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The remainder of the population in 1990 included Mixed, White, and Chinese. Trinidadians delight in their colorful speech and like to emphasize its distinctive use and development as a marker of identity.Standard and nonstandard English are spoken in Tobago. The public symbols of the nation tend to evoke the themes of multiculturalism, unity in diversity, and tolerance.The national motto is "Together we aspire, together we achieve." The national anthem features the line "Here every creed and race find an equal place," which is sung twice for emphasis.

Planters were encouraging Portuguese speakers from Madeira and Chinese from the Cantonese ports of Whampoa and Namoa to come as indentured laborers.

Tobago developed separately, with the Spanish, French, Dutch, English, and Courlanders all laying claim to the island at different times.

Blacks from the United States also settled in Trinidad.

From 1845 to 1917, about 144,000 indentured Indians were brought to the island.

Under British colonialism there was a clear ethnic division of labor, with Whites as plantation owners, Chinese and Portuguese in trading occupations, Blacks and Coloreds moving into the professions and skilled manual occupations, and East Indians almost completely in agricultural pursuits.

Blacks and East Indians were separated geographically, as many Blacks were urban-based and East Indians were more numerous in the agricultural central and south parts of the island.

There was little if any intermarriage and little intermating between the two groups. Colonial discourses on African and Indian ancestral culture depicted Blacks as culturally "naked" and Indians possessing a culture, albeit an inferior one to European culture.

These divisions dictated the course of national identity and nationalist politics. Perhaps for this reason, Blacks have emphasized Western learning and culture and Indians have emphasized the glories of their subcontinental past.

The East–West corridor is an urban–industrial conurbation from Port of Spain, the capital, in the west to Arima in the east. Afro-Trinidadians and other Creoles predominate in urban areas and in the north of Trinidad; Indo-Trinidadians live mostly in the central and south parts of the island. According to the 1990 census, the total population was 1,234,400.

San Fernando in the south is Trinidad's second city. The two major ethnic groups are Blacks (39.59 percent of the population) and East Indians (40.27 percent). At present, Trinidad is multilingual, with inhabitants speaking standard and nonstandard forms of English, a French-based creole, nonstandard Spanish, and Bhojpuri. Arabic, Yoruba, Bhojpuri, Urdu and other languages are used in religious contexts, and the traditional Christmas music called parang is sung in Spanish.

Trinidad (but not Tobago) is ethnically heterogeneous.

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