Wednesday, 6 February 2013

What Carnival means to me this year

Carnival is celebrated on the two days preceding Ash Wednesday each year.  For Catholics and other Christians, it is a farewell to the flesh and the oncoming Lenten season. For several years I have not participated in Carnival in any way. There was nothing against the celebration, however I was not "into" it and I never felt like I had lost anything.
My alternative to the period was just heavenly, salt water in the form of the sea, quiet in the form of the absence of Internet, telephone, television, laptops, with early nights when  after the sun set, darkness came swiftly and everything was pitch black, to early morning sunrises, days spent playing games of one sort or the other with a nap in the day if you stayed up to late or was just too tired from the salty water.
Another View
Trini-revellers-Yanomani-Tribe-03This year I am seeing  Carnival from another point of view and it all came together this evening when I passed through the "Savannah" near to the Grand Stand and saw one of the points where judging of the bands will take place. I saw the posters where different portable devices highlighting the use of digital media were used to show costumes from bands. There was a list of past Panorama winners, there were tributes to various artistes and there was a general sense of recognition of Carnival past as well as the current.
In reality, Carnival is entering the digital age as there is live streaming of different events, some of which are available from Trinidad Carnivals ( see link) There is the "I am Carnival show" which starts at 8:00pm on February 10, 2013 where "The overall idea is that the spirit of mas, pan, calypso/soca and our rhythms all reside in different places but they converge once every year to create the spectacle and wonder that is Carnival. The ‘pregnant’ Carnival spirit calls the various elements together so that the unique Trinidad and Tobago experience is ‘birthed’ once a year."
The websites for the bands have become even more artistic as you can see from the sites of Trini Revellers and Brian McFarlane who are producers of two of the bands who will be participating in the various competitions this year.
Trini Revellers is producing  a band named "Brazil".  An article in December 2012 by the Guardian, a local newspaper states "Band producer David Cameron and head researcher Enrico Rajah engaged the services of several colleagues as well as the Brazillian Embassy to come up with next year’s presentation depicting the largest country in South America".;   This group has  participated  and placed in the following categories in 2012 CARNIVAL - THE GOLDEN YEARS:
  • 1st. Runner up Band of the Year Large - NCBA/NCC
  • Winner Modern History Category - NCBA/NCC
  • Band of the Day - Large - NCBA Downtown
  • 6th. Place - King of Carnival Finals - NCBA
  • 2ND. Place - King of the Road - NCBA
  • 10TH. Place - Queen of Carnival Finals - NCBA
  • Winner Band of the Year - Large - Downtown Carnival Committee
  • Winner - Modern History Category - Monday - Downtown Carn. Committee
  • Winner - Most Colourful Band - Large - Downtown Carn. Committee
  • Winner - Brass Band - JMC 3Veni
  • 1st. Runner up - Individual of the Year - Female - Avernell Johnson
htp://  Brian Mac Farlane is producing " Joy the Finale. Mr. McFarlane has had a series of 1st places over the last few years with creations such as India: The story of Boyie; Earth: Cries of Despair, Wings of Hope, Africa: Her People, her Glory, her Tears, Resurrection, followed by Humanity and Sanctification.

If you are interested in reading more on the subject, here is a link to Trinidad Carnival: Wild and Immersive  for Travel age West by  Mark Rogers or you can read the article on wiki:
Clients can pre-order costumes and collect them in Port of Spain. // (c) 2013 Jim Stephens/TDC

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