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Haiti - Culture : The Carnival 2011 modest...
07/03/2011 11:43:18

Haiti - Culture : The Carnival 2011 modest...
Port-au-Prince is celebrating its first carnival since the earthquake of January 2010 which had forced the cancellation of this cultural event. Because of the rubble, and camps, the traditional route has been changed. Organisers have erected a plywood wall separating the area reserved for Carnival and IDP camps...

The kickoff of the Carnival was launched at 2pm. The parade begin in front of the town hall of Port-au-Prince. The parade moved in front of the facades of devastated shops of downtown. The boulevard that passes in front of the National Palace in ruins, was transformed into a pedestrian zone for three days of festivities, the parade rounded the camp near Mupanah then it moved to the Sylvio Cator Stadium. Giant screens were installed by the city so that people can follow the parade.

The theme of this first day was "Ann selebre lavi" (Celebrate Life) today, Monday will under the theme "resilience" while tomorrow will be devoted to women, a theme that coincides with the International Women's Day.

Some dance for the earthquake victims, trying to exorcise the earthquake that struck the country "We will dance to offer people the opportunity to forget!" promises a young participant, his face covered with glitter. "We will dance for all victims and we hope that the country will never again know such a catastrophe" said another participant determined to bring life to the themes chosen this year for the carnival.

Several groups parade, masked bands with children expressing symbols of the history of Haiti and also a lot of awareness message against cholera. "I represent the cholera, which continues to make ravage in the country him it's the life. We will mimic a struggle between the epidemic and the rules of cleanliness" explain two young under their masks, one black, symbolizing the cholera the other white symbolizing life.

The group of the "maroons lawyers" whose the costumes bear names that recall some Haitian officials, parody of the pleadings of advocates, of a Haitian justice that is sold to the highest bidder "The justice does not exist for the poor. Those who have the responsibility to protect the poor are those who exploit them" said a participant.

Even if the music, colors, costumes and party atmosphere are present, this carnival 2011 has trouble to hid its parade minimized... Many spectators who considers that the magnitude of the carnival this year is well inferior to the previous. Others do not hide their disagreement with the holding of this event, while the poverty is everywhere under the tents...

Hervé Saint-Preux, coordinator of Carnival for Port-au-Prince, for justify this "reduced Carnival" said that the budget available this year was 20% of the amounts spent in previous years. For those who criticizes the holding of the Carnival he explained that the people wanted a carnival and that if the authorities had not organised the event, the population would have organised itself.

Between two songs, the messages of both candidates at 13 days of the vote, reminder that politics is also present in the Carnival.

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