Posts Tagged With: Soca

Down de road – Kadooment 2013

Drum roll please (my mom used to say that before big announcements) the post has finally come to expose another brilliant day of Kadooment!

Last year, I experienced my first Cropover here in Barbados and as usual I’ll give you the link to that adventure. To see details of the controlled chaos and more photos from the collage below, click here.

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For this post, I’m going to teach a small lesson based off of my experiences to date.

First and foremost, it’s always more entertaining to get ready with a group. Everyone can use a little help from their friends! Meet Ethan, a kind hearted little man that was not only eager to apply my jewels, but did’t hesitate to dish out the compliments to me and his beautiful mother. “You are pretty girls… I come with you?” Its no surprise he’s such a gentle character coming from his parents Aldo and Jane, who are equally welcoming and full of warm energy.

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Ready, set, oh shoots… we’re late! Lesson number two, here in Barbados, “time” is just a general suggestion of when one may or may not think about arriving. All this means for us, is that instead of starting at a snails pace like the others, we get a tiny workout by actually walking to catch up with everyone.

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Side note: You’ll never be the only one running late. In fact, you have a better chance of being the only one there early!

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Once the bands (a designated group in which you are representing) have gotten into order, we cross the big stage to officially kick off the 7 mile parade of dancing, chipping, whining and… are you ready for it? Wuk’n up!

Definitions:
Chipping – a dance step that is flat footed, knee bent and moving forward, almost as if to “chip” away the street.
Whining – a movement in which people attach themselves to one another by their ‘middle section’ and pulse, sway and thrust to the rhythm in every conceivable manner.
Wuk’n up – to gyrate the waistline upon another persons waistline, specifically to soca and/or calypso music.

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A few photos from the crowds perspective followed by our view of the spectators, leads me to the next unspoken rule: just because you’re not in costume doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to get involved!

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Unofficially official participants of Cropover.

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You might be wondering, why is everyone holding those cups and where did we get the liquid to fill them? Reminding you of the brilliant Barbadian way of keeping the adults fully hydrated (enter questionable sarcastic tone) by having mobile bars that travel with the parade. Just walk along next to it and request your next drink. Looking down with a smile, they’re at your service!

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All righty, the next portion of todays lesson requires an increased rating to PG-13 due to the dancing techniques and adult beverages now taking affect. Welcome to the world of open minded, bent knee, fun loving people “jus doin deir ting”!

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Moving on to our next lesson, staying cool. If you care about your makeup looking perfect utill the end (you probably shouldn’t have come) anyhow, stay to the left! Although rain here during Cropover isn’t rare, it’s always guaranteed that you’ll have a refreshing source of water to drench you down during the walk.

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Like some festivals I’ve experienced, there’s an over all vibe of “only doing it once, so go big” or “I’m never going to see any of these people again”! Not here. That alone is one of my favorite things of Kadooment, the loyal participants both local and traveling that return to share this unique holiday!

Lets have some fun and finish up this assignment with a few past and present shots of returning friends. So exiting to see you all again!

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Remember Nisha? She’s the friendly girl I met last year who shares the health food passion in her shop here on the island. The first shot is us at her store last year followed by a photo from this Carnival.

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Check this one out! Here are two of my favorite people Melodie and Kris, observing last year from the side lines, why not participating? Inside her tiny belly was little Tiernan from the next photo!

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The first picture is me with sweet Jason at Soca Titans last year and the following photo is him with his beautiful new wife Beth!

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Mikie my buddy with all smiles from last years boat cruise and this years Cropover!

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It’s darling Jane!

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The list goes on and on of precious people that surround this memorable event. Although its tempting to show you all 618 of my pictures (no exaggeration), I’ve got to pull it together and end this fun post. As you can imagine, plans for next year are already in order! I’ll leave you now with a collage of photos from my favorite local photographer Luke De Freitas!

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Categories: Fashion from a backpack, Fitness, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kadooment!

