By Basia Alicia Powell
So many people are requesting that I take them to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. I don’t give them wrong for asking , but while I can’t take you with me, because I am working as well as partying, I am extending an invitation to all, to visit Trinidad Carnival. It is the greatest show on earth. There are so many pieces that make up this cultural puzzle. It is not just about parties and costumes, it is a family and friends reunion!
For me Carnival is about work, but I guess I am doing my job well when I convince you that it’s all about fun. The greatest thing for me is I get to see family, friends and school mates I have not seen in years. We never plan it, but we know we will “all bounce up” in a party, in the pan yard., at a concert, or on the road Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Some of us plan to meet up every year, others show up. Many of us are married to spouses with different nationalities , who immediately get hooked on this unique cultural phenomena. For Trinidadians, Carnival is our birth rite. It’s a family reunion.
As I am writing this post, I am on a flight returning to my second home in Atlanta, sitting next to an American gentleman who told me that he has been attending Trinidad Carnival for the past 6 years. He was first introduced to our culture by his “Trini” neighbor in Atlanta. He said after his first visit he kept coming back for more. This year he played with mas with “Lost Tribe”, and he packed his entire costume in a suitcase and paid for the extra piece of luggage. He was actually on our return flight booking his flight for Carnival 2021! No joke❗️Some of you may not understand it, but I do.
The thing about Trinidad Carnival is, you have to understand how it works. If you have never been, the best thing to do on your first visit is, to stay at a popular hotel like The Hyatt, Hilton or Kapok. Book early because those dates go quickly. You want to identify your parties/events and your costumes in advance, because if you don’t know what you are doing, you may end up at the wrong parties!
When you have done it “proper” the first time, you keep coming back for more. It’s addictive!As Atlanta based rapper Ludacris experienced this year, this is a different level of partying. “They can’t party like we.”🎶 Trinidadians don’t really sleep at Carnival time. We leave one party and head to another, then another. If you don’t have that kind of stamina, then Trinidad Carnival is not for you.
As is customary, I met girlfriends from high school and university, whom I have not seen in twenty odd years. It later dawned on me that if it were not for this thing called carnival, we may never see each other again in life. We all live in different parts of the world and while many of us go back to Trinidad at Christmas time to spend time with family, most of us go home for Carnival! It’s our reunion. So thank you to the people who stayed back in our country to make the costumes, write and produce the soca music, beat the steel pan, manage the mas bands and plan all the carnival events. Thank you for holding down the culture , so we have something magical to come home to.
I would like to say a special thank you to our hard working Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith and the entire police force, for one of the safest carnivals ever, marked by heavy police presence through out our beautiful country. Trinidad Carnival 2020 was unforgettable.
Thank you to all the international celebrities and other visitors who visited Trinidad and Tobago for the first time. No matter what type of problems you are experiencing, a visit to Trinidad at carnival time will help you forget all your worries. So see you next year and in the meantime take a look at this American TV personality giving an account of her experience at Trinidad Carnival 2020:
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