Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Carnival Parades Are About Revellers Displaying Skin

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By Kendall Elva

The debate about whether a costume or the behaviour of a reveler is decent is really a reflection of those who claim to assume high positions on the moral ladder, wanting to impose their values and ways of living on others who just want to express themselves as they see fit.

Diversity is the essence of the human experience. Everyone is not born to be the same. Everyone will never hold to the same values or perceptions of how we as humans should live our lives. Very importantly people have a right to live a life which is not based on your values and beliefs.

For those who say some of the costumes or behaviours were indecent I have a few questions. Upon what basis do you determine whether something is indecent? Is it upon the basis of your own values and if yes, I ask: what about the values of the wearer of the costume or the person committing the act? Are there objective standards to determine what is decent? Does not decency vary with culture, geographical space and time in history?

Decency is not a static and homogeneous concept. Decency is dynamic and varies in keeping with the values of the person committing the act. What you may consider to be indecent another individual may judge it to be very decent. And so I ask whose judgment of what is decent really matters? Is it yours as a “morally upright” person or that of the individual whom you have described his or her act as being indecent?

Well to my mind since we are all born into freedom, people should have a right to express their choice of values especially when it does not cause reasonable harm to others. I am not aware of indecent costumes being responsible for an increase in the crime or unemployment rate. I am not aware of indecent costumes being responsible for an increase in the number of poor people in a country. I am not aware of indecent costumes being responsible for health problems in persons.

Ah some would say it causes harm to children. But is this harm, one which only occurs in societies which judge skimpy costumes as being indecent? I am sure that children who grow up in “tribal societies” which wear little to no clothing or what we from modern societies consider to be skimpy outfits are not harmed by the sights of their parents and other adults in their society. Nevertheless, if we in modern societies believe that our children will be harmed as a result of seeing indecent costumes I urge parents to keep children away from the carnival parades rather than asking for the regulating of carnival costumes.

It would seem to me that those who label the costumes and acts of the revelers as indecent just want see the abolishment of the carnival parades. I make this bold assertion since to my mind carnival parades are about revelers displaying skin and having fun by way of chipping, whining and girating on the road. I do not expect for revelers to be spitting out holy verses while on the road. I do not expect revelers to be trying to set examples aimed at “morally inspiring” children on the road. Carnival parades are not exercises during which people attempt to get into heaven or even hell for this matter. They are about people expressing their creativity and enjoying themselves in a festive environment.

Kendall Elva

Kendall Elva is a dynamic youth and community leader who uses direct programme implementation and advocacy to empower people. Kendall is a  former president of the Belle Vue Development Community, Saint Lucia Association of Social Workers and Theater In Education – Drama In Education.  At the national and regional level Kendall has served as a Youth Parliamentarian and CARICOM Youth Ambassador respectively. As it relates to educational attainment Kendall holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work with First Class Honours from the University of the West Indies and a Master of Arts in Social Development with Distinction from the University of Sussex.Notably Kendall is a 2017-2018 Chevening Scholar. As a result of his involvement in community and youth development work Kendall has been awarded Youth of the Year in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. While it is a public event there must be a code of conduct which dictates what people can and cannot do. Public indecency/exposure is against the law and it is high time we enforce it. If somebody chooses to express themselves by pissing on you, it causes you no reasonable harm but would you allow it ? My child should be able to enjoy Carnival like anyone else without seeing people disrepspect themselves and others with their crass behaviour and indecency. The writer of this piece is an idiot. Who are you to determine what reasonable harm is and whether somebody else’s child is harmed by such images and such behaviour ? What a mockery of journalism, luckily the author of this nonsense has no influence over what actually happens and never will. These people need to be arrested and made an example of. If you cannot enjoy yourself without exposing yourself then you need to seperated from the rest of decent society.

    • I also concurred with you up to a point. There is a law against public indecency/exposure and it should be enforced. Maybe then, persons would be cognizant of their behavior. I am no moral police, but we should respect the kids at least. They are young and impressionable and the art form is being passed on to them.

      Where I lost respect for you was at the name calling, because you did not agree with the writer’s point/s. You were making your point quite well without calling the guy an idiot and mocking his journalism. We can agree to disagree. Let us be respectful of others view points.

