For the first time I will be heading to Jamaica. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I haven’t been before. But the good thing is that I will be also be participating in carnival in Jamaica!
Never really thought of Jamaica for carnival until a couple of years ago. Reggae, bashment, yes but soca and carnival? No. Isn’t that the most disgusting stereotyping? A couple of friends of mine of Jamaican heritage decided to go to carnival about what… three years ago? They loved it! There were some bits such as Jerk Pork on the route and fruit punch in plastic bags which made me think ‘hmmmm maybe I should check it out’. I finally get round to going. However, from what I understand and from what they tell me, it has changed drastically in just the space of one year. There are more bands on the road and more international branded fetes. Even Private Ryan’s Brainwash has been exported to Jamaica carnival.
Already this feels like it will be quite a different experience to that of my last carnival experience in Haiti in February. For a start I am going as part of a group of six or so. We have had Sy Tours kindly and expertly arranging flights, accommodation, fetes, make-up if wanted etc. I have my costume by BacchanalJa and boots by The Goddess Experience.
We have a whatsapp group, discussing which fetes to go to, which fetes are at the same time, which clothes to wear at certain fetes, travel to and from fetes… you get the drift. And it’s not a bad thing, just the typical these days for international carnivalistas.
I am hoping that there is ‘something’ that marks Jamaica carnival as unique and it is not just a carbon copy of other carnivals in the English speaking Caribbean. And I am hoping that I have some time to do some sight seeing and take in the culture of Jamaica. But our schedule is so jam packed with fetes, that’s more than unlikely. At it’s worst, it might just be a great carnival holiday. At it’s best? Who knows. We shall see.
I’ll be missing out on some of the later live band launches for Notting Hill Carnival 2017. But hopefully I’ll be able to have a look at pics of the costumes..