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Real lessons of our Carnival culture

In a recent article written by Anna Maria Mora who, if I am not mistaken, is a psychologist by profession, the phrase "orgiastic ecstasy" was used to describe the behaviour generally seen at Carnival time and the impact it could likely have on children.

Like bandleader Brian Mac Farlane, who believes as a people we are becoming shallow and empty as reflected in our mas, Mora was addressing what Carnival, as part of our culture, is becoming or rather has become. She explained that "one of the very important aspects of any culture is that it creates conscience" —that is a sense of right and wrong.

One of the descriptions of culture, in its broadest sense, is that it is cultivated behaviour through social learning, transmitted from generation to generation. The behaviour displayed at Carnival time (as enjoyable as it may be to some) has been cultivated over the years and, unfortunately, is not only manifested during that period but in our everyday lives—we have long become a culture (conscience) of wine, woman and song.

But it's not only about the behaviour at Carnival time, it's about all the loutish and sometimes unlawful things we do (the cultivated behaviour) and literally get away with most of the time.

If only our politicians can put in place the social mechanisms and infrastructure, along with the necessary legislation, that seeks to change or modify our cultivated behaviour, then maybe we could save the next generation. So while we wait on the proclamation of the Children Bill 2012, which is a good start, we should carefully ponder the words of psychiatrist Karl Menninger— "What is done to children, they will do to society".

Ricardo Lijertwood

via e-mail

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