    • What is public indecency. Are you sure that you read in the criminal code that it is an offence in Saint Lucia. That last time I checked I saw that indecent exposure was a crime here but what exactly is indecent exposure. The law states that it is for one to expose the breasts, Virginia or penis. Now for breasts to be considered exposed the nipples must be visible and similarly, for the Virginia to be composed it must be clearly visible.
      I saw none of the above at the carnival event. So we must have been viewing different carnival parades. What I saw was the law being pushed to its limits without committing any offences. The morality police might disagree though. But they can always go to reside in Sudi Arabia.

      • I also concur.
        Lewdness, vulgarity, indecency and complete nakedness have never played a part in Carnival. Judging from what I saw on social media this is a total disgrace and embarrassment to us living abroad since most of the photos went viral. I have never seen such crude, lawless behaviour and a total disrespect for one another especially our children who happened to be present watching the carnival.
        How can we as adults be a role model for our youth who witnessed such behavior.
        What has happened to our people over the past few years. Why has the moral values eroded in St Lucia. Where are our leaders?
        On a second note, I also understand that over 3,000 Martinuquans were in StLucia recently and were naked on the beaches in Stlucia. StLucians need to take control of their affairs. Speak out when vulgarity /indecency/bad behavior and nakedness through the streets of Castries and on our beaches occur and continue to harm society. The Law must be enforced.

  2. Staff writer we always justify our actions by downplying anothers person’s right to uphold their position in “the moral ladder”, smh at you . Its people like you that have our moral fabric depeleted to what it is today. Until your children or close family start to display the result of this extreme freedom you talk about here, then and then alone you will sing another song. May God help us. We are looking for God’s judgement

  3. He probably wants to go up for politics, hence the bio …I don’t know. Seems decorated to me but has the makings of a typical politician who will mind his own pockets if successful!

  4. As I’ve said before. But I’ll say it again…niggers know nothing of being accountable for their action. They time and time again fail to see any error in their actions which eventually lead to the decay of their society. Keep on being passionate about the wrong things people of St.lucia, go ahead, focus on ” culture” and ” women’s rights” while our counties healthcare and young people continue to suffer. Keep at it. Drink your rum, enjoy your self. After all…..it’s only once a year right? Idiots.

  5. I don’t think Mr Elva would like t see his daughter dancing and gyrating in the streets half naked, with a flask of alcohol!! I don’t think so!! Mr Elva, if the cloth is black, it IS black!! To commenter “Chooooops”, you read and felt the idiotic display of Mr Elva’s sentiments, hence your passionate comments and even name calling – I don’t blame you for that, for he is an idiot! While reading Mr Elva’s biography, he seems to be a man of some upbringing, and outstanding integrity for the youth … but his commentry fails miserably on the subject of this year’s carnival subject of lewdness, vulgarity and bold face lawlessness of indecent exposure. smh … I don’t think so Mr Elva …

  6. Carnival is not “Living a Life”. It an event/show. The actors expects an audience. From the writers perspective it appears that it OK for those individual to use those days to display the nakedness. If it was a very regular display of these individual nakedness it would have not been a problem and may not even happen of those days.

  7. How did he achieve all those titles and awards and be so brainless? I’m disappointed in the guy I really thought he ought to have been smarter

  8. Kendell your opinion is just yours…. Some of you are carried away by Socialogial jagans and empty ..foolish ideas…. When God calls a spade a spade you can call it an audi…..

  9. Gasa what’s wrong with all these ” after carnival experts” it’s sickening. Year after year they rear their ugly heads bashing the carnival. They want to roll the clock back to my granny carnival days with long dress on the ground in the heat. St Lucia IS THE ONLY COUNTRY debating “carnival decency ” BUNCH OF JOKERS. HELLO !! CARNIVAL IS BACHANNAL AND BACHANNAL IS CARNIVAL YOU DONT LIKE CARNIVAL STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM CARNIVAL. Next year we just painting our bodies and just so we going on the road Monday and Tuesday turn it up a notch for these stiff upper lipers.

  10. Dude has a point as long the revellers don’t break the law (exposing genitals and committing sex acts in public) they can do what they want. For the puritans that judging them from their high horse i hope you never did nothing wrong in your past.

  11. Anyway, it is high time they put legislation in place to deal with these animals who call themselves CARNAVAL REVELERS; for we call our society: a civilize one! so excuse us who think in that direction! YOU ANIMAL!

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