Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2014 Contents A25
Saturday, March 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
We in Soca for Life, we in
WASA fete, we in Army
fete. And don't forget
Machel Monday, we in that for sure. Oh
gosh, and how can we miss Fantastic
This scenario has become all too fa-
miliar. Every year, people dig deep into
their pockets, forking out thousands of
dollars to attend fetes for the Carnival
And don't forget there's Carnival
Monday and Tuesday, so they also
have to find the money to buy those
expensive albeit increasingly skimpy
costumes to "play ah mas." For the
ladies, the weaves, jewelry and makeup
must also be on point.
Some say "their bumper is too real"
they must show it off, some say "they
are feters and drinkers to their heart"
so it's a must to be in every fete. Some
say "they are the happiest man alive"
but come Ash Wednesday I hope they
were still happy.
Here's the reality check. After the
wine and jam and misbehaving, many
mas lovers are often left in a quandary,
wondering how they're going to pay off
their Carnival loans and, in worst case
scenarios, what their children will eat
the next week. Is it worth it? The sim-
ple answer is no.
The time has come for a mature ap-
proach to Carnival. It is labelled the
greatest show on earth but it is also a
time when everything is done in ex-
cess, leading to problems later down
The solution? Spend within your
means. Have fun but do not overdo.
Prioritise. Be responsible. Carnival
comes once a year but we still have to
live our normal lives for the rest of our
lives. Trinis, wake up. There is life after
Make wining T&T's national dance
First it was the Mayor of Port-of-Spain and now the
Archbishop of Port-of-Spain both describing the wining
in this year's Carnival as vulgar.
Carnival, which is farewell to flesh, gives people a
chance "to get on" so that they would keep the month
of Lent holy. They give vent to their primal instinct dur-
ing Carnival then go for ashes and repent.
In T&T we have a unique way of dancing to soca
music. In Barbados it is called "wuk up," and in Brazil the
samba schools have their own version. The bottom line
is soca has its own manner of dancing. Only Trinis can
do this best.
What the Government needs to do is to declare win-
ing as the national dance of T&T. Remove from the
statute books the early 20th century law concerning
lewd and suggestive dancing. Yes, do you know that
based on the present law you can be charged for wining
No one on earth can wine like a Trini. Make it official
before the next Carnival.
We must speak up
to save our land
Have mercy on us, Lord, for as a people of T&T we
have once again offended you and all that your word
represents. We have disregarded the importance of
what our country's name represents---La Trinity.
As I sat in Mass on Ash Wednesday, and listened
attentively to the homily of my parish priest Fr Ian
Taylor, my spirit was uncomfortable and I was moved
to tears. Why? Because I realised that the atrocity
that Carnival represents is slowly becoming a norm.
The public vulgarity, the immorality that is dis-
played and especially the indecency of our women is
Why is it that on these two days, Carnival Monday
and Tuesday, the drunkenness, the indecent exposure,
certain criminal acts and violence are accepted? All
these are offences that one can be charged for on a
daily basis. This is behaviour that has absolutely noth-
ing to do with our culture and if your culture causes
you to sin then it is not one to have.
Now I am by no means here to tell anyone how to
live their life. God's word is not imprinted on my face
but in my heart, and I am not called a bible! But it's my
duty to speak up and speak out against these sinful
acts that seem to be plaguing our nation.
Every year discussions about these issues are
raised and every year our response and attitude as a
people remain the same. Over the years I have heard
masqueraders say that Christians chastise them for
their decisions so much so that they start condemning
Little do they know that in the midst of it all we are
fighting for our peace of mind while travelling in maxis
and hearing soca and seeing half-naked men and
women parading through the streets. So don't knock
us because we are different and we try. We are strug-
gling in this time to keep our eyes on Jesus.
And as my parish priest said as he placed the ashes
on my forehead: "Repent and preach the Gospel," so
am I doing. During this Lenten season, let us as a na-
tion under God, repent! Turn away from our atrocious
ways. And to my fellow Christian brothers and sisters,
let us continue spreading God's Gospel and not allow
ourselves to be silenced even if we are a minority
speaking against the majority. My God, My God help
Elegant costumes win
out over scanty ones
It is heartening on more than one level
to learn of the All Stars Steel Orchestra
Traditional mas has been appreciated
and lauded; elegant costumes have won
out over scanty apparel; and our beloved
steelband has been placed in a position
of honour as it deserves to be.
I need say no more since many have
commented on the sorry pass to which
our Carnival celebrations have come.
Suffice it to say that many of us wish
to see far more of our traditions pre-
served in the years ahead.
Cynthia M Birch,
Suddenly 'seas rough, fish scarce'
Trinis really know crime. We are in the Lenten season
during which fish is in higher demand. Suddenly the
seas have become turbulent and fish have become
scarce. The prices have already soared. Who pays? The
consumer. Up to Carnival Tuesday there was an abun-
As soon as Lent starts, we have been hit with a
"massive shortage." Will consumers do the right thing?
Negative. They will purchase like it is going out of
style, for bragging rights: "Boy, I buy ten pounds at 50
dollars a pound."
The seasonal stupidity does not end here. Come Di-
vali, vegetable prices will escalate.
Things that people were refusing to eat will suddenly
become priority number one. And people will buy as if
there is no tomorrow.
Fast forward to Christmas, meat prices will go
through the roof and again the public will pay the exor-
bitant prices. And again this cycle reverts to its starting
What causes this business transaction? What fuels
or drives these seasonal price fluctuations?
Ah boy, only in sweet Trinidad.
Creativity in Carnival destroyed
The article headlined Toward Carnival 2015 in
Guardian, March 5, is beautifully written and
suggests there is "the widest possible range of
input and discussion on solutions that engage,
adapt and evolve the status quo of Carnival".
On TV we saw bikinis, beads and feathers
(BBF), wining, lewd behaviour being portrayed
to the world as T&T's Carnival product for 2014.
In Rio, Brazil's Carnival, which I have attended,
bikinis, beads and feathers comprise only one
small section of each band of thousands of
revellers. We need costume creativity like it
used to be in the days of Berkley, Minshall,
If tourism as an industry is to survive, better
must be done. T&T Carnival will not attract
tourists as they see BBF on every stage all over
the entertainment world. They see it in Las
Vegas and on cruise ships.
The T&T Carnival Committee judges must
award the highest points for originality of de-
sign in Carnival costuming. BBF should not be al-
lowed in the competition.
Creative designers in T&T, please come for-
ward to save our Carnival.
Kemba Dubois &
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