Steelpan music, Jamming, bull, clowns, masquerade, big drum, Carnival Queen, calypso noise and an over abundance of colours were my first memories of carnival. However times have changed as well as the level of participation -particularly by children. We now have a special “Children’s Carnival” with greater participation.
Children’s Carnival now involves all schools In the country. This is more and better organised In terms of children’s participation, than the previously low level of involvement of children, to play the dog in “Bull” or participate in Masquerade or In Nigger Business.
In addition to folklore, there are now other categories such as historical, biblical, educational and fantasy. These categories enable one to choose from a wider variety of themes. Schools are encouraged to be creative, original and as Imaginative as possible. These presentations are artistically displayed and highlight the creativity and skill of the teachers who prepare the costumes.
Some examples of displays to date, which have been very outstanding, informative and educational are as follows:
“The life of an egg” Here one saw just about every conceivable thing that could be done with an egg. The colour scheme, the creativity was absolutely breath -taking.
Secondly, “Blowing In the Wind” portrayed a variety of kites, machines and other objects which depended on the wind. That was simply fantastic.
Thirdly, “Day and Night was a scene to be remembered. The various objects which featured in this display was unbelievable.
Fourthly, the “Children of Israel”: the costumes seemed so original that marvelous was just one simple way to describe the portrayal. Space does not allow me to mention other troupes which impacted on the Judges and other spectators. The costumes which are designed to depict the various themes present a kaleidoscope of colour which is truly Caribbean. Over the years there has been a marked improvement in the preparation of costumes. This Is due to the input of skilled and professional costume makers who were brought from Trinidad to assist locally by providing training for teachers and other interested persons. Although the first term of the school year, September to December Is often buzzing with a variety of extra curricula activities, yet in most schools teachers and pupils eagerly await the opportunity to participate in National Carnival in December. High levels of interest are shown by the children as they question teachers; “What a we having for Carnival this year?” They are knowing very early to submit their names for registration in the school’s troupe. Children’s Carnival is a time for fun, frolic and merriment The children look forward to the street dancing, a pleasurable exercise, where they display their innate talents in vigorous girations of several parts of their anatomy. In so doing they enjoy themselves and provide much entertainment for the curious spectators. Children’s Carnival constantly attracts mammoth crowds of spectators to view and enjoy the displays of these creative youths. Similarly the children avail themselves of this opportunity to display their cultural identity. On with Children Carnival! Long live National Carnival! Congratulations on this Twenty-first (21st) Anniversary.