The carnival belongs to our town and no one else

It’s a day off from the ordinary round of things. When pedestrians walk in the middle of the road and cars are made to wait. Of silly costumes, and decorated floats. Of make-believe and fantasy. Of noise and drums and whistles and music and crazy mayhem. When a little boy called Maurice, and a little girl called Mila, can be our King and Queen for the day. A day when the normal rules no longer apply.

Whitstable Views

It was our Chair, Belinda Murray, who first made me aware of the meaning of “culture”.

She said that
originally the word had referred to the organisms that people would
carry with them when they moved from place to place: their yoghurt
cultures, their sour dough, their yeast.

The idea was transposed
onto the traditions that people would also bring with them.

In other words, culture
is a living thing.

That idea has really
been brought home to me since I first became involved in Carnival
back in February this year.

Carnival doesn’t belong
to anyone. No one created it. It wasn’t imposed upon us. It’s roots
are deep in history.

The current committee are merely the custodians of a living tradition. There were people before us. There will be people after us. The carnival goes on forever.

So our thanks go out
first of all to the two Carols…

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