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Mardi gras 2019

Masqueraders in Kingstown during Mardi Gras 2019. (iWN photo)

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Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) Ricardo Adams has addressed the issue of “cultural appropriateness” in the costume and music of Vincy Mas.

“I think one of the things you have to be careful of, and St. Lucia has recently identified that problem, Grenada has recently identified that problem, is that you do not have to be naked to be selling a costume,” he told a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday. 

“And I think one of the things we still manage to do is — our traditional bands here have still managed to do absolutely wonderful and creative costumes but leave people tastefully dressed.

“And I think we have to be guarded that we do not go down the road where some of the other islands, and I think from reports, St. Lucia was particularly bad last year. Some of the other islands thought that the less that you wore, the more that your costume impacted on people.”

Adams said the same obtains for music. 

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“If you listen to the songs that are doing very well internationally, if you listen to the songs that are doing very well in Trinidad and Tobago right now, there are very few of them that talk about bending over some woman and doing something to her and being disrespectful.”

Adams said there are very few songs that are “bordering on profanity with a veiled disguise.

“And if we want to take the music internationally, we have to appeal also to the international taste. So we can sing positive music, we can bring positive rhythms and we can come out as Vincy Mas being one of the places to which you can carry your entire family because we are all about positive development in culture and in mass.”

Ricardo Adams
Chair of the CDC, Ricardo “Ricky” Admas speaking at Tuesday’s press conference. (iWN photo)

Carnival planners in Grenada, in early February, retracted guidelines forbidding the use of thongs, g-strings and wire bras in costume.

The retraction came following a social media uproar.

On Tuesday, Adams said there is a global focus on events tourism with destinations realising that regardless of size, they can compete on the basis of events.

“And more and more carnivals are investing in their products and if we, as a nation, don’t, then we will be left behind,” he said, adding that Guyana has developed a second carnival.

He said other countries are going to Trinidad and the United States to market.

“And we are all in that carnival space; so we have to continue to push our Vincy Mas and we have to continue to push what is good and what is different about our Vincy Mas and we have to do that as a nation because, as a nation, we are all ambassadors of Vincy Mas.”

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