NOW THE CARNIVAL OVER
first documented mention of the word carnevale is 1092
during the Dogate of Vitale Falier of the Venetian
Empire. The most likely etymology of the word carnevale
may be derived from the Latin carne + vale meaning
‘farewell to meat’. Carnevale was associated with
festivities in the Republic of Venice in the days
preceding Lent. During Lent Roman Catholics were
expected to “stay away” from meat and dairy products and
use the forty days for reflection and fasting. It meant
that naturally the days preceding the beginning of Lent
(Ash Wednesday) would be full of festivities culminating
on Shrove or “Fat” Tuesday. The Italian carnivals become
very famous and even spread to other Europeans
Columbus’ voyages to the West Indies and the subsequent
occupation of the islands by Europeans naturally brought
with them European customs and traditions, including
estimates vary but anywhere from 6 million to 20 million
freed Africans were uprooted from their lives and
deposited into lives of slavery in the European-occupied
West Indies. They brought with them their practices and
customs. The abolition of slavery and the slave trade
give rise to a milder form of slavery, indentured
workers. These workers came from Europe, Africa,
Southern China and India. They too brought with them
practices and customs.
Carnival we celebrate today is a fortunate confluence of
hundreds of years of customs, traditions and cultural
evolution, which allows us to celebrate our ethnic
diversity. Apart from that very crucial recognition of
who we are as a people, our present-day Carnival
festivities have become big-business, an economic
bonanza in months that would otherwise not provide a
against this background and historic knowledge that I
witnessed the closing hours of Carnival 2012 with Black
Wizard and was afforded the opportunity to have a
discussion about ‘When the Carnival Over’.
generally agreed by Wizard and many others in the know
that the 2012 Carnival was an administrative failure,
culturally it was misery personified for many carnival
enthusiast and resounding changes, yet again are
Former Senator’s grandiose plans for Culture and
Carnival was dealt are final blow with the culmination
of Spice Mas 2012. He has failed gloriously with his
ill-advised festivals and the amalgamation of
individuals on the SMC’s Board proved to be the oddest
and least knowledgeable group to ever oversee the
planning and subsequent execution of a Carnival season.
afore-mentioned juncture of cultural and ethnic
diversity, they preservation and the economic factors
must be guarded by passionate, intelligent people with
foresight, not unlike those before us who moved Carnival
from the month of May to August.
egotistical squabbles over fetes, lack of respect for
cultural practitioners, both past and present,
inadequate accounting of public funds are all grounds
for the swift and immediate removal of not only the SMC
Board Members, but the disbanding of said SMC, since one
can be certain the combination of the letters SMC in
that particular order will conjure up dark and bitter
memories for many, for years to come.
However, before the SMC is disbanded (no resignations
should be accepted just yet) they should, as with any
Statutory Body and more so as an extension of a
Government that has touted accountability and
transparency, be made to provide a full report inclusive
of an in depth financial statement.
my conservative guess that the debt, not the entire
cost, just the debt of Spice Mas 2012 will exceed 2
million dollars. Grenadians will have to foot that bill
and must know how it was accumulated before any
responsibility for Carnival is handed over to other
individuals and or entities.
the battle for fete-supremacy on Carnival Saturday
raged-on the SMC lost sight of the need to deliver a
Carnival product to Grenada and to market said product.
Shows were embarrassingly tardy and once under way were
laborious, without much entertainment value. Artistes
were treated with scant regard, a trait of Carnivals
past many of us have worked assiduously to eradicate.
While the enthusiasm for Carnival seemed to have
increase the ability to deliver even the basic elements
of Spice Mas 2012, for one reason or the other proved to
be an unachievable task of Herculean proportions.
Senator is already history, Mr. Chairman you and your
cohorts, including the Lady Attorney who, throughout the
season found new and creative ways to embarrass her
profession, please do the honorable things. Acknowledge
you were way in over your ego-inflated heads, account
and then disappear into cultural oblivion to re-appear
next carnival in the only role you can effectively play
in Carnival that of a Jab Jab.
the masqueraders took their last lap jump-up on Port
Highway heading to the Carenage, Black Wizard lamented
the fact that the planning for the 2012 Calypso season
and subsequent stages of competition were the worse he
had experienced. He expressed the desire that now the
Carnival is over 2012 should serve as a lesson for
present and future Governments to plan, not just for the
next season but have the foresight to set attainable
goals for years ahead and measure the success of each
Carnival season by the improvements made, based on those
the SMC did not have the decency to do it, spare me a
few lines to acknowledge the contribution Anthony
“Jericho” Greenidge made to Carnival over the years. The
drop in the quality of MCing at this year’s shows is
testimony to the excellence of the man.
other major Carnival and Cultural icons recently past;
Michael “Bokina” Darbeau, panman, purveyor of the
traditional aspects of our mas and in recent times
producer of a Children’s Band. Also “Archie” noted for
his fanatical “Wild Indian” portrayals. Their memories
will live on through their efforts, which were
resplendent enough to leave legacies. May their souls
Rest in Peace.
Finally, let me acknowledge those who I thought were
outstanding in an otherwise mediocre season.
Roy Pan Angels placed 4th in this year’s
Panorama an astounding accomplishment for a small,
unsponsored band. Hats off to Denver and the others,
while the challenges continue to be many this
achievement should provide some fuel to keep the flames
of desire burning.
Nathan Johnson your ascension up the ladder of Calypso
success continued in 2012. The Junior Calypso title and
a place in the Melody Papittette Calypso Semifinal are
but mere stepping stones for what promises to be an
outstanding career as a performer.
Boyzie, one word. Finally! There is no questioning your
talent; your breakthrough year should be the platform to
make yours a perennial, household name. Your captured
the hearts and allegiance of the People and as Ajamu
once said in song, ‘The People Know…’.
Commancheros that was Mas! For those who doubt whether
Grenada can produce quality fancy mas, doubt no more.
All the elements were there; attractive costumes, a
strong marketing campaign, steelband music and most
certainly the spirit of Carnival.
all the winners of Carnival; those pre-determined and
those who won on merit, history will record your
accomplishments in 2012, but more importantly, now that
the Carnival over, the people will remember.