Somehow I thought I’d escape it this year but no. It’s back! Every year since I came back to practicing Islam, I’ve suffered from carnival withdrawal. What is carnival withdrawal you ask? It’s a combination of homesickness and a desire to participate in West Indian carnival production (i.e. permission to publically wuk up my waist to loud Soca music.)My friend emailed me a couple of weeks ago to tell me she was going to Trinidad carnival this year. I admit I was a little jealous but such is life. I’ll get over it.
Some Muslims have told me that carnival is just a bunch of Jahiliyya (ignorance) and they are astounded that I would even miss it at all. They may be right but it doesn’t change the way I feel. I grew up on Soca and Calypso. Once I became an adult I was breathing carnival; Caribana, Miami Carnival, Jamaica carnival and so on. I also loved going to the stage shows (like the one I posted above)which create the atmosphere of carnival. Maybe it’s one of those things that you have to be a part of the culture (or have an appreciation of it) to understand.
As I’ve said in the past, I miss carnival not because I want to get drunk or display my nearly naked self in a carnival costume. I enjoyed dancing, eating some good Caribbean food, admiring the costumes and listening to music. In my view, carnival has always been a time to celebrate Caribbean culture.
It was a time to lose myself in the music…to break away and just feel di riddim. Not think about anything else but enjoying di vibes.
But as I said, I’ll get over it…eventually…some day. *Sigh*