The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Pride and the “other” Industry

Rihanna wukkin up on Kadooment Day

Rihanna wukkin up on Kadooment Day

It is the Sunday before Kadooment and the minds of most readers, more likely than not, will be concentrated wonderfully on matters such as the various parties, the identity of the Calypso Monarch and likely Tune of the Crop for 2016, with securing a costume for the street parade on Monday, or simply entertaining friends and/or family who have chosen to visit the island at this time. For those disinclined or otherwise reluctant to take part in the pandemonium or todoment of the occasion, and who should find time today to peruse the newspaper, it is the duty of the columnist to provide the traditional intellectual stimulation that you may seek in these pages despite the merriment that surrounds us.

Today, I have decided, in rather light-hearted fashion, to discourse on the national motto, especially that aspect that pertains to industry, in light of some of the “work” that will be on display tomorrow.

I have always been puzzled by the motto we have chosen -“Pride and Industry”. Clearly the reference therein to “Pride” has nothing at all to do with the cardinal sin of “hubristic self-overestimation” but speaks rather to that justifiable pride that we ought to feel in our achievements as a nation.

And we do have much to be proud of. For one, our pacifist political nature that permits us to change administrations through the medium of the ballot box rather than through force of arms, despite the seeming impatience of some for that opportunity to arrive; our freedom of expression that sustains arguments critical of the establishment and allows peaceful protest of policy decisions; and our reliance on the rule of law to govern our civic interactions.

Of course, in recent times, the crown of our hitherto near-pristine existence have slipped somewhat and the challenges posed by a more globalized environment have caused a loss of pride owing to some practices that have become part of our culture. The apparent increase in access to illegal firearms, despite our best efforts to stem their acquisition, and their indiscriminate use by those bent on redressing some perceived wrong, have caused us to rethink our old feeling of personal security in our daily existence; the recurrent criticism of the relative sloth of our judicial system by the Car1bbean Court of Justice and its negative impact on the treasured constitutional guarantee of protection of the law of a fair hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal within a reasonable time have stung us to the core; and the national psyche and economic well-being have been assaulted by a seemingly interminable recession that threatens to reverse most of the gains we may have secured over the past 50 years.

As to the second quality, at first blush, the concept of “Industry” is an eminently laudable one and the constant public prayer for increased productivity as well as the general recognition that hard work is the key to success in most facets of life, embody the embracing of this aspect of the motto.

There is, however, another kind of ‘work” in which some of us are ready to engage in a few hours; however, the spelling is entirely different from the accepted English orthography and has been variously rendered as “wuk” or perhaps the more ostensibly descriptive, though admittedly rarer, “wuck”. This is what I mean by “the other industry”.

“Wucking up” appears to be a peculiarly Barbadian phenomenon, although there have frequently been claimed alliances with the African continent and appeals to Eastern belly-dancing to justify its public display. It is effected by some revelers as an interlude in their pilgrimage across the stage at the National Stadium and on the journey to Spring Garden either as a response to a non-verbal challenge from a fellow band-member or, perhaps less frequently, as a way of drawing public attention to themselves, although the accompanying half-embarrassed facial expressions would seem to belie this conclusion in many cases.

Ordinarily, public dancing to music should not require justification, but there is a side of Barbados that is consumed with how others see us, the very power that Robert Burns wished for from the “giftie “-

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as ithers see us!

It wad frae mony a blunder free us,

An’ foolish notion:

What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,

An ev’n devotion!”

And, for those persons, the simulated sexual congress that public “wucking up” involves, even for the less prudish among them, constitutes an unwholesome form of conduct not befitting of the image that the archetypal Barbadian should convey to the rest of the world.

For them, the industry (or work) in our motto is best manifested in keeping the environment free of litter, being as efficiently productive as possible in our daily lives and exhibiting creativity in thought and manufacture.

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36 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Pride and the “other” Industry”

  1. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 7:13 AM #

    @ Jeff

    We appreciate your poetic license, today

    Underlying it however your seeming attribution of national responsibility seeks to have too even a distribution.

