How better than a Carnival?
By Lennox Chandler | Wed, August 22, 2012 - 12:01 AM()
I am old enough to remember Carnival in Bridgetown and the rebirth of Crop Over with the burning of Mr Harding at the Garrison Savannah, fairs at the sugar plantations, and the like.
It pains me to see how Crop Over has been transformed into nothing more than a music festival centred on a slew of competitions.
I am sure this was never what Mr Julian Marryshow, Mr Elombe Mottley and others envisaged. Crop Over was supposed to be a total expression of Barbadian culture, that is, our music, culinary arts, visual arts, tradition, history and the like.
Being Barbadians we have allowed our “copy cat” mentality to cause us to move away from the original concept, towards a Carnival, such as is held in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, St Vincent and the other territories in the region.
Why were the street fairs and plantation fairs, held in the communities, abandoned?
At the recent Cohobblopot at Kensington Oval (another disaster), an announcer lamented that during the breaks in the show there was nothing happening. He thought these gaps should have been filled with various cultural inserts.
I agree totally.
The time has come for a total rethink of what we are putting out for Crop Over. There is a need for innovation, and I hasten to point out that adding another music competition is not innovation by any stretch of the imagination.
Crop Over is said to be more than a Carnival. Well, from what I have seen lately and what I know of Carnivals around the world, it is neither a cultural festival nor a Carnival. Let’s get back to the drawing board, as they say.
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