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island culture and stuff

A while back bad dominicana and I were talking about the possible similarities that the Philippines had with other former spanish colonies.

She pointed out that it was possible that some of the similarities had less to do with being colonized by spain, and more to do with island culture. Or some mixture, that the former colonies of spain may share or have in common a certain level of island culture.
I'm still intrigued by this notion.
Anyway, I was watching the movie Punks and at one point in the movie the 'straight' dude prepares a traditional Trinidadian dish that is supposed to be eaten with the hands. It is something with chicken and rice (they never name the dish). What I find interesting about this scene is that the eating with hands method is exactly how I was taught to eat rice and meat with my hands.
Now. It may be the case that when eating rice with your hands, you need to do it in this fashion... but I've never really seen white people do this. I think I may have seen an Indian guy eat with his hands in the same way once, but given that it is Trinidad, that isn't necessarily a meaningful counter example.
Anyway, I was mostly just struck by the notion that Bad Dominicana might just be right about the shared island culture being more meaningful that spanish colonization (like, the colonization was a means for transmitting influence but didn't necessarily create certain practices or customs).

on Posterous: http://bit.ly/N3jzO0