Category Archives: Trinidad

Carnival Trinidad&Tobago 2012 – Celebrating 50 years of Independence

Carnival Trinidad&Tobago 2012 – Celebrating 50 years of Independence

The one thing except for the dazzling costumes of the Trinidad Tobago Carnival would be the music … in fact ….THE Carnival Song (Soca style) … by Machel Montano …. that was playing from several mobile bands/DJ disco’s from up to 20 massive speakers … all on a flat-bed truck with a generator that could power up a small town! (100kWatt!) … there were close to 200 of those trucks and they just keep leading each new group with this song ….” we revelling, we revelling, Masqueraders on the road, revellers playing mas” … if I can find a clip/ YouTube video of it – I will include it in this blog! It is just soo catchy … can’t get it out of my head…
Wether this year was more special than others because of their 50 years celebrations of independence – I would not know… but boy was that one spectacular show! We were lacking at least two extra pair of eyes and 4 extra cameras! A local paper ranked this Carnival the third most spectacular in the world with Rio 4th and Sydney Madi Gras 6th! Well… for what it’s worth … Rioter did not endorsed those rankings…. either way … it was pretty impressive!
To know which day it has started is impossible to say … they started months ago with the odd pre carnival party and they just became more frequent excuses to give the bands exposure and practice time and to loosen hips of the dancers up for the big day!
Saturday Night –Insomnia Party
That only started at 2 am with a few mud baths in the middle of the streets – you will get yourself covert in mud and dance around the streets till 6am…..needless to say – the Captain did not think that would be a good idea…and I was happy to oblige!
Kiddies Carnival is on all Saturday morning and afternoon: all the junior participants (junior carnival king and queen were selected as well as the junior Calypso Singer for the year! )
Sunday night – Calypso Night
The first night we went to a carnival event was the calypso finals that were held at a stadium (with world class facilities!). Calypso is (in our opinion) a combination of “country and rap” – I know – sound weird to even mention those two genres in one sentence – but it is an old fashion style of music (country?) that is threatening to die out but has the lyrics and tendency of a rap song in the way that they sing about the daily concerns of a community… highlighting political scandals, male/female relations, crime and island satire… etc.
The evening was split in two halves with the finalist of the Carnival Queen and King’s outfits (more like small floats!) from top designers lightning up the stage for at least 2 hours! Absolutely unbelievable!!! You cannot believe that only one person is managing that huge structure! The designs were mind-blowing! What a welcome break after having listened to calypso for 3 hours! Well… after half time ( 12am !!) there was another 3 hours of calypso and then the announcements were done at 4am, I believe.

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Thank goodness the last bus home was at 12am! We had to go and we made up our minds that calypso is bat-sh#t boring if you don’t know what the issues are and who the characters are they are singing about! The tunes have not got much to it… so … we will not buy a Calypso CD this time…

Carnival Monday … “J’ouvert “… the official start of the parade day ….
J’ouvert “… meaning: “has the day begun yet?

People are free to dress in any old garment, cover themselves with mud, oil and paint and dance in the streets in the cool of the early morning…. and when the sun comes up … then go and clean up and rest … ready for the next party! We did not go….saving our cameras and ooo’s and ahhh’s for the main day on Tuesday!…and you by the way do stand a chance to getting covert in paint or chocolate sauce!

Tuesday – Main Parade day of Carnival
We were there at 6am in the morning to be able to buy seats on a grand stand on the main street – just to have somewhere to sit and have some shade and toilet facilities available if needed. That… was money well spent! It became a very long and exhausting day! By 6.30 it was stinking hot … and by 8am Johann had his first Stag beer and I my first scotch and soda! Ha ha!! Funny to think about it now… ?
The Music, the Colour and all the Costumes and Lauging and singing and swaying figures took the streets in their thousands (27 000 + participants took the streets that day!) The pictures will tell some of the stories … but the music and provocative pelvic dances (wining) are just not captured well in any picture ..that just lives on and on in your mind for ever and a day… I guess? (I hope!)

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