We all have that one friend that complains about absolutely everything. They are usually the same friend who thinks that there is only one way for something to be done. While they unquestionably aggravate the crap out of us, we love them anyway.
Keep that friend in mind and begin to think about your all time favorite meal to prepare (or eat)…yup, that’s the one. Now, imagine this person watching over you as you prepare your meal, then they ask for a taste. You see them skinning up their face and sucking their teeth the whole time, then they finally bust out and say “No…dat ain’t right; das not how you mek it; my mudda’s don’t taste like dat”! That’s when you give them a hard side eye and say “IS YUH MUDDAH MEKKIN IT NOW? WHO’S DE CHEF? ME OR YUH MUDDAH”?!
As they saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat…and there is undoubtedly more than one way to experience carnival, so listen up.
It’s very easy for experienced carnival-goers to want to compare each country’s carnival. I beg of thee…STOP DOING THIS NOW! No carnival experience should be identical to another. Don’t go to Barbados and expect Trinidad. Don’t go to Antigua and expect St. Vincent’s and please don’t go to Boston and expect Miami. Wherever you go, especially if you’re going for the first time… go with a blank slate. Don’t formulate any expectations in your head…period. If you do, it’s very likely that you’ll leave that place extremely disappointed.
We all know Trinidad is the most popular carnival out there and as they proudly proclaim, it’s “the greatest show on earth”. Did I have a blast in TNT? Absolutely; it was UNFORGETTABLE, phenomenal and eye opening. This however does not mean that I have lost respect for any of the other carnival’s I’ve been to; they’re all intriguingly unique in their own way. I can tell you right now (IMO) that ain’t no jouvert like a Jab Jab jouvert…period. It don’t get any rawer than that.
When I go to Crop Over I know I can find genuinely charming people and get a good Bajan wukkup. It’s not too often I can find a dancing partner to keep pace…and I mean pace! I can honestly say I’ve picked up all of my favorite moves in BIM.
Respect the differences, remove expectations and just have fun!