What St Pauls Carnival means to me

2014_07_festPhoto credit to Julian Grant ( ManDem – Julz).

As many of you know, St Pauls Carnival has been around for years and as a young male coming from a Caribbean background, naturally, I have been going to the carnival since I was little (even though I’m still little…)

For me, fest is all about meeting up with the ‘ManDem’, chilling throughout the day and night catching joke. We all wear vests, try to look hench for the ‘GyalDem’, eat jerk chicken and just jam by either the dancehall section or the house section.

Of course it wouldn’t be fest if some sort of trouble never happened. When I say trouble, I don’t mean anything negative by it. I mean, boys being boys/girls being girls, squabbling over something that happened years ago and just attention seeking. It’s a little bit of drama and it adds to the vibe. After their funny 5 minutes, everyone is friends again and enjoys the rest of the carnival.

The next day, after the carnival is over, everyone will be talking about Shanquisha who had a funny 5 minutes with Jayquan and how ‘live’ the carnival was in general. Some people however, will often say, ‘fest was sh*t, I ain’t going next year’, although they said this last year… and the year before… and the year before that. Then we all wait a whole year for the next one and repeat the same thing.

This is my personal average experience of St Pauls Carnival. It generally depends on who I hang with. If I was to roll with middle class white people, we’d probably see the floats for an hour, eat some food and be on our way. If I was with my yardie crew, it would be all about getