THE EDITOR: Looking at the Junior Parade of Bands at the QPS on Saturday, I only saw happy children. I also saw happy, proud parents playing mas with children in traditional costumes.
The stakeholders searching for answers to crime and criminality need to take stock. We need to preserve traditional mas costuming from the beads and feathers. More importantly, we need to find the formula for what prevents disappointment with life, turning some happy children into miscreants. We need to catch children before they fall.
I would say that it is mainly the Afro-Trinis who live to preserve the happy Carnival feeling that is part and parcel of who we are. A season when the nation can pause and let off steam.
Like it or not, we can never stop the Carnival. TT will wither and die. The TT-type Carnival created by the descendants of slaves was designed to preserve us all. Why should Carnival not also act as a catalyst for keeping youth on the straight and narrow?
The Children’s Carnival needs more money allocated to all participants. Not only must extra money be given to schools but needy parents should also be allocated funds for the participation of their children. It may sound frivolous but the prizes for winners should tempt participation.
The understanding that schools’ Carnivals must include training in being patriotic as well as what it takes to be a well rounded human cannot be separated. The subject could be incorporated into the curriculum up to the SEA level and could also be a subject added for exam at the CXC level under the name “traditional mas design.”
The changing from the European-style Carnival into one designed to “suit the enslaved” could save future lives and add to the preservation of our society if we make traditional mas work for us.