Ever heard of the legend of Dracula? A fierce warrior, who sacrificed himself over to the dark side for the purpose of saving his family? He then became a vampire. At least that's how it goes in the movie. The legend of Dracula is also one of the main selling points for tourism in the forested Transylvanian nation of some 20 million inhabitants known as Romania. It's a nation that sometimes gets over looked in the over-commercialization of every facet of human existence. Even our identities now carry some degree of value in a predominantly capitalist world, and so do our collective mythologies and folklores.
For Romania, the mythology of the story of Dracula, written in 1897, and the fact that it's actually based on someone who lived - Vlad Dracula - makes the story even more compelling.
Any time I visit a new country I usually try my best to connect my travels to something associated with my wonderful, beautiful, exotic and fantastic homeland of Trinidad and Tobago. My initial thought was that I would be hard-pressed to do so this time…but oh was I wrong! The myth of the ‘Buck’, a local Trinidad and Tobago legend of a midget animal-like man who terrorizes villagers has come to the forefront of the Trinidad and Tobago media in the past weeks. It’s been terrorizing a particular family in a village called Gasparillo.
No one really knows what the 'buck' or 'bacoo' looks like. The photo to the left appears to be the closest depiction of the mythological beast that's now being taken as an actual serious news story on the island. In fact, the police have been called into action, in addition to a host of pastors and pundits - hoping to rid this particular family of the 'Buck'.
CHECK HERE : BUCK RETURNS TO SUCK BOY'S TOE
In all fairness, from what I've heard since being here in Romania, there's been no recent sighting or complaints of Dracula roaming anywhere throughout the country. The Romanians have been able to tuck their mythologies in the appropriate basket of fiction and folklore. And mind you, vampires ought to live forever. On the other hand, the Buck seems to be living for an eternity, or atleast reproducing back on the island. Even some legitimate voices have added credence to the question of a 'buck' actually being a living, breathing thing. Not to necessarily give this most absurd story any greater ounce of legitimacy, but one thing does concern me however. The legend goes that the Buck usually bothers those who made a prior agreement to sustain it in exchange for enormous wealth. Why isn't anyone critiquing the story of this particular family?? Just Food for thought.
To me, this story is so laughable that I'm tempted to think that this is a ploy by those nefarious forces who run media houses in Trinidad and Tobago to take our attention away from the good work of our Commissioner of Police. But that's the conspiracy theorist in me. Nevertheless that's a discussion for another time. The fact of the matter is that Trinidad and Tobago and Romania do have something in common. Our myth may be a bit more absurd, lacking in the moral overtones of good versus evil, self over the collective, but still grasping a nation that apparently has little else to do with our time than to watch with amusement, or in some cases concern, thinking: "I wonder if de Buck goh come fuh we next boi!" LET ME ASSURE YOU MY FELLOW TRINBAGONIANS...SHORT FAT MEN WALKING ON "DEY TOES" CAN USUALLY BE FOUND IN PARLIAMENT STEALING OUR MONEY!
Atleast for our own good, let's consider commercializing this farce known as the 'buck'. Let's learn a thing or two from our Romanian friends some 8,000 kilometers away from our island and commercialize our myths.
So, to get to the point of this entire post. Today I visited Romania, the city of Timisoara. It was more than for mere tourist reasons, however I was still able to get to see more than just some of the city. Surprisingly, the people were warm and helpful. As it concerns the language I did pick up the words :"Salut" and "Cao", both as greetings.
Romania prides itself on being a major destination for tourists especially during the Halloween season, having gained substantial notoriety for what can only be described as the phenomenon of Dracula. Our myths, atleast on the surface level, aren't as rosy as or soiled in quasi moral myths of valor and bravery, but it is certainly more entertaining...lol :)
The legend or myth of the ‘Buck’ in Trinidad is about a ‘man’, or 'beast', or 'man-beast' of some kind, who for all intents and purposes is just a nuisance. He, or she, eats out your food, and does the dumbest and most absurd stuff like ‘sock your toe’. In fact, who doesn't like a story about a diabolical midget e.g. Austin Powers, Bad Santa, Friday. In all honesty media obsession with this is in an of itself a nuisance. To be quite frank, there are enough "Bucks" in the Parliament of our country. The media, and the police, can probably focus in more of their resources on such. However, this can work to our benefit after all, if we consider (in general) the concept laid out by the Romanians and commercialize our myths.
Mikhail E.D. Byng was born in Trinidad. He is the author of Off the Island and a graduate student at the University of Belgrade. He speaks Serbian and English.
Trinbagonian. Traveler. Believer in God. Believer in Creation. Life long Student. Sports enthusiast.