My earliest memories of carnival as a child are filled with jubilation and eagerness. Jubilation because in the words of Destra "It's Carnival!" I knew that it was a chance for me to connect with people outside of my family and friends with whom I shared the same cultural identity. I was also eager to share my cultural identity with non-Trinidadians and non-West Indians, so that they could get a little taste of what carnival was all about. As a child it was all my costume and whatever songs were popular that year--from "Iwer Butterfly Shadow Wave" by Colin Lucas or "Donkey Dance" by Ronnie McIntosh. It was a time when Labor Day in New York and Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta were so much fun! As a young adult, carnival was still about mas and the music, but a drink and somebody jammin' me from behind introduced a whole new level of excitement. As an adult the meaning of carnival is still the same except that being a mom allows me to the opportunity to expose my child to "our" culture.
With these memories in mind and my experience as a band leader carnival means...