Monday, November 20, 2006

Pirates' Week

Pirate So, Pirates' Week has come and gone, and once again, I am confused.

Back in the day, I used to revel in the concept of Pirates' Week, and would eagerly anticipate the arrival of each district day. But, now that I have gotten older I have become somewhat disillusioned with the Festival, and the hypocrisies surrounding the celebration thereof. I see the need for the Festival, and will continue to support the endeavors in an attempt to refrain from being one who sits back and critiques the efforts of others, with no constructive assistance to offer. Note the use of the word 'attempt'.

Pirates' Week originated as a celebration of the cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands Nerd . Albeit, in my age old cynicism, I have always found it curious that the Islands have never actively acknowledged its slave history, though we do laud the raping and pillaging of the pirates. Needless to say, it is here, and it is mine, so I will keep it, inconsistencies and all.

For one week of every year, pirates invade Islands. They arrive in grand style on their schooners, amidst booming cannon fire, smoke, costumery and a wonderful display of swordplay to kidnap the Governor of the Cayman Islands at a scheduled time each year. You would think that the Governors would have learned by now, but… Rolling Eyes

As a child, I can always remember mi Mudda dressing up us chillun, all’a we donning some form or pirate costumery, and trooping into town to watch the landing. We would actively vie for a spot at the front of the barricades, petrified yet hoping to be noticed by the pirates as they aggressively swiped their broad swords on the road, and tossed beads and souvenirs to kids in the audience. If a kid was really lucky, a pirate would kidnap you and run down the street with you, while you kicked and bawled bloody murder. Then, you would brag about it to all of your friends the next day. Sigh. It was awesome. Later in the night, we would take off our shoes and run barefoot through town during the street dance, playing catch until our parents rounded us up, and marched us home.

As a teenaged Diva, I would eagerly await the start of the street dance, so that I could witness performances from the likes of Denise Plummer, Calypso Rose, Gabby, and Sparrow. Every heritage night would find my friends and I in the district of choice, hunting down lobster and shrimp dishes, and taking in the band. By the time the trial of the pirates would come around we would be exhausted from all of the activities, and could not wait until they were thrown off of the island!

In my old age, as I am walking through town, I really cannot begin to fathom what the so-called festival entails. As we breach the barricades and stroll past the Hard Rock CafĂ©, the screeching sound of a hard rock band pierced my ear, as the band proceeds to massacre some heavy metal tune or another. I must admit that I am somewhat embarrassed to put this into writing, but, them is the facts. Set up on another corner, is a cordoned off area for the ‘Teen Disco’ from which the sounds of hard core reggae is competing for dominance with the heavy metal music. Fifty meters down the road, the so-called Heritage Song Fest is in progress. I guess that the event organizers did not think that the metal heads and the teens would not be interested in the song contest, nor did they wish to give the entrants the possibility of a wider audience. Worst yet, a fricking plate of lobster cost $12.00, and is not enough to cut the hunger gnawing at your stomach!

Needless to say, by the time I hit the centre of town to set up my little spot to take in the featured band, I was confused. Sigh. What is a body to do. We jus’ have to live.

On that depressing note, I shall now exit.




Guyana-Gyal said...

If I went to a pirates' festival, I'd dress as a pirate fighter.

Them pirates here too bad...yes, we still have them...they rob the fishermen on the rivers, in the sea...steal their expensive equipment.

KG said...

the history of the antelope gets written by the lion.

Leon said...

Sounds like fun. And chin up. You're not old.

kai said...

poor 'fro. go get drunk.

Abeni said...

Part of growing up where you see things differently. Nuff pirates still around fuh real

Mad Bull said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy it much. I liked it lots.

gishungwa said...

Me thinks sometimes its better remaining as a kid since growing up kills the fun and exposes you to reality and explanations. MYbe bettr next year, sounds like a lot of fun.

Trouble said...

You say 'raping and pillaging' like they're bad things...