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Grenada Informer Friday May 17th 2024 Grenada Informer Friday May 10th 2024

Although carnival officially ended several days now, many people are still smarting from what they perceive that the celebration has become. Many people believe therefore, that Spicemas Corporation has a lot of work to do between now and next carnival if the festival is to return to recover its attraction.
Unfortunately, one of the things that practically everybody seems to agree upon is that the quality of Grenadian soca music is rapidly deteriorating. By listening to the popular songs that seemed to be getting lots of airplay over the carnival season, none can argue that innovativeness is slipping. Practically every song either dealt with jab jab or doing something sexual with a woman, and even the jab jab songs mostly concerned doing leud things with women. Can’t our artistes come up with anything else to sing about? While people understand that at carnival, one tends to be less inhibited, it is difficult to accept that all our soca songs are about jab jab and women.
Be that as it may, we still cannot accept the next gripe that pervaded the carnival season, the preponderance of foreign music in Grenada’s carnival. It certainly rubbed carnival lovers the wrong way when they heard almost more foreign music than local creations playing on the streets during carnival activities.
Imagine, carnival being described as a celebration of local culture and traditions. Carnival traditionally seeks to accentuate Grenadian creativity, innovativeness, culture, traditions and talent. From the creations of the mas men as far as costumes are concerned to the creations of the pan men when it comes to arranging songs for competition to the creativity of the calypso men and women. It is the responsibility of radio and street DJs, as well as those in organized events therefore, to push that creativity regarding the music. Alarmingly, many of them couldn’t seem to care less and they enthusiastically blast foreign music at local carnival activities.
Even steel pan music, a quintessential part of carnival, has become extremely difficult to hear on the road. The few pan sides that dare make an appearance on the road are absolutely drowned out by the DJ music whenever they are in the same vicinity. This is enough to make pan sides reluctant to appear on the streets since they appear to be irrelevant.
Right along with the steel pan, the local mas is clearly now and endangered species. One can spend the entire day on the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday and see nary a short knee, a Vieux Corps or any other traditional mas. It is really ridiculous for us to stand idly by, administrators and ordinary citizens, and watch the essence of carnival washed down the drain without lifting a finger to arrest the decline.
In fact, one would not be too unreasonable in saying that the organization that is supposed to be developing and promoting Grenada’s carnival, Spicemas Corporation, is the biggest culprit when it comes to destroying what it used to be. Carnival seems to have now become an opportunity for private entrepreneurs to profit, while the people that actually make carnival possible, get little.
SMC readily gives permission to any and all promotors to hole shows, even at the expense of traditional carnival events.
Somebody even thought it was a good idea to give permission for foreign pleasure boat owners to come down here and do cruises during the carnival season. They of course depart to their country with all the money they make afterward. In fact, that has led to our world champion javelin thrower and Grenadian sorting icon, Anderson Peters getting beaten to a pulp on one of these boats. The crew of the Osprey for example would have never beaten-up Anderson Peters.
It is therefore, necessary for the new government-and here’s hoping that they read the papers, especially the editorials, to understand what the people are thinking-realize that the task of saving carnival lies ultimately with them. They may need to restructure and reorganize Spicemas Corporation, get different people involved, people with more of a passion for local culture and traditions.
People understand that change is inevitable and that things will have to be adjusted from time to time but they want to see the preservation of the original principle of what carnival is supposed to be, they want to see the tradition aspects of carnival revived and preserved rather than it becoming just a big ongoing street jam.
One last thing that got people quite irate over the carnival and even after, who gave bus men permission to charge people these exorbitant rates of fare around carnival? Could you imagine people having to pay $10.00 for bus from Gouyave and St. David’s? OK it’s a holiday and people are prepared to may marginally more, but double? Even on Saturday last, after the last lap activity on the Carenage, some buses were charging $10.00 to take people home. This is nothing but greed and taking advantage of people.
The decision to ply the routes at those times were made entirely by the bus operators. Nobody called them out of their homes and pleaded with then to come and serve the route. While people are happy to have access to transportation home, that is no excuse to punish the people. The bus operators and all the other merchants and vendors who thing they could double prices for carnival should be stopped and that is another thing the authorities have to pay attention to come next carnival. If you want people to patronize the events, please, make sure the service providers are fair to them.

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