The following is my considered thoughts on our Carnival.
To my mind the 2017 Carnival was one of the worst I observed in Grenada since Independence simply because the Powers-that-be do not know that Steel band music is one of the main pillars of Carnival and when we do not have Panorama and Steel bands parading in our streets we really had no real carnival.
I was in St. George’s for J’ouvert and the one Steel band which was on the streets was drowned out by the ultra-sound DJ’s.
Carnival this year was “Jab Jab” or “Devil Mas” with emphasis on dirtying everything and blackening everyone.
As I listened to comments and try to obtain the facts, I had to conclude that the Ministry of Culture and the Grenada Cultural Foundation have no standards or specifications for Carnival so they do not know what is truly Grenada Carnival and allow calypso songs and the dances to degrade our women folks particularly the loss of respect for our women folks.
Even more disgraceful is some of our persons’ loss of respect for their own bodies and the flagrant abuse and use of alcohol.
It is against this background that I want to offer the following suggestions as we begin to plan for the Grenada Carnival 2018.
(1). I would like to see the Steel Band Panorama Competition move to “Progress Park” in St. Andrew and we design portable Blocks that can be stored for future years and we encourage school aged youngsters to expand their interest in Steel band music where even the official Police band can be a blend of steel band and our normal band. Perhaps steel bands can be encouraged and accepted in Churches instead of the organ and piano.
(2). I would like to see the Ministry of Culture and the Grenada Cultural Foundation set their priorities and do not have some activities competing with our Steel bands.
(3). I would like to see Standards and Specifications set up and enforced for Calypso lyrics and any vulgar and other words be so designed so that they are not so crude and explicit. Perhaps some of the Calypsonians and their lyric writers go through training courses to develop our calypsos.
(4). I would like to see that the DJ Bands with ultra sounds of several hundred Decibels be dismantled and the “Noise Pollution” practices be controlled and standardised so that we may not be deafened by the loud noise.
(5). I would like to see us enjoy J’ouvert with its social commentary and responsible practices so that we do not aim at demonstrating “Sir Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion” that states that “Entropy goes downhill” and that it is easier to have disorder rather that order and that everything and place should be dirty and disorderly.
So as I close, I hope some of my thoughts and suggestions be considered as we once again upgrade our CARNIVAL.
Dr. E.R. Buckmire