‘Where the sunsets don’t need a filter’
-Visit my world, a world where people blend without fearing the consequences-
Welcome to Curacao, the place I’ve called home for twenty two years.
This island is more than just a vacation destination. To a lot of people my rocky little island offered a lot more than sandy beaches and some fun in the sun; it offered them freedom.
It’s crazy how easy it is to take freedom for granted, when even some of our neighboring countries like Venezuela are going through rough times, where their right of free speech is being taken away.
So let me paint you a picture, and explain why I believe that we inherited a piece of paradise.
I’ll start with the respect for different cultures, that person telling you that different cultures, religions and colors cannot live together hasn’t visited Curaçao yet. We have Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism all living together. All this mixing of flavors and ideas creates a lot of beautiful stories. I’ll take myself for example; my mom is part Surinamese, part Chinese and part Jewish. My dad and his parents are from the island next door called Bonaire; they left Bonaire for a more prosperous life here in Curaçao where my dad met my mother. And all this creates diverse environments, which in my opinion benefits young children and young adults. It creates situations that opens their minds and makes it easier to accept things that might have been taboo if they lived somewhere else. It’s an easy way to broaden your horizons and understand how different cultures think. It makes your life a lot more colorful and a bit less stressful. You can have friends who’ve lived or whose parents have lived in countries that are now on your bucket list as vacation destinations. And since the island isn’t that big you get a better quality of friends. (Friends are important believe me.) When two cultures collide like that the best out of two worlds get combined, you get the best fusions; for example the food, the clothing, music, ideas and art.
All in all I feel like Curaçao is a friendlier place, a more understanding place because of our openness to accept other people’s ideologies. Now I won’t lie, we don’t have a taco bell or six flags and as sad as it might sound we even miss a Thank God It’s Friday, but we learn to live life without all that. And it’s not bad at all; quality time here on Curacao really means quality time. In a way you are forced to be a tourist in your own country to not bore yourself. This in my opinion is not a bad thing at all. And usually your friends stay your friends for life. And who doesn’t want that?
Have you ever visited a country where you can’t understand a word the locals are saying? And you end up settling for the more touristy spots with the same hotels and same restaurants with the same boring meals you can get everywhere else, without experiencing the magic of the place you’re visiting? One of the things I’m most proud of is our ability to be bilingual, trilingual or even quad lingual without breaking a sweat. You might think with all these nationalities and different kind of people there must be a language barrier. But we do just fine, so bring it on world, throw us your best shot. The island life in my opinion has benefited the schools in different ways. Not only because we are taught four languages at school (our native dialect Papiamentu, Dutch, English and Spanish), but also because we have people from all over the world living here, we had to adapt our schools to teach world history in different perspectives. Now I know school can be a scary place. A bunch of hormone filled teenagers taking on the world, but I feel like my school experience here is not bad at all. There are a lot of things we take for granted in our daily life.
My island may only be a dot on the globe, but we are much bigger and diverse than that. My island is amazing, maybe not in every aspect of the word. But if you ever find yourself looking for a lively and colorful place, a place where you can be yourself, I feel like Curacao could be your missing puzzle piece.