They rub mud on each other, pour any kind of syrup, chocolate, honey, water, drink rum, ginger beer, sour- sop, eat curry, roti, peas and rice, souse, Irish Moss, foo- foo, black pudding, dal, and dance for hours. Why?
These are people from the colonies of the Caribbean and South America, who came North, to North America, and brought their traditions with them.
The European settlers of 1492 brought white misfit prisoners to work the land, the weather virtually destroyed them; this meant labor had to come from another source: Africa, where people could withstand any weather conditions. These were followed by Asians, East Indians, Chinese, all under the oversight of “Massa”.
The poor whites, (petit blanc) Asians, Indians, Africans and the indigenous residents had no choice but to coalesce. They learned to cook each others’ food, marry, raise families of mixed breed, and celebrate the amalgamated culture, they called CARNIVAL.
While carnivals can be found all over the world, the Caribbean Carnival has a spicier recipe. It gave birth to the calypso, and even reggae, for unless you can figure out the “slang”, ( the ruling class could not), a planned revolution or escape could be kept a secret.
This eating of each others’ food, and partying together, marrying, revolutionized the succeeding generations. They left the Caribbean to be educated in the former (Massa)’s countries, i.e. USA, UK, Canada.
But Carnival is in their blood:”winding” drinking, playing mass, “getting on bad”, now spreads like a Caribbean hurricane. From as far South as Brazil (where the Portuguese held Africans in slavery) to the Caribbean, North America, Canada and the UK.
Black, brown, white and mixed race bodies, show their curves once a year. For some it is a feast for oglers, who salivate, with mobile cameras in hand.
America, (USA) needs a festival like this, where race takes a back seat; Baltimore Maryland is a good place to start.