Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

Trini Girl In London…Carnival Sunday – Chocolate Mas

I’m excited! I am up even before my alarm. I’m excited even though I have a cold. I’m all showered and ready to go. Doing some cutting and customising of my t-shirt. For this type of mas, it customary to personalise your t-shirt by cutting patterns or designing it to suit you.

The sun is out in all its majestic glory and I’m already regretting wearing leggings as opposed to shorts. We take a couple of pictures as we wait for the train. image We arrive and there are thousands and thousands of people from various bands in a multitude of colours. We locate ours and wait patiently for kick off which arrived sooner than expected. The music strikes up; the beat and the pulse that hits, sends a shot of adrenalin through my body purging the fatigue and dreary cold from my body.

The *winin’ starts. The **chipping starts. The pasting with chocolate starts. The part I dreaded the most. The thought of being smothered with sticky chocolate sounds as appealing as eating a raw octopus. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. As I’m sure most contact weimagearers would agree, anything on the face or that can cause irritation of the contacts is a big no no. So I figure if I put some where they can see it, they won’t bother me too much. I put some chocolate on my cheeks, on my arms, on my tshirt… just enough to participate.  image On this day, anything goes. If you see a Police Officer, most times they are happy to participate in the shenanigans. Within reason of course. There are all sorts of characters that come out as well who just come out to have fun. imageIf you don’t feel like participating, then feel free to do your own thing. I personally like the confines of the band where we have a good team of security. Makes you feel just that little bit safer.

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The band is massive. It’s only when you stop to see the massive crowd that you are apart of, you see the awesomeness unfold before you. The sea of greens and purples unfold before my eyes like the alluring corals under the sea.  I stand for a moment, In Awe! imageMy moment of reverie is over as I spot the guys with the chocolate I think of a plan. “Maybe if I distract them with a dance, they’d forget they want to cover me in chocolate.” I set my plan in motion.

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I am a genius! My plan worked. I avoided getting plastered with chocolate as I watched and laughed as my friends were being taken down one by one. All in all the experience wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. I had the time of my life. I am pumped. I am ready for the main event tomorrow. I have so much adrenaline in my body, I almost don’t want to go home. However, I remember I am still nursing a cold and need my rest. So as I lay my head down appreciatingly, I think to myself, “Why on earth am I still awake!?”

 

*Winin: To Wine or Wining/Winin’ – to move one’s waist in a circular motion or in twerking style, to music.

**Chipping: To shuffle ones feet while walking to the rhythms of music.

‹Special thanks to PureLime ChocolateMas Band for an extraordinary all inclusive experience.  http://www.purelime.co.uk

See you this year for 2015!

›Special thanks to my photographers Keisha Estrada and Tariq Salem

 

By: Crystal McDonald Lewis

As a correspondent in our newly-formed London office, Crystal McDonald-Lewis is Culturs' Trinidad born London-dweller who hails from a multicultural family. McDonald-Lewis migrated to London in 2004 after marrying a British citizen, and after 10yrs of marriage, she currently is divorced and on a journey of self RE-discovery! Follow McDonald-Lewis as she checks out all London has to offer with new eyes, and a fresh spirit...