    We would have proffered that the elites are more responsible for the societal decadence than other groups of average Bajans.

    In the same way when things go right we give credit to some elite groupings, blame should be similarly distributed.

    Have you for example, considered that the legal system, with the institutionalized police brutalizing of people for centuries, has contributed to a kind of ‘industry’ which lessens ‘pride’.

    And on pride, we also appropriate your narration. It is a narrative consistent with social demands.

    However, the pride we know is an internal, psychic construction best illustrated in the paling culture. A boundary established to hide what others are not to see, a wall of protection, a fear of removal, an impure relationship with land ownership/control.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 7:47 AM #

    appreciate your narration


  3. Hants July 31, 2016 at 12:16 PM #

    @ David,

    You should not post that picture without forewarning the seniors on the

    @ Jeff,

    I admire your effort to teach good “behaviour” but “simulated sexual congress and public

    “wucking up” has been happening with continuous “improvement” for the last 20 years.

    The best part of the song is the bass lines. sweeeeeet!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sargeant July 31, 2016 at 12:21 PM #

    Let me take a stab at the “Pride” element in the National motto and since Jeff wrote about “that justifiable pride that we ought to feel in our achievements as a nation” I take it to believe that the nation didn’t start in 1966 but goes back to the time of the early English settlers and the importance attached to Barbados by the English Parliament when at the conclusion of one of the wars between England and France serious consideration was given by those countries to the notion of swapping Barbados for Canada as part of a Treaty settlement.

    We have always believed that we are “Little England”, elite among the English speaking Caribbean nations, we have always been a proud people and who knows if that pride emanated from that bit of historical lore or was burnished by our sense of self- importance when at the breakout of hostilities between England and Germany at the start of WW1 the Barbados Gov’t sent a cable to England which read “go ahead England Barbados is behind you”. We have been proud of the fact that our sons and daughters helped to educate and develop the larger countries in the Caribbean. That fact has been a source of pride to us and envy among some of the recipients. I recall a conversation with a Bajan farm worker who recounted some of the hostilities between a group of Bajans and a group of Jamaicans in the orange groves of Florida when a Jamaican exclaimed that ‘Barbados was so small he could take his “C…k” and piss all over the island” whereas he retorted “yeah but we have a school on every corner”. We have been lauded by Trinidadian calypsonians as being “smart” and even today in the diaspora we are looked upon with some suspicion as being “different” by those from other Caribbean countries.

    We are proud among ourselves as we boast of our educational achievements, our childrens’ educational achievements- success in the eleven plus is befitting of a long write up in the newspapers, our financial or economic successes, our job successes, we even apply the honorary titles bestowed by our Universities as though they were actually earned in an educational environment in a manner that is foreign to other recipients in other countries.

    I can’t recall who came up with the motto ‘Pride and Industry”, but they got the Pride right, the “Industry” is another story.


  5. David July 31, 2016 at 12:34 PM #


    The generic refrain that wukkin up is we culture and therefore we should embrace dry humping without question questions intelligence.


  6. David July 31, 2016 at 12:43 PM #


    A valiant attempt to prolix on the issue of pride. BU’s concise perspective is that pride and the capacity to build a productive society is a symbiotic one. Pride must translate into a wholesome habitat.


  7. Hants July 31, 2016 at 12:43 PM #

    @ David,

    It is up to the “pillars” of the community to socially re engineer the behaviour of Bajans.

    Nothing will change unless there is a “revolution”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David July 31, 2016 at 12:45 PM #


    We always come full circle to trying to identify and influence the inputs that go into shaping a value system.


  9. Hants July 31, 2016 at 12:48 PM #

    @ David dis is Diaspora culcha. lol lol lol. very elegant wukkin up a little.


  10. Hants July 31, 2016 at 12:53 PM #

    @ David and the BU intelligentsia….

    What are the solutions for bringing back good behaviour ?


  11. David July 31, 2016 at 12:59 PM #


    That is a poor Canadian imitation of wukkin up. Obviously a DNA thing.


