Growing up Jamaican-American (JAmerican) I must say that I had the opportunity to travel to different Caribbean Islands, Canada and places within the United States experiencing different Caribbean Festivals. I’ve had the chance to experience Jouvert from a few different angles. I lived in St.Thomas, Virgin Islands for a few years and was able to experience Carnival and Jouvert first hand. I remember dancing in the street as the steel bands played music following my favorite Jam Band. I love food, so you know that I am going to eat some of EVERYTHING I’m not allergic to. Food Allergies keep me in check when it comes to trying new things. I would go to sleep early knowing that I’d be getting up at 1:00 a.m. to be able to start partying around 2:00 a.m. and go all morning long until the sun came up. I was very young when I attended my first Carnival and Jouvert but, I enjoyed it so much and it is Island tradition. You saw everyone you knew and met new people including tourists during Carnival season. One thing I love about Carnival & Jouvert are the costumes! There are so many beautiful costumes to see and I also love seeing the (mocko jumbie) man on stilts dancing through the street.
I’ve had so much fun on a couple of different occasions visiting Toronto, Ontario during Caribana that I can’t wait to get back and do it again. It’s been years but, when you have an amazing experience like that, it tends to stick with you forever! I was able to attend live reggae concerts, special event parties and the festival of course. Oh… you know that I ate up all the food! There’s nothing like getting together with all your family and friends to celebrate your Caribbean culture and traditions. If you plan on attending a Caribbean carnival and Jouvert don’t plan to sleep a lot. If you are anything like me, you’ll plan a jam packed schedule so that you can try to get everything in. I can sacrifice a few hours sleep for a lifetime of memories. I was able to meet Reggae Artists like Robert French and Capleton during Caribana events. I was able to get an authentic Caribbean experience and bonus, I was able to visit Niagara Falls on my way back to New York. I love taking road trips so, I’ll opt to drive vs. taking a plane if I can. The amount of FUN that you have with your family and friends is priceless.
I Love New York! I was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, New York. I’m a first generation American. My parents were both born and raised in Jamaica and came the United States in their young adult life. I love the Caribbean Diaspora within the United States, Canada & Worldwide. I’m able to enjoy events like the Caribbean Day Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn during Labor Day weekend. There are so many people of Caribbean decent that love to celebrate their culture and it’s a bonus that we can all do it together. One of my goals is to get to the Memorial Day Weekend Atlanta Caribbean Festival in the near future, I lived through so many of my friends pictures via social media this past Memorial Day weekend and can’t wait to get a chance to go. I also would like to experience Carnival & Jouvert in Miami. I know I will have a great time with friends and family. Overall, Jouvert is an experience that I would recommend to anyone. Think about when you go on vacation and just want to explore and soak up the culture, it’s a similar experience. Believe it or not, tourists travel just for Caribbean Festivals at various locations. I’m of Caribbean decent and I do it too! Enjoy some of these pics and definitely plan to have a Jouvert experience!
Photo Credit: Huge shout out to my friends Telisha a.k.a Goddess Intellect and Laing from The Brand Theorem for her their photo contributions. Thank you so much!
This post was written/published as part of Blogging While Brown & Rewind and Come Againâ€™s 2014 June Blog Carnival celebrating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.