August 17, 2011

Barbados’ Crop Over Festival

By Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

by Fitradin Shanle

 These last couple of days were nothing short of majestic. We had the amazing opportunity to be present in Barbados for “The Sweetest Summer Festival” called Crop Over. Crop Over was such a unique and a once in a lifetime experience. I cannot believe I had the opportunity to take part in such a traditional cultural event. I had very high expectations and I can happily say that it was everything I hoped for and more. It was set up as a parade through the entire main town. There was loud music, beautiful costumes, glitter, paint, beads, and even live DJs. Some of the dances were choreographed, while others were more of a freestyle nature. People were allowed to join in on the parade and follow the bands throughout town. We all started out at near the beginning of where the parade appears first so we could watch the bands come through, before we joined in ourselves. The first band that came through was rented out by a group of European tourists, and then the local bands came right after. It was a beautiful sight to see the unity of so many Caribbean countries coming together and celebrating; people were waving flags from Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Saint Vincent, and Dominica. Everybody was extremely friendly and even offering directions to the best places to watch the parade. One local that we met gave us some body glitter and masks because we couldn’t find any open stores. The vibe was so positive and happy that we all felt like even though we were tourists, we were accepted into their cultural celebration.

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