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TONI THORNE: Wukking up, vulgarity not the same


TONI THORNE: Wukking up, vulgarity not the same

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SCROLLING THROUGH FACEBOOK, I read, with all due respect, the sentiments of Rev. John Carter and Rev. David Coulthrust about the Operation Intercession initiative.

As someone who believes in Jesus Christ, any attempt to pray for a better community is always welcome. As I read the article, I became confused at some points made by these distinguished religious leaders.

“Christians forget God to revel”. The question here is whether one can partake in Grand Kadooment and still serve God. Many of us take no issue with the involvement of The Walk Holy Band, which plays praise and worship music for the entire route and members are fully clothed. As stated in last week’s column, Crop Over is “fuh all ah we”. Those of us who really believe in God take him wherever we go. The same way we can take a pilates class and think about God, can’t some of us partake in Grand Kadooment and think about him as well?

A comment was also made that the slaves came up with Crop Over. Whilst the slaves did celebrate at the  end of the crop, this comment ignores the contribution to the official festival made by persons such as Julian Marryshow who conceptualised and executed the first official Crop Over Festival, hundreds of years after slavery was abolished.

Crop Over does not “slide into Kadooment” as was stated. Perhaps, it climaxes with Kadooment. As a result, we cannot contend that Crop Over is “Christian” but Kadooment is not. Moreover, we cannot state that Crop Over is for “all ah we” on one hand and discriminate on the other. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians all participate in the festival in various ways.

It may be assumed that one of the reasons Kadooment is receiving such negative sentiments is because of the prevalence of wukking up on this Mega Monday. I had the great pleasure on Kadooment Day of teaching supermodels Jourdan Dunn, Sigail Currie and Sisley Lopez how to wuk up and juck. As I entered the band Xhosa, I was greeted by former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi Phillips, who demonstrated to me on camera that a Jamaican could wuk up like any Bajan.

Many of us love to see this artistic expression. Whether it may be at a public event such as Kadooment or an instance as private as practising our “side-wuk” in the mirror. Many of us believe that this art form, which has origins in Africa, is “sweet fuh days”.

However, wukking up is always a topic of controversy.

Simply put, wukking up is the action of one’s hips moving in a circular, side to side or forward thrusting motion (jucking). “Jucking”, whilst similar to “daggering” in its direction, does not require two people in its execution. More evolved dancing techniques of wukking up such as “the tremble”, “dolla wine” and “sticking” are reserved for those more experienced wukupologists. Like it or not, wukking up is very much a part of our culture and its expression.

It is the ability to isolate the waist and hips from the rest of our bodies in a dance form. Evy Bentham has created a unique and creative form of exercise from wukking up called “Wukup Workout”. Patrons of Evy’s class (some are devout Christians) burn as many as 1 000 calories in the hour.

The issue arises where we view public displays of sexual actions as wukking up. Therefore, the old lady who was in a wheelbarrow position on Kadooment Day with her blue ensemble hoisted in the air in a viral video, was not wukking up.

The disgusting images with men and women simulating oral and vaginal sex were not displays of wukking up. In most instances, when we hear the most conservative of us call for the end of Kadooment and liken it to devil worship, the reference is being made to public displays of sexual acts and lewd behaviour.

We must therefore be able to establish that there is a stark difference between vulgarity and wukking up.

Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email [email protected]