This festival of Barbados was originally celebrated in the 1800s by slaves at the end of the sugar-cane harvest. A procession of carts and animals decorated with flowers would bring the last load of cane to the plantation owner, who would then provide a feast for the laborers. Now, Crop Over is the most anticipated event on the island. It begins in June and finishes strong on the first Monday of August with Grand Kadooment. This massive parade includes participants dancing their way through the local streets to Soca and Calypso music while dressed in vibrant, eye-catching costumes!

So you can imagine when Ryan asked if i wanted to join in… My response? Of course! All he needed was my measurements, (before I knew the details) I thought, “Cool, I might get a neat shirt or maybe matching shorts”. (This is where you can enter either his mischievous laugh or my nieve giggle).

Here is what I measured into:
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This is Jane. I’ll call her a new friend, but she felt more like a sister. Comforting and welcoming with a noticeable warmth… what a joy to be around!
Here she is with and her husband Aldo there son Ethan.  When I asked how soon the little guy got to “jump” in the carnival, dad said “next year” while mom just laughed.  On average the locals usually start between 14-17 years of age depending on the household.
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Its 7:45 in the morning and the troop is ready to hit the 6 mile parade!
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If I need to justify why the drink trucks are already up and serving adult beverages at 8am…Let me remind you that I’m in Barbados.
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First and only stop (the structured part of the day) is the arena where each “band” gets to cross the main stage and basically strut their stuff while representing their colors.
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After this talent show, the crowd blends and we keep on whining and chipping away the celebration.
NOTE: Please see the J’ouvert post to recall the dance definitions of chipping and whining.

Here is a glimpse of some other varieties of costumes.
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Although there are thousands of people, you are constantly running into friends. Some slow down to wait for the drink truck while others bounce ahead to their favorite song.
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It’s miss Sarah Jane!
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This is two of the dozen music trucks.  Some are live bands, others have awesome Dj’s that keep the groups moving!
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… And it keeps on going…
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At some point in the journey, you’ve got to hop on a wall!
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I loved involving the people that came to observe. Thank you for the idea and encouragement Ryan!
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In Ryan’s words “Go big or go home”.
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This little girl asked for one if his beads… Adorable!
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Ooh, another friend! This is Dwayne, you may recognize him from the Segway Polo team that I described before. I met this fun loving angel in California last year. Whenever I mention his name, my mom usually interrupts me with “Awh, I just love Dwayne… He’s one of my favorites”.
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Melodie and Kris… Quality energy. They jump every year, except that tiny bump you can’t see is their little peanut that will be here by next kadooment! Congrats to wonderful people adding to this magical planet!
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The Police station is known as a fine place to slow your trek and take a moment to let your presence be known. I was told that in years past, full costumed people have ran in, hopped on the tables and danced for the employees. Take notice, the doors are now closed. Eh, handstand shot!
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Well, no police station fun… so let’s just play friendly with the authorities then!
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When the heat is at it’s peak, it’s so nice to run into the water fountains. They have hoses spraying for all involved that need a cooling off.
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The temperature has been climbing all day with a few sprinkles here and there. That is the main reason you’ll notice less and less head pieces as the day goes on. I gave mine to a little girl on the side lines. Either that or you try to save it and end up with what looks like a drowned rooster on your head.

Feathers tickling my face before the rain…
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…and her poor head piece after the soaking.
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More creative beauty!
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Random snap shots
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During the final stretch (after 6 miles) we follow the coast with several options for food, different drinks and… Hold up, “Did you say food?”
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I don’t think Ryan has seen me so ready to devour anything that was out in front of me. The last pic is me patiently, if you call it that, waiting for some edible nutrients.
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“Thank you” doesn’t quite capture the gratitude I have for the friends of Barbados that made this trip what it was. Cheers to great times, priceless memories and plans for next year! All my love.
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Categories: Fashion from a backpack, Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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