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Carnival Is Not Bahamian

EDITOR, The Tribune.

This is an open letter to the Bahamas National Festival Commission:

Firstly I want to thank the Board/Committee for lending me your time to read/listen to my opinion on this matter, I hope I do not offend all of you, but I am sure I will offend some of you, as I am offended by this proposition of a “Bahamian Carnival” because this enrages every fibre of my Bahamian being.

When I started in the music business back in the early eighties, being young and ignorant to nationalism, I never cared about defining an identity for our nation’s cultural expressions, it was not until the early nineties, did I find what I still think is my life’s purpose, to inspire our Bahamian people to a sense of self, a sense of Bahamian pride, a sense that we are as great and as talented as any other nation out there, through our natural abilities and artistic expressions, bar none.

Many have sacrificed their lives and livelihood to uplift this country’s culture, all of the hard work done to instil national pride back into our people’s lives have been flushed away by the laziness and copycatness (if there ever was a word, it would be appropriate here), of a few, and only shows the weakness and lack of ideas by our nation’s leaders.

Other than The Goombay Summer Festival, Junkanoo In June Festival, and the Christmas and Boxing Day Junkanoo Parades, there is the most authentic of them all, The Cat Island Rake-N-Scrape Festival that offers a true Bahamian cultural experience, (no disrespect to Crab Fest), but the Rake-N-Scrape Festival encompasses music, dance, literature, clothing wear, food, drink refreshments (leaded and unleaded), and a lifestyle, it is the only form of musical expression I know of other than Rock-n-Roll, Reggae or Rap, that offers so much to bank on and offers sure money making avenues, if only we would truly invest in it.

We also have the people’s festival, the Junkanoo Festival that we have not even scratched the surface on, or invested in by any substantial means.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from other jurisdictions, studying the successes of their festivals, (I am sure it has already been done), but not at the expense of further diluting and watering down of our Bahamian culture, and kicking our people further down the ladder’s rung of not knowing and feeling positive about themselves, (which I think is a main reason for the escalation in crime and for the moral decay in our country).

So you want another Festival? We have them already, take your pick, why bring in another foreign cultural experience into our midst and ask us to finance and support it?

When we don’t even fully support our own homegrown festivals. I recommend a National Rake-N-Scrape Festival, bring all the family island participants into New Providence to compete, make it a major national event, a week or more of festive events, it will breed entrepreneurs to produce original Bahamian-made clothing lines, Bahamian food delicacies, Bahamian arts and crafts and wood works, new and old musicians will come to the fore to produce original Bahamian music, it will also bring forth young talented musicians, story tellers, actors, comedians, writers, dancers, competitions in music, straw works, etc, grand concerts throughout the festival, that could be from a week to two weeks, it will bring a sense of pride to the people, it will bring the nation together and most importantly, it will be Ours, “Our Tings”, the world will come to see “Our Tings”, and “Our Tings” will go out to the world, it’s the people’s monies and it should be invested in the people’s cultural expressions, not a foreign one, we can’t be that stupid, ay?

There is so much more to say, but I will end on this note, I guess it is easier to jump on someone else’s bandwagon, instead of starting ya own tings? Don’t let laziness cost us?

People our kids are watching, once again, thank you for your time on this matter, I hope you all stand up for right, Bahamian Culture Forever!

KIRKLAND H BODIE

Nassau.

May 12, 2014.

Comments

sheeprunner12 6 years, 2 months ago

Why are ALL of the Bahamian entertainers not standing with KB on this against this stupid idea of "carnival" in The Bahamas?????????

Yall dont leave KB out there hanging on this....... he should have at at least 75% national support on this one............ Say NO to CARNIVAL............ AND VAT

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Mayaguana34 6 years, 2 months ago

Who are the people that are supporting this ridiculous idea? - Only those not paid by the committee should respond! We have tons of festivals that could benefit from the technical and financial power of this Committee - Lets put the effort there and invite our friends from the region and the world to come experience what we are about!! Good ideas are welcomed but we have what it takes to build our cultural expressions to be as big as carnival or mardi gras - I am starting to believe that we hate ourselves - So many opportunities so few original ideas #copycat #noculture -

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 2 months ago

Good observation, General!!!!!! After all most slaves came with the Loyalists.................. aka cotton-picking Negroes. We have a lot in common with the US South

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Tbc 6 years, 2 months ago

KB, I am and will forever be one of your biggest fans - and your 'letter' shows why. I have never told you how very much I appreciate and love your proud promotion of our people and culture via your gift of storytelling through song. You are truly a Bahamian ambassador and a musical genius - equal to any recording artist anywhere in the world, living or dead - past and present. I totally support you and I'm extremely disappointed that every artist in The Bahamas, whatever their 'talent' and their families, friends and fans did not go to Parliament for a massive, prolonged protest such as has not ben seen since The "Burma Road" riots. This idea is surpassed only in it's lunacy by being treasonous. We have "our own tings". WHY can't we invest that 9 million in our own national festivals. WHEN will we move beyond this 'demeaning, self-hating, insulting' mentality. This is sad beyond expression.

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sheeprunner12 6 years, 2 months ago

We have a niche market now for a Junkanoo festival............ Boxing Day to New Years Day. Can you imagine bringing in the new year in Paradise??????????? Far more exciting than another wannabe Mardi Gras type event in the spring/Lent season or risking hurricanes in the summer. Winter is still our top tourist season......... and our children are on break and we are in a party mood............................................. Neville Wisdom was on to something but it went awry

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