Archive for the 'Carnival' Category

Kaiso ’til yuh puke

By Raffique Shah
February 25, 2020

Raffique ShahI was pleasantly surprised by the quality of many calypsoes I heard during the first half of the Calypso Monarch finals last Thursday night. My self-regulated sleeping hours did not permit me to take in the second half, which I’m sure was better. But based on the performances I watched and listened to, I can safely say that calypso is on the rebound, albeit slowly. For this, we need to thank the young bards who have decided to stay with traditional calypso even if they sometimes venture into the soca arena to share in its rich rewards.
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Puttin’ Yo Self in People Mouth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 18, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeJudith Reyes is my neighbor. Our parents lived in the same spot for over eighty years. Neighbors thought our mothers were sisters. Judith’s brother Giles and I live like brothers. We have never quarreled with each other.

Every morning when I am in Trinidad Judith sends me a cup of porridge with prunes in it. She makes it clear that she is not doing that for me. Rather, she is doing this for my mother who she reminds me was my protector. She says: “Yo’ know how much candles yo’ mother light for you at Mt. St. Benedict?”
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Pan Potential

By Raffique Shah
February 17, 2020

Raffique ShahAs I savour some of the best offerings from this year’s Carnival from the comfort and safety of my home, I cannot help but think of the thousands of performers and revellers out there who, even as they immerse themselves in the gaiety of the festival, must ponder the possibilities that they might become victims of some criminal act before the day or night is over.
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Salute the London clan

By Raffique Shah
March 09, 2019

Raffique ShahHaving written last week that I did not see the successors to Sparrow and other icons in the pantheon of great calypsonians of Trinidad and Tobago, hence of the world, I think I must be man enough to apologise to the London family, three of whom won the four most prestigious calypso titles at stake this year.

Uncle Brian, who composed the winning songs for nephews Ronaldo and Rivaldo, beat a formidable field (Gypsy, Myron B, Black Sage) to take the ex-tempo crown convincingly, having failed on several previous occasions. Ever since his entry into the calypso arena sometime during the first decade of the Millennium, Brian has consistently maintained high standards as a composer and singer. He was selected for the monarch finals on five occasions (1st runner-up in 2010), and the ex-tempo finals more than that.
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The Carnival is over

By Raffique Shah
January 09, 2019

Raffique ShahI was pleasantly surprised when the announcement by the National Carnival Commission that it was scrapping the North Stand for this year’s Carnival did not elicit an uproar of objections from stakeholders in the national festival and hordes of party animals whose love for steelband music lasts one day—the National Panorama Semi-Finals.

For all its symbolic representation of the spirit of Carnival, crammed as it was (note tense) with more than its 8,000 maximum capacity, the North Stand was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money. For close to 50 years, ritually, every January, contractors and hundreds of workers would engage in a frenetic exercise of erecting the facility, only to dismantle it two weeks after Carnival. The cost? Four million dollars.
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