  12. ac July 31, 2016 at 1:14 PM #

    Get used to wuk up it is here to stay not only is it a part of our culture which was hidden for years and not allowed to be exposed or explored but now has become a mainstay or highlight of the crop over attraction which has also attracted the visitors interest of wanting to see and participate in this most fiery and frenzy culture


  13. David July 31, 2016 at 1:25 PM #


    Good question. As you know cultural norms change for the good and bad depending from which moral lens it is being viewed. An intelligent society will maintain tension to force intelligent thought and decision making. What we can do is to succumb to throwing ones hands in the air and be resigned to the fact that it is what it is. For those observing the merriment it is obvious we need to offer some reflection and register if this is the imagery we want to build for our children. On foreday morning some bands played more Trini music than local. If Crop Over is a local festival that reflects our culture what is this saying.


  14. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 31, 2016 at 1:37 PM #

    I will miss Crop Over, wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh wahhhhhhhh, this darn job. Now I have to come after crop over. So f……. vex.

    Good article Mr. Cumberbatch


  15. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right INRI July 31, 2016 at 1:54 PM #

    @ Hants.

    Many thanks for your concern for the elderly lololol

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Have you ever visited Harry’s Nightery?

    I am reliably informed that the hedonistic movementations there displayed were superlative.

    Which brings de ole man to say that this thing which Jeff calls wukking up and which you so vividly described as “dry humping” is indeed nothing more than the migration of Harry’s Nightery into daylight, the hedonistic pursuit of our wider society to slip into daylight what many would love to do, but are afraid, ashamed or otherwise restricted rom doing.

    We live vicariously for one day while lusting after these nubile bodies, dry humping bodies that in the normalcy of our diurnal pursuits WE CANNOT TOUCH and return to Q in the Community for 364 days until it starts again

    All this is truncated sex a type of mental coitus interruptus that we, having slaked out hidden lusts in our minds, cannot get arrested for mental rape.

    So many females to ravish in our minds with our imaginations and then we wonder why those fellows gang raped that girl on Cave Hill


    We were raised on Playboy magazines, and these youth are raised on wukking up and grand theft auto and we are reaping the wind, are we not?


  16. Freedom Crier July 31, 2016 at 2:08 PM #

    The Root Cause Of Moral Decay and Every kind of Perverseness… Makes Reason Stare!

    The Ten Commandments Versus The Ideology Of Socialism …

    “Characterizing modern Socialist Leftism as secular religion is commonplace today, although such a comparison amounts to a gross insult to Christianity, which has been the most frequent target of liberal assaults against religion…

    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

    Socialist Version: The Government is your sovereign, almighty and supreme, which raised some of you from the ranks of American citizens, lavished you with riches, privileges, and power, granted you immunity from prosecution, and rendered you secure in your lives for the rest of your days. You shall worship no other sovereigns before the government.

    You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

    Socialist Version: You shall create images of worship that include the environment, approved groups, prominent government officials, and selected entertainment icons, forcing all citizens to venerate the same or suffer penalties of defamation, ruination of lives and livelihoods, or imprisonment. The government will not tolerate rivals to its edicts, despoiling generations of those against it and granting privileges indefinitely to those and their progeny who have gained its favor and obeyed its commands.

    You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

    Socialist Version: You shall not mock the government, nor criticize it, nor utter any words derogatory or dismissive, in jest or inadvertently, about any group, person, or symbol considered special by government, academic, or media personages, and you shall revile your country, express contempt for its citizens and its history, appease its enemies, and scorn those who wish America well.

    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

    Socialist Version: You shall treat the first day of the week as you would any other day, expunge the word “Sabbath” from your thoughts and speech, submit cheerfully to commemorations of days bereft of any significance for you or the United States, and obey every edict that establishes special events for designated groups, while strictly observing admonitions about micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and safe spaces, and preventing cultural appropriations of any self-proclaimed aggrieved person or group.

    Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

    Socialist Version: You shall observe the Woodrow Wilson Rule on raising children, making them as unlike their fathers and mothers as possible, by instructing them in educational institutions filled with credentialed people who dismiss marriage and the family while endorsing any relationships that inflict damage on the same, remembering at all times that the land you think you own is controlled by the government.

