Upon first hearing the term “liming,” I thought it was describing a culinary term; however, in Trinidad & Tobago, liming is an actual activity. Referring to the art of doing nothing while sharing food, drink, conversation and laughter, liming is an important part of the country’s island culture. In fact, it’s not uncommon for locals to say something like “let’s go lime” to mean “let’s chill or hangout.”
Why Is Liming Cultural?
Trinidad & Tobago is part of the Caribbean, and therefore has that laid-back vibe and carefree way of thinking present in many island cultures. Here, however, they take doing nothing to another level. For hanging out to be considered liming the activity cannot have a larger purpose other than just hanging out. Additionally, the activity is inherently social, requiring two or more people with the ability for others to join in at any time.
What’s interesting is that while many other cultures consider lounging around doing nothing as shameful or lazy, the activity is actually something locals take pride in in Trinidad. Class and status play no part in this cultural facet, as everyone from the unemployed to the wealthy partake in liming.
Where To Lime
You can lime almost anywhere as long as it’s a public place and your intentions don’t go further than just hanging out and being social. Popular spots to lime include rum shops, restaurants, street corners, parks and the beach. For the most part, a lime is considered successful if it includes lots of drinks and leads to a party or something larger later on — so if you’re invited to lime make sure to bring some rum!
Drink. Image via xptakis.