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Cyar stop de Carnival!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The reactions to suggestions that Carnival 2014 should be cancelled were so swift that festival advocates failed to realise this wasn’t even a serious debate. I can’t be quite sure how the conversation began, but it seemed to have its genesis in the belief that owing to the apocalyptic nature of our crime problem, Carnival ought to be shelved. This was of course ridiculous for many reasons, but equally laughable were some of the responses to the recommendation.


“Dem ha to be mad! Carnival is the only time ah de year dat people does get to free up. How we go ease up on we stress!” We just drunk-stumbled out of the Christmas season and judging by the absolute absence of traffic on the road during what is normally rush hour, as well as the incalculable number of e-mails that bounced back with “no reply” “out of office” notifications, it was easy to assume that the vast majority of people in this country were on vacation. 


This has to be one of the few places in the world where the proprietors of small businesses, during the busiest commercial period of the entire year, post this sign in their shop windows: “We reopen on the 6th of January.” That was just over a month ago. We have an entire season of fetes leading up to the anti-climax of Carnival Monday and Tuesday, plus all of the public holidays, “unofficial” long weekends, and sick days off work spent recovering by the river with a duck, ring stove and a case of white lightning. 


Does anyone truly believe that Carnival is the only pressure valve available to the downtrodden and overburdened working man? This is a country where the only cards workers clock in are the deck of cards they shuffle ceaselessly in the darkened storerooms of our abysmal work ethic.


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