Yup, you read correctly, Ilovecarnivall is going to China!! You know when you have dreams so big they scare you? Just thinking about it makes your heart race, you have that initial thought of ‘Can I really do this?’ I’ve had it once before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and I have it now. Lil ole me is to going to cover the carnival band Elimu Mas band in China! As far removed from the West Indian culture as you can get. And here it is, our costumes, our music will be in the land of the Great Wall. I am sooo excited!
London’s carnival mas band Elimu Mas has been heading to China for a couple of years, representing England in the Shanghai Tourism Festival. When researching the Elimu Mas to write about their band launch in June, I came across this lovely nugget of information and thought ‘I have got to cover this! Carnival culture in the far East!’ How is it received? What will I find?
On Sunday, I got my costume and a briefing about the trip by Ansel Wong. There are the veterans who have been a couple of times and there are the newbies like me asking all kinds of questions. They look like a nice group and there were one or two familiar faces. Ansel tells us more and we are shown a bit of the routine we will have to do whilst in costume. This is going to be a challenge. Choreography and I are not good friends at all.
From what I understand, social media is pretty limited out there, so no facebook or instagram. But I will publishing here so keep an eye out for one or two articles on this site as well as some pictures.
So who says carnival is over? I got my t-shirt, cup and bag by Elimu Mas band, I got a costume made by no other than Melissa Hartman (and I love it!), I’m going to be with over 30 masqueraders, and I’m going to be in a public arena in Shanghai accompanied by Kerwin Du Bois song ‘All Kinda Kind’! Feels like Carnival to me! China I coming!