This year will the first that I will be attending carnival and the fetes with a boo. Having seen the videos of fighting couples and the uncomfortable chad in my timeline, I assume those couples had not had a discussion about their ROE (rules of engagement, yes I used a military phrase) at these types of events. I honestly feel that a lot of couples new to the scene may not even know what to expect. So if you are new to Carnival, experienced, and/or new to bringing a significant other with you, this blog is definitely for you. And you know what? This blog is for me too, because its certainly unfamiliar territory for me as well.
(Culture) Activities for Miami Carnival
Heavy into the COVID-19 era, I reflected on how I would do things a little bit differently when traveling for carnival. I decided that for every event I would attend, I would make it a point to seek a culture-related activity to gain some new knowledge to share and broaden my perspective. Listed below are some activities you might want to partake as you head down for Miami Carnival 2021.
Discussing Carnival with Friends and Family
As an African American woman not brought up in the culture, I have found myself having some very… interesting interactions with friends, and even some family members that really don’t understand carnival outside what they see in my photos or on social media otherwise. Some of my interactions were very exciting, and heart-warming. Some? Not so much, and some just downright offensive and awkward. You will find my reflections of these experiences below. Perhaps this will inspire you to consider how you will approach these situations in the future, especially if you decide that playing mas is going to be a regular occurrence for you.
Not Asking For It.
Currently, there are roughly 18 Caribbean Carnivals held across the United States (pre-covid, of course) and I have found on many occasions the cultural experience to clash with American values and perceptions.
More than bikinis, beads, and feathers.
To a lot of people not familiar to the culture we may automatically gravitate to Carnival as being a definition. But the culture is so much more than that.