Category Archives: Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival-Past Vs Present

Oh did the Songmaker team have fun!!

It was all about The Notting Hill carnival this summer. The Carnival that was first taken to the streets in 1964, is a unison of the Trinidad community in reminiscence of the spirit of the Caribbean’s largest and most spectacular carnival. This palate spectrum of vivid colours and nostalgic music is representative of the abolition of slavery and repression in the Caribbean community.  Where it was once forbidden by law to take part in the European Easter carnival prior to 1833, every year the Jamaican community used to gather and satirically mock their ex-masters as well as portray their heritage and culture through costumes and patriotically lyrical music. Inviting the London community to feast their eyes in the African luminosity it is now a multi-cultural erratic event that furthers away from the originality of the carnival and reaches a high peak of being excused from the norms of society during the event.  So as many of us rave to the rhythm of the eccentric music we hardly know of the history and pride of this carnival that united many in exquisite happiness and freedom in the past. The Notting Hill carnival embraces social solidarity and unites us to revel in each individual’s unique identity.

What was once a painting of opportunity and the indulgence in pride as children took to the muddy streets of London and rolled around in freedom of expression and adults danced in traditional joy, is now one of dried paint and a range of MAS band competitions and calypso dancers from a range of backgrounds.. Many refer to time as infinite and ever changing. I believe this applies to the devolution of a carnival which once had meaning, pride, honour and patriotism behind its very act. How so? With time people have lost their sense of knowledge and feeling towards the true reason behind Notting hill Carnival. Every beat and rhythm represented a struggle and obstacle overcome. People would dance their victory out of the very depths of their souls. However, how has such a victory devolved in 48 years? What was once a celebration over the abolition over slavery has now become an annual festival for simple laughs. How are we to enjoy the Notting hill festival when it has lost its true essence? In our present time, historical and memorable festivals such as Notting hill along with many others are celebrated without people realising where they have derived from.

As the painter’s brush was first swirled within the colours of emotion, Notting hill’s essence was brought out, and as the brush spread these emotions across the canvas, Notting hill was born  with vibrancy, pride and joy. As the brush was gently put aside, the painting’s colours dulled with time. This is the Notting Hill festival.

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