Date: Saturday 25th July 2009
Location: Rotterdam City Centre. Rotterdam. Holland
Promotions: Stichting Zomercarnaval Nederland, Ortel Mobil & DUCOS Productions
Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery
The European carnival ritual in full motion. Berlin, Rotterdam, Notting Hill! Berlin was such a memorable time, we still not yet over it and its already time for my carnival, Rotterdam Carnival! This year brought an extra special heightened level of excitement and anticipation due to the fact that, our German family would be coming over to lend their support and party animal spirit to the celebrations.
As always, my Jam Masters crew rollin with Joyce Warner and the Triniconnection/PoisonUK massive. The band is called Birds Of Paradise and the costumes were special delivery from Trinidad, so ofcourse its exceptional quality. Splendid colours in the blazing sun gave a true carnival feeling. Topped off with hot soca music, sexy women, and a constant flow of alcohol, souls were light, smiles were bright and the mood was right and ready for carnival.
Rotterdam Carnival reminds us of how many different cultures there are living in Holland. This is the time of year where people take centre stage and try to represent themselves in whatever festive form they choose. From small bands to surprisingly big congregations make up this parade. Each group dressed in their self made costumes of varied levels of intricacy and creativity, still beautiful in their own way. Moving through the parade, along the various trucks and carnival groups, it was easy to notice what the general attitude was; party! Smiles, hugs and posing for pics with complete strangers was the order of the day. Dancing, even though the body movement and tempo of the tune were further apart than night and day, people were still bussin a move! Funny, but at the same time glorious. I never seen so many different renditions of wine-in!
It took some time for our truck to finally get moving, not as if anybody cared because we were already jammin' tunes, drinking drinks and wine-in on bumpers. The maddness had started and before u know it the band was quickly over trodden by non-masqueraders wanting to get in on the action and ofcourse, the bumpers of the scarcely dressed females lurking up and down in the band. Luckily there were so many women out of costume that the stragglers held a vibe at the back of the group not bothering the full out masqueraders too much. Everything was coming together well and the flow of the festivities kept moving on a constant high. There was nothing to complain about because it was a picture perfect day. Everything you needed to have a top carnival was present and most of all, the energy perpetuating from masqueraders, stragglers and onlookers was one of pure joy and contentment! This is the meaning of carnival. The ability to bring peoples together of various walks of life, skin colour, religion and all the other b.s that usually on papaer, causes divisions between us. Hands in the air, everything in the air and jumpin up, was the only thing that mattered. Meet Superblue was the tune of the day followed closely by Mr. Blaxx and Tusty.
It was peer insanity. A double dose of madness to an already crazy Trini-infected carnival crew. PoisonUK family is notorious for there non-stop energy and hype, and now with the German crew in the mix, I tell you, was non stop waist and pace fuh so! Soca fanatics, nothing more, nothing less. Soca Twins family, Mash Up Crew family, Wukkup Terrorists and all the other Germans that came through, added an extra bolt of energy to the already fully charged vibe. A magical day for real!
Rotterdam Carnival getting bigger and better. But what I noticed above all other things this year, was that there were many other groups making an attempt to play soca. Even though it was more on the Follow the leader, leader, leader level, it still shows that Rotterdam is beginning to get the idea of what this carnival thing is really about. It's quite alright to inject and represent for your own culture and people during the celebrations, but a carnival without soca, is like indian food without curry!
2010, we ready to hear what yuh sayin' but first Notting Hill! And before I forget, reports outta Sweden have informed me that there little carnival on that side was very very scandalous this year. So next year we'll be checkin that out to see exactly what all the noise was about, because if the reports were right then it looks like we gonna have to include Sweden in the European carnival family. The more the merrier especially for carnival!
Blessing & Much Love
Jammasters & Herbalize-it Crews