REAL chutney at its best —that’s what patrons will enjoy at the National Chutney Monarch competition on June 7. Fifteen artistes will battle for the title and $150,000 in prizes at Gilbert Park, California, from 5 p.m.
The competition, supported by the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, is in tribute to the late South African president Nelson Mandela, and it will be part of the annual Sugar to Energy Festival.
National Chutney Foundation president Vijay Rai said the competition will showcase intellectual chutney soca songs.
He said, “That is what we are trying to promote, songs with intellectual content. We will have songs with good lyrical content, not the normal wine and jam songs. We want to steer away from the negativity and the songs that glorify rum.”
The finalists were selected from a pool of 60-plus artistes who attended an audition at Saith Park, Chaguanas, in March.
The contestants will be required to perform two selections—one traditional chutney and chutney soca. The songs will be based on topics including protecting women and children, political and social commentary among others.
“There would be no derogatory statements and the contestants were advised to be creative,” he said.
Rai said he was also pleased that non-East Indian nationals have also auditioned for the competition and were selected for the finals. “You will see non-East Indians performing traditional chutney songs,” he said.