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Things we miss

Things we miss
Friday, February 10, 2017
Minshall’s mas band Papillon (1982) consisted of 2,500 masqueraders wearing ten-foot butterfly wings in a huge meditation on the ephemeral nature of life.


Carnival is colour. Carnival is mas. But for some people, Carnival needs to bring back some things from the past-things they believe made Carnival unique and worthwhile. Some long for the return of certain fetes and events, or the euphoria of a real sweet J'Ouvert, while others recall the togetherness that used to characterise their experience of Carnival.

What are some of the things people miss most about Carnival? Here are some responses.


Daychelle Morris, artist: "I miss Peter Minshall's presentations, the artistry that he brought to Carnival. I also miss when you could take children to see mas, and not (see) the vulgarity and nakedness (of what passes for mas) now. The artistic concept in Carnival is gone. But I really do miss Peter Minshall the most."


Charli Griffith, entertainer, singer/songwriter: "I miss the fact you could have gone to a mas camp the day before mas, and choose a costume. I would also like the junior competition for schools to come back."


Peter "P'dizzle" Sanchez, public servant: "Midnight mas in South. Carnival on a Sunday in South ....Monday evening mas and pan."


Caitleen Storm Brown, chef, event planner: "I miss the lyrically positive and melodically sound soca. I miss the Kitchener type musical arrangements for Panorama. I miss the creativity in the costume designs."


Kenneth "Kaiso" Phillips, cultural enthusiast: "I miss the romance and spirituality of the festival. From the anticipation and preparation, to the vibrance of the season, to the climax with steelbands taking you home after last lap. Carnival was community centred and closer to the people. There was the anticipation of waiting for the bards like Kitch and Sparrow to release, and trying to predict the Road March, which was dictated by steel bands until the late 70s."


Kimberly Scott, radio personality: "Firstly, I miss the essence of what used to be T&T Carnival-the unity among the people playing mas.

"There is just too much separation…the ropes.....the division of the bands crossing the stage. I miss the feeling of Carnival being for everyone and not just the elites who can afford it. I miss the fact that people didn't care what section they played in and who it was affiliated to, once they got a costume and Stag in hand.

"I also miss the affordable prices of the costumes, so that everyone could participate with ease if they chose to.

"I miss value for money in terms of the fetes. You have to mortgage yuh house to party! I miss the easy access to parties like Water Colours, Boy Scouts, Customs, Brass Festival, WASA, Flour, UWI Splash, and Bacchanal Wednesday, where an email and prerequisite screening to spend your own money was not necessary.

"I miss the early morning 2 am J'Ouvert. I just miss the natural flow of Carnival Monday-wearing part of your costume teasing onlookers of what is expected to come on Tuesday, instead of over-commercialising it into a fashion designer frenzy instead of mas.

"I miss really great stories being the lyrics of the soca music.

"I miss going to a fete dressing in a short pants and sneakers in the hopes of it mashing up to threads by the end of the party.

"I miss the brass of the bands in fetes ....too many track performances now.

"I miss the powder puff girls Chunko, Jade and Britney mesmerising the crowd.

"I miss Monday night mas.

"I miss the people coming into Port-of-Spain in their numbers, bringing food and coolers full to enjoy the experience. The (Queen's Park) Savannah is like a ghost town now.

"I miss the days when Soca Monarch was Soca Monarch and only the cream of the crop could qualify and win.

"I miss the wining ladies and flag women on stage for pan.

"Finally, I miss unity, love and energy of the season."


Stay tuned, as next week


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