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These few tips could improve our Carnival

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Editor: Another carnival has come and gone, and again public opinion was not particularly favourable.

Perhaps a few excerpts from a 2002 radio interview between Randy D of NICE Radio and the late Brian Huggins, a former Mas man, might help improve next year’s Carnival.{{more}}

• “I think what needs to be done is more of the street carnival, the old, what we used to call the ‘evening mas’. You had Boozy Back, you had Ten Pounds to See Miss Mary, Wet the Man. It’s just a few people enjoying themselves, entertaining the people who are standing by the roadside all day long. Where are all these things? Why isn’t there a contemporary version of these things, or something new?”

• “Carnival should be a subject in school, the whole aspect of carnival…You know, the best way to learn history is through your culture. A lot of people don’t know this, but the carnival as we have it comes from Egypt, so you set school projects on Egypt and they go off and study it. There’s a lot you can do from carnival to trigger historical projects.”

• “There’s an enormous waste that goes into carnival. They play in sequins, they play in lamé and then they wire things and they have to throw them away, and the people can’t afford it. The carnival designer must now begin to think functionally, not only think of the economy, he must say okay I’m going to do this, but what can I do with it after carnival.”

• “I would like to see the Monday Mas really developed. Instead of just selling t-shirts and everybody going down the road with a t-shirt printed with a calypso theme, let Monday become a real fashion show.”

• “I don’t think that we’re really grabbing the economic benefits. We’re not there trying to find stuff that can be utilized locally to develop the art form.”

• “What is carnival really, in global terms? It’s an exposition of our talents, of our ability to design, our music, our dance and our food. All these things should be exposed there to start up an idea and then hopefully the people come in and buy the idea and produce it.”

• “A lot of guys in the tents are very talented and they’re self-trained. You know they’ve got discipline; they go in the tents, they make their costumes and they work late. So obviously they’re driven by something. And that sort of energy needs to be tapped.”

• “Start to create, because once you create, the future is open for you. Start to choreograph your bands. Start to tune your talents. Let’s get Carnival moving interestingly.”

P. Ratti

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