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Sou-sou : gaining popularity or has it past its 'hand' date?

This form of communal ‘banking’ was highly favoured and quite secure for many Caribbean folks in their early days in the ‘Mother country’. On a recollective frame of thought, one of my lovely Aunties had two hands in a sou sou, 10 pounds each. For her it was a secure way of saving, and dealing with any financial emergencies, for example, she was able to ‘swap hand’ if an emergency arose. She never went around asking to borrow money from any source eg friends/family members. She made regular trips back home to visit her parents courtesy of the sou sou. It was because of the sou-sou, she was able to return to Grenada permanently to live quite comfortable after building her 'I did not come here (England) to stay' dream three bedroomed bungalow, on her father’s land, about two decades before the retirement age.

The ‘small island’ sou-sou profile was lowered and damaged; because unscrupulous. devious troublemaking characters joined, and once they got their ‘hand’ did a ‘runner’ and did not pay back any more money. I think this is what lead to the decline of sou sou for many people, especially those who were not use to dealing with crooks or villains.

A friend from Jamaica emailed me, and she mentioned that she was due to receive her ‘sou sou’ payment in the New Year. And basically, after decades of not hearing anything about the sou-sou, it brought back memories of my aunt who is still basking in the sunshine. Bless her, as even now she echoes - "child, if it was not for the sou sou, I would not of been able to build the house and get out of the cold".

In these days when many folks are suffering financial disharmony, I throw open the question – Is the sou sou gaining popularity or has it past its ‘hand’ date?