    You shall not murder.

    Socialist Version: You may murder unborn children if it suits your lifestyle or convenience, pay scant attention to murders within designated groups, while defaming those who, in the line of duty, take lives of individuals not of their own race, gender, or ethnicity, and tolerating murders committed by illegal aliens against American citizens.

    You shall not commit adultery.

    Socialist Version: You may engage in any sexual relationships you desire, while celebrating unions among members of the same gender, or transgender, or bi-gender, and suffer ruinous penalties, condemnation, and/or threats against you for failures to comply with judicial or bureaucratic edicts that support so-called non-traditional marriage and self-designated sexual orientations.

    You shall not steal.

    Socialist Version: You may take as much property from others as you can, through taxation, confiscation, or administrative extortion, while sympathizing with rampaging mobs, looters, and destroyers of property and neighborhoods, all the time justifying your actions as striving for social justice.

    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    Liberal Version: You may bear false witness against others whenever necessary to further progressive goals, while waging war against freedom of speech, patriotism, Christianity, police officers, America’s military, so-called traditional families, equality of opportunity, and the right to bear arms, and lying about those who favor border security against invaders who live off the public dole, scorn our country, murder our citizens, and receive approbation for refusing to assimilate.

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

    Socialist Version: You may covet anything that is your neighbor’s, by dividing America into groups based on race, religion, creed, ethnicity, class, gender, and other useful categories, and creating invidious comparisons among them, pitting all citizens against each other, the better to exalt the power of government to covet the goods and honor of everyone in the United States of America.

    A summary of these commandments is that you must worship the state with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love yourselves as well, in order better to proclaim your moral superiority over the vast majority of the country’s inhabitants, endeavoring always to reduce them to the status of your subjects, servile, obedient, and helpless.


  17. millertheannunaki July 31, 2016 at 2:57 PM #

    @ Sargeant July 31, 2016 at 12:21 PM
    “I recall a conversation with a Bajan farm worker who recounted some of the hostilities between a group of Bajans and a group of Jamaicans in the orange groves of Florida when a Jamaican exclaimed that ‘Barbados was so small he could take his “C…k” and piss all over the island” whereas he retorted “yeah but we have a school on every corner”. We have been lauded by Trinidadian calypsonians as being “smart” and even today in the diaspora we are looked upon with some suspicion as being “different” by those from other Caribbean countries.”

    Sarge, every ‘smart’ Bajan of vintage age socializing in the many enclaves in the Western Diaspora has heard such a joke. The only difference is the use of the phrase “pee-peeing all over the small (h)island” instead of “piss all over the island”; as you so decorously put it in true refined Barbadian style.

    You are as innocuously cunning as the smart Bajan (among a Trini and a Jamaican in a lifebuoy and lost at sea in the Mid-Atlantic) who saved his soul by tricking the devil by farting through ‘fright’ (for his life) and asking the same devil to write his name on ‘that’.

    Sarge, it’s a goddamn pity Bajans are no longer seen as smart among their fellow Caribbean ‘rivals’. It seems they are now seen as the laughingstock on the farm in the land of banana republics.
    What has gone wrong in such a short space of ‘time’?
    At the end of the day in the sun, Hubris is a bitch, isn’t she?


  18. Colonel Buggy July 31, 2016 at 9:25 PM #

    A Bajan reported a while back, that while in Roseau , a Dominican greeted him thus; “A Bajan eh! well educated, but not a bit of common sense!”
    When many of our young men were taken from Barbados to the UK, back in the early 1960’s, to served in the British Army, they discovered , education wise, they were head and shoulders above the typical ” UK Native” recruit . They were mostly placed in a Corps, rather than the Infantry. The same applied to many of those who immigrated to England during ” the great escape.” Where have we fell down?


  19. Colonel Buggy July 31, 2016 at 9:34 PM #

    And if we look around we will find that nearly every entity in the private sector, and many in government ,are headed by people ,who would never as God to deprive them or anyone of their sight.
    What are the University, the Community College, the Polytechnic and the exclusive secondary schools ,which we so dearly love to brag about, doing for us?


  20. Colonel Buggy July 31, 2016 at 9:41 PM #

    Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right INRI July 31, 2016 at 1:54 PM
    Harry’s Nitery was known far and wide.
    I met Germans , Brits and others, who when the word Barbados was mentioned, a smile came to their faces, and they would say ” ahhhhhhh Harry’s Nitery !,” and if their wives or girlfriends were within earshot,this would be followed with, “Shhhhhhhhh!”


  21. Freedom Crier July 31, 2016 at 10:10 PM #

    THANKS For Your Insightful Article Jeff Cumberbatch, a Subject Not Many are willing to Approach being Victims of their own Choices…




  22. David July 31, 2016 at 11:41 PM #

    Video sent by watchman,


  23. balance August 1, 2016 at 3:26 AM #

    “and the national psyche and economic well-being have been assaulted by a seemingly interminable recession that threatens to reverse most of the gains we may have secured over the past 50 years.”

    The word seemingly is indeed ‘noted’ but is the reference to ‘interminable recession’ still holds true?


  24. Bernard Codrington. August 1, 2016 at 9:39 AM #

    I like the attempt to capture the meaning of Pride in the Court of Arms of Barbados. We try to intellectualize every thing. But every Barbadian knows and lives Barbadian pride; and what is more foreigners who meet us see it and can distinguish us from others. It certainly is not Hubris ( the pride that comes before a fall). I think it is a sense of who we are. A knowing our standard and not falling below a certain level of behaviour.
    I have a little difficulty with not accepting “wuckking” up as part of our culture. Wuckking up is a natural response to rythmic music. It is a dance. It is sensual rather than sexual. We of African descent do not think simulated sex we think expression and movement as we interpret the music being played.


  25. David August 1, 2016 at 9:42 AM #


    And when wukkin up morphs to dry humping what do we do, accept it?

    The pride to which you refer is what the old people refer to as foolish pride, build on the belief that Barbados better than the rest.


    Liked by 1 person

  26. lawson August 1, 2016 at 10:39 AM #

    Sucking up fu,, king up wukking up. Barbados at a glance


  27. Hants August 1, 2016 at 11:51 AM #

    Required reading David.

    WILD COOT: Crop Over experience


  28. David August 1, 2016 at 12:06 PM #


    Cranston is of the view that the 2016 Crop Over is the best ever.


  29. Hants August 1, 2016 at 2:25 PM #


    Did you see this ?

    A DAMPER was thrown over the Crop Over Festival today after it was announced designer Renee Ratcliffe had collapsed and died.

    May she rest in peace.


  30. David August 1, 2016 at 2:33 PM #


    Yes, condolences to the family and friends.


  31. Well Well & Consequences August 2, 2016 at 5:51 PM #

    If I may, many including MoneyB were calling for solutions to police brutality, here are parts 6 and 7 of a 25 part series of solutions, positives can be copied from these interesting insights.

    PART 6


    PART 7


  32. Hants August 2, 2016 at 10:32 PM #


  33. Hants August 2, 2016 at 10:36 PM #

    Promoting we culcha.


  34. Hants August 2, 2016 at 10:56 PM #

    Sophisticated wukkin up.


  35. Alvin Cummins November 13, 2016 at 3:02 PM #

    @Hants et al,
    When I was writing my play: JaJa King of Opobo”, I researched Dances of Nigeria, going back in history to Colonial times. One of the native dances was one in which the dancers “simulated the sexual activities of humans and animals through use of the movement (moeementations) of the hips. this is yukking up, by any name. It is indeed part of our culture. I invite any and everyone to do this research.


  36. Alvin Cummins November 13, 2016 at 3:06 PM #

    Another one was one in which a masked figure dressed in “crocus” bags danced and all the people placed coloured pieces of cloth in the holes in the costume in the expectation that these pieces of material, representing their hopes dreams and requests of favours would be answered. We still have these “Jumbie dancers” performing along with the stilt man and the penny whistle and kettle drum performers today.


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