You are here
Bring respect to the Carnival
It is Carnival 2013 and for yet another year the decadence continues…in the media, on the airwaves, in the fetes, in the calypso tents, and of course to be expected, later on the streets, we are being bombarded with gross and lascivious behaviour.
We see the lewd photographs with women and men in poses that leave very little to the imagination, on the pages of our newspapers and they are in your face again on the television, whether in advertisements of just plain news stories. They have been there for months with the slew of band launchings and the accompanying displays of skimpy, but expensive costumes on models, who have no qualms about turning themselves into animated mannequins, prancing around half naked.
The seasonal songs, very few can be regarded as calypsoes these days, are raw and without meaningful lyrics and when they are not espousing wining, they are promoting jamming or waving. Every third song on the radio takes on one of the above themes. As for lyrics, unfortunately our modern song writers seem grossly inadequate in that department and rather than carefully chosen words that tell a story, there is a constant assault on the ears of listeners through repetition.
There is a popular song by Bunji Garlin which repeats “We Ready” 16 times over three verses. But let us understand, with that song he is one of the frontrunners in the upcoming Soca Monarch competition. There are other songs that repeat single lines anything between four and ten times. As Roman Catholics we need to address this situation. The church must make every effort to reverse this situation by bringing back respect to the Carnival. The various ministries within the church, have little choice but to mount programmes to combat this deterioration.
While I agree that the current situation is a societal and cultural issue fed by constantly deteriorating mores and diminishing values, it is to some extent the responsibility of the church to work at reversing the trend. In this year when the Archdiocese continues to observe the Synod mandated Second Pastoral Priority—Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity—there are opportunities to develop initiatives to stem the rapid slide.
Our Catholic schools are a good starting point because the students already participate in many of the Carnival activities at the national level—Junior Calypso Monarch competition; Junior Panorama competition and the Junior Parade of the Bands on Carnival Saturday, as well as other smaller regional competitions. Our more vibrant parishes can take a shot at creating avenues for cultural expression in song and dance and even the steelband, with a Carnival flavour.
For success, however, there has to be commitment by the teachers in the case of the schools, and by parish leaders at all levels. Our priests, too, have a role to play by inculcating in the young minds that there can be much enjoyment without being indecent.
This column calls on the church leadership at the various levels to begin to work assiduously in an attempt to win the minds of the young and impressionable, because it might just be a little too late to do much for the adults, now steeped in our current decadent ways. I believe it’s worth a try.
Camsel takes this opportunity to offer its deepest condolences to the Spiritan Fathers and the family of Fr Henry Charles who died earlier this week. May he rest in peace.
Vernon Khelawan is the media relations officer of Camsel, the official communication arm of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located at 31 Independence Square.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.