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Trinidad and its sister island Tobago, is the perfect example of contrasts. While Tobago is a sleepy small town, Trinidad is just bursting with life. Known largely for its annual Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago can be deserted during the off season. The carnival, which takes its roots from West African festivals, is celebrated a week before Ash Wednesday. The pre-lenten festival has been adapted in accordance to the Roman Catholic teaching of carne vale – farewell to the flesh. Carnival celebrates life, and Trinidadians & Tobagonians do so with music, extravagant costumes and dancing in the streets. Calypso is one of the mainstays of the Carnival. This musical genre that originated in Trinidad was the African slaves’ way of communicating with each other, as speaking among slaves are prohibited. Over the years, it evolved as a means of spreading news around the island. It became the people’s medium for expressing their thoughts on island life, current events, and even politics. In recent years however, it was Soca, or soul calypso that has been taking precedent in the carnival. Originating from the calypso, Soca mixes the island beat of the steel pan and electronic percussion which blends into a rich dance music that’s perfect for the festivities of carnival. Like most islands in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is boosted by tourism. However, unlike the other Caribbean islands, the other pillar of their economy is petroleum, not agriculture.