In short, walking the walk. Year after year I’ve caught heat and criticism from family, friends and my peers for giving everyone else’s carnival shine but my own. You name the carnival and I’ve most likely participated once, twice. You can even accuse me of being an every year offender to some. These Carnivals, each with its own vibe, yet similar in so many ways that at times I’ve felt a slight disconnect in originality.
This year 2016 through a minor blessing I chose to take my talent to my beautiful country that I’m always so boastful about. To a unique show that we can truly call our very own – To MasDominik2016 and let me begin this carnival review by saying :
BEST DECISION EVER!
What we (Dominica) lack in commercialism, structure, and organization, we make up for with everything that is unique to our carnival and our carnival only. You see, while in Dominica, I answered my very own longtime question of what makes a carnival experience special? My answer… individuality, vibe, friends, new bonds and watching how everyone feels the connection that you feel during those moments. I’ve always been amused as to why Dominicans abroad come back year after year for carnival.
A carnival that is small, events are few and a type of music that has often been referred to as “rubbish” by the elders. I do believe its a testament to why it is special in its simplicity.Sunday night was Chandra. An all white all inclusive boat party. I don’t want to be biased being that it’s thrown by yours truly- Team Feterz Inc, but from feedback it sounded like a must do event if you plan on visiting in the future after reading this, providing that you can get a ticket (inside note: Sells out pretty fast).
J’ouvert morning was next, and it was amazing to see the little-formed cliques in their matching costumes from marvel superheroes to scarecrow almost Halloween type costumes. Along with the more traditional sensay and lapocabrit (drums). But the big bands had the majority of islanders chipping to the beat. It was at j’ouvert I fell in love all over again to the music we refer to as Bouyon. An aggressive, uptempo, modern, yet old, instrument infused type of rhythmic sound that is ours and ours only. Bouyon honestly can’t be explained. It’s a sound you truly appreciate in person. My truck(Band) of choice for jouvert Triple Kay International, 5 stars in my book.
Later that evening (T-Shirt Day) we drove to the North to the town of Portsmouth where we vibed with the originators of Bouyon, the WCK band before ending the evening back in the capital of Roseau.
Carnival Tuesday, parade day, blew away all expectations. The costume bands, stick walkers, masqueraders, the many floats reminded me of why my passion for carnivals began. The road experience brought back a connection I had lost. A connection to the music, the people, the excitement of how free you feel for those few hrs on the road. But what stood out most was I had misjudged Dominica for not being structured or organized. I had been away so long that I’d become one of the elders in my own way. The music ran me through moods I’d long forgotten. At times I felt alive, happy, free, emotional, touched. You name it, I felt it. As one of my friends best explained it #BouyonDiDifference. And when I was geared to finish at 6/7 O’clock, this carnival just went on and on. Man, what a time!
It is with great pride that I write this. It’s because I’m proud of how great something so small , so wonderful, so innocent can be. My sweet Dominica, same time same place 2017