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A place of chaos

Sunday, January 28, 2018

With less than two weeks to go, it is our hope that centuries of Carnival celebrations in this country will mean a touch more order in 2018. Because every year, as masqueraders don body paint, mud, glitter and beads, the chaos and disorder remain the same.

Carnival simply has not evolved. Putting aside the economics of the event, the management of the festival has been poor by world standards.

We are a proud people who love to boast about hosting the “greatest show on earth” every year, but if you look closely at how we actually manage everything from copyright to traffic, parking, vending and even basic communication, it’s a miracle some of the major events are even pulled off.

The last-minute nature of the thing is excitement itself for many stakeholders, but surely we could be doing better by now.

A classic example of our collective failure to deliver on something basic? The exhibition of winning Dimanche Gras costumes at the place we the taxpayers actually spent money on to build. Part of the design of Nalis was specifically to facilitate the suspension of costumes.

Nalis has been around for quite a while but not a costume in sight. It’s an almost sure guess that this year it will be no different. As they say, maybe it’s a case of “we like it so”...because surely, after centuries, we can do a lot better.

‘We want more money’

Keeping with Carnival, Carnival committees and stakeholders around the country are crying for more money to pull off the 2018 celebrations. But their tears are wasted because frankly, with cutbacks across the board and across the country, the Government simply does not have the cash to serve up.

It’s the perfect time though, to remember the spirit of the event—borne out of desire, passion, creativity and yes, limited funds, bartering and skill.

The chairman of a major Caribbean conglomerate is famous for saying: “If there is a recession, we will not participate.” Widen that context and it speaks to something bigger, to determination to make something out of what looks like nothing.

Our sweet sweet pan

Queen’s Park Savannah is the place to be today, as the 2018 National Panorama semifinals for medium and large bands starts its beat. This is one of the events that makes this country great. Chaos or not, we hope you get a chance to take a deep breath at some point today…and remember where we have come from and who we are.


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