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Carnival tabanca

joy and hope filled my heart while watching SuperBlue's fantastic Soca Monarch performance, and as the tears welled up with longing to share that moment with him, my friends and my people, I lamented the absence of Carnival in my life.

My very American fiance asks why I am so depressed. I tell him for no reason he can ever understand. He has no memory of a jump-up in school – the preparation and excitement, the moment you learnt that using vaseline before you apply the glitter helps with the itching and the removal. Or the glee following a parent's nod allowing you to buy a windmill in the Savannah or a sno-cone (with milk) amidst the dust and confusion of little people in costume.

He has never been lost during Monday mas or in awe of the colours in motion and bodies on display during Tuesday's high mas. He has never forgone eating or paying rent to ensure that one can buy and fit into one's costume. He has never felt the tension rising as the new year begins and fetes start rolling out, building up to Jouvert....I remember seeing the men bringing the mud from the wharf in Sando on my first Jouvert. I can still smell the cool air, and wet clay, and hear the sounds of a festival dawning in the valleys of San Fernando. I jumped and waved, I misbehaved, I revelled in the sweet sound of pan, and the grandeur of Minshall's mas.

It's especially hard being away from the home and people I love during Carnival time...when so much of myself is tied to a festival that is more than a single moment in time, but rather a culmination of the shared memories of a people.

This Carnival, I miss home...and he shall never understand.

The sweetest tabanca.

Katrina Mohammed

via e-mail

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