Identity, national belonging, citizenship and authenticity have been recurrent themes in Caribbean societies, often connected to the search for political independence/autonomy and economic self-sufficiency and more recently also combined with an ongoing attempt to understand global-local interactions. Studies of the Dutch-Caribbean island of Curaçao can add another dimension to this wider Caribbean and postcolonial discourse.
A recurrent theme in the Caribbean island societies has been and still is the issues of identities and national belonging, tied for long to the search for political independence or autonomy and economic self-sufficiency, but momently also combined with a constant search for understanding global-local interactions. Its reaction in the form of 'culturalization’, a process going on universally in reaction to what is sometimes experienced as the cultural ‘suffocation’ of globalization, has received scholarly attention.
The research on Curacao regarding identity, national belonging and citizenship can add to the above mentioned discourse. The governance process taking place at the moment is accompanied by a discourse that makes reference to a (presumed) common, national identity, while the term Yu di Kòrsou – formerly primarily connoting identity – is now also presented as a category of (new) citizenship. Considerable energy, and ingenuity, has been devoted both in the past as well as in the presence to consider who is the Yu di Korsou and what authentic Yu di Korsou culture.
Where do young people stand in these discussions? Young people seem to be absent in these discussions. They are being accused of being indifferent of issues on identities and are seen as passive victims of globalization to whom culturalization policies need to pay special attention. Very little is known how young people in the Caribbean physically and symbolically define themselves across national boundaries of belonging.