Welcome to Parang, a vibrant city in Trinidad and Tobago where the rich culture of Venezuela meets the Caribbean spirit. Known for its lively folk music and festive traditions, Parang offers a unique experience for travelers seeking an authentic cultural immersion. From the traditional serenades to the modern fusion of soca parang, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. Join us as we explore the captivating rhythms, mouthwatering cuisine, and warm hospitality of Parang, Trinidad and Tobago.
Parang is a popular folk music originating from Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. It was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by Venezuelan migrants who were primarily of Amerindian, Spanish, Mestizo, Pardo, and African heritage, something which is strongly reflected in the music itself. The word is derived from two Spanish words: parranda, meaning a spree, and parar meaning to stop.
In the past, it was traditional for parang serenaders to pay nocturnal visits to the homes of family and friends, where part of the fun was waking the inhabitants of the household from their beds. Today, parang is especially vibrant in Trinidad and Tobago communities such as Paramin, Lopinot, and Arima. A new form of parang, soca parang, has emerged. Soca parang is a combination of soca and parang.
In Trinidad, traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmastime. Singers and instrumentalists, collectively known as the parranderos, travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends, neighbors, and family, using whatever instruments are at hand. Popular parang instruments include the Venezuelan cuatro (a small, four-string guitar) and maracas. Other instruments often used are violin, guitar, claves, box bass, tambourine, mandolin, bandol, caja, and marimbola.
In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: pasteles, pastelle, sorrel, rum, and Ponche Crema (a form of alcoholic eggnog). While traditional house-to-house caroling tradition is still practiced by some small groups and larger organized groups, modern parang music has also developed a season of staged performances called parang fiestas, held from October through to January each year, culminating in a national parang competition.
Varieties of traditional parang music include aguinaldo or serenal, guarapo, estribillo, rio Manzanares, joropo, galerón, picón, and despedida. Since the 1950s, parang has become more popularized. In the 1980s, it evolved into soca parang, a fusion of soca and parang with lyrics in English. While still festive in nature, the lyrics often refer to North American cultural elements such as Santa Claus. Parang has also been fused with chutney, a form of vocal music indigenous to Trinidad, influenced by Indian rhythms and sometimes sung in Hindustani. This fusion forms chutney parang.
As you explore Parang, Trinidad and Tobago, you will be captivated by the infectious rhythms, vibrant costumes, and joyous spirit of the parang music and festivities. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the delicious traditional dishes and experience the warm hospitality of the locals. Whether you are a music lover, a food enthusiast, or a cultural explorer, Parang offers an unforgettable journey into the heart and soul of Trinidad and Tobago’s rich heritage. Plan your visit to Parang today and immerse yourself in the vibrant sights and sounds of this extraordinary city.