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So the Caribbean Walks Into a Bar…

RAM Party Inside Haiti's Historic Hotel Oloffson; photo by Steve Bennett, used under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

RAM Party Inside Haiti's Historic Hotel Oloffson; photo by Steve Bennett, used under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

The rest of the world often regards the Caribbean region as a monolith, but there are so many cultural differences — and sometimes points of contention — among territories that it can be hard to keep up.

Twitter has come to the rescue, though, with an insanely popular hashtag #IfTheCaribbeanWasABar. If you want to understand the region's strange sensibilities, what makes the Caribbean tick and how citizens of different islands perceive one another, put on your party clothes and have a drink in the virtual bar that is the Caribbean archipelago.

Who pays for the drinks?

Rich in natural resources, Trinidad and Tobago has long had a reputation for being one of the more economically stable countries — and in its heyday (the 1980s, when oil prices were high) it was often in the position to loan money to other islands.

As a result, Trinidadians earned a reputation for being a tad boastful about their means. Equate them to the guys in the bar who pull up in the most expensive cars and swagger their way around…

The ‘in’ crowd

In this virtual beach bar, most folks want to hang with the ‘cool’ people — in Caribbean terms, that apparently means Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, despite their rivalry…

And speaking of catty rivalries…

The islands that didn't get in

Montserrat is at the top of the list, especially considering that it barely has a population to talk about — most people were forced to flee, mainly to the UK, after the eruption of the Soufriere volcano 10 years ago.

There are also territories that many netizens don't really consider Caribbean, even though they are, whether geographically or politically:

And then, there's Tobago. The sister island of Trinidad and one of the most beautiful in the archipelago, Tobago has gained the unfortunate reputation of being the ugly stepsister, and Twitter users milked it for all it was worth:

The regional spotlight

Of course, pressing regional issues, such as the pending deportation that many Dominicans of Haitian descent now face — and the region's attitude towards Haiti as as a whole — have come under fire:

Hey Mr. DJ!

There was quite a bit of commentary about the region's music, dancing and socialising styles:

If the popular hashtag continues to trend on Twitter, some netizens are afraid it might have long-term effects:

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