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Carnival time again!

01/27/10

Permalink 09:17:59 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Commentary

Carnival time again!

*Pictures in this article may not be suitable for children, be careful when viewing at work as well :)*

*sniff sniff* Do you smell that? Its a faint but pungent scent in the air... kind of a mixture of sweat, hormones, various alcoholic beverages, paint, and makeup. I cant be the only one smelling it, I'm sure you can smell it, it came around last year around this time and lasted until early april. Oh wait I know what it is... its CARNIVAL TIME AGAIN!!!!! Yes folks, the Jamaican carnival season starts officially next week and people are starting to get excited! As is usual I've gotta explain for the non-caribbean readers out there exactly what is Carnival. Essentially carnival is a celebration of.... really I dunno what its celebrating (though people will point to its pagan history), but for us its all about high energy, skimpy clothing, whining (pronounced wine-ing) and Soca music.

carnival girls

Now to be honest carnival culture isn't really one of those cultures that's very popular one in Jamaica. It really is more of an eastern caribbean culture, and most people who have experienced the different carnivals all agree that Jamaican carnival cant compete with that of Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent etc., but thats not for lack of trying. Carnival and Soca has been slowly penetrating the Jamaican landscape since Byron Lee started popularizing it in the 80's. I personally am one of those Jamaicans that isn't exactly a fan of the whole carnival thing, Soca music while fun isn't something you can listen to all the time, and there are some hypocritical aspects in the culture (that I really should touch on soon)... However I find myself drawn to some of the celebrations because... well... women, in skimpy clothing, behaving badly, I'll be there wherever I can find it.

Girl enjoying herself

Back on topic, in Jamaica our carnival celebrations are essentially a 2 month event which consists of weekly parties which end with Jouvert (pronounced Joo-veh), and the bacchanal road march. The weekly parties are socasize and bacchanal fridays. Socacize is essentially a night of exercise to the high energy soca music (get it soca + exercise = socacize), it is held mondays and wednesdays at mas camp (which is where all the soca celebrations really take place), and is supposed to be sessions that get you fit so that you can participate in the road march and its festivities, oh and its free. On Fridays is the ever popular bacchanal fridays which is a night of non-stop whining to nothing but soca from about 9-2 (for a small fee) and it truly is a spectacle, this party I will definitely be at for the reasons given before.

After the 10 weeks of action packed behaviour and wonderfully dressed women, we then meet up with Jouvert, this is a party that involves everything I've told you about before... but with paint.

Jouvert revellers

 

Copious amounts of...

jouvert

paint.

But dont for once think that this is a dampener on the party... no no no, this is actually what the party is all about. The paint seems to make the party go even wilder and is something I think everybody should experience just once. Trust me on this one. Oh and dont wear or carry anything you cant afford to lose... you'll get paint in places that paint really isnt supposed to be.

Finally the carnival season ends with the road march. This is a costume competition where different "bands" will march along a given path with non stop music going on throughout the time and will try to be the most energetic band that exists. Being energetic and looking good will then make your band be considered the winning band.... but you wont win a thing.

blue band red band

This is also where you see those exorbitant costumes that you see in almost every picture that is associated with Carnival and is really a day long event (hence the need for soca-cise) and seems like quite the fun event to participate in.

monarch

monarch 2

Well the Soca season begins next week and to all the revellers and ramajays out there planning to take part...

Get ready to whiiiiinee!!

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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