Tuesday, February 20, 2018

That was mas!

 I know it is spitting in the wind, but again I have to urge the media at this pre-Carnival time to refrain from describing the bikini and beads bands as “mas”. These young reporters/journalists/ radio announcers should do some research before expounding on the “mas” theme.

Trinidad and Tobago has a rich history of portrayals from ancient to modern history, science fiction to cultural, and everything in between. This is one of the things that made us unique among the carnivals worldwide. “Dis was mas”.

Costumes were made locally with care given to accuracy and detail. Now we have impostors seeking the almighty dollar shouting “we pushing de culture”, as they import their bikinis and beads. And the excuse is “we giving them what they want”. That is akin to creating a cigarette smoker (preying on base weaknesses coupled with clever marketing) then saying he needs cigarettes. 

Everyone in the country has the responsibility to preserve the rich legacy given to us by George Bailey, Harold Saldenah, Stephen Lee Heung, Irvin McWilliams et al. And the governmental agencies should take the lead in this cause (no Savannah for bikini and beads?) 

And I hope that the media houses realise that they have a responsibility not to just report but to promote and preserve aspects of our culture. They can start restricting the use of the word “mas” to those worthy of the name.

Orson Rogers

Port of Spain