest continues. The contest ends when only one person can successfully "limbo" under the bar.

 
 
 
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