My memoir is laced with nostalgia and at the same time it is my sincere intention to portray the true essence of the Guyanese culture without offence. Keep in mind that this is not based on the experience of every Guyanese. This was the way I saw and experienced things back then.
The use of colloquialism is of utmost importance; it is the vernacular we understand. It may sound like another language so unless you were born and bred in Guyana you will need to refer to the glossary provided. Folklore and mothers preaching life lessons through proverbs played a large part in Guyanese life.
This is not only an account of the first twenty-one years of my life in Guyana; it also contains anecdotes of visits back to my homeland. You will also find a sprinkling of information pertaining to my new life in Australia.
Before immigrating to Australia I believed the sun only rose and set in Guyana; I never imagined another paradise existed on the planet.
There is a saying that most Guyanese use to identify their roots after they have voluntarily immigrated or simply fled to another country. When we say, “My navel string is buried in Guyana,” we simply mean: ‘My roots are there’. It’s a place where true and enduring friendships were formed forever. We will meet one another decades later and feel as if it was yesterday, reminiscing about our beloved land; lapsing into the language only a fellow Guyanese can understand.
A famous Australian crooner said “I still call Australia home,” and I can assure you that saying applies to Guyanese who have immigrated to every corner of the globe.
Navigating the labyrinth of family secrets was my one mission in life; I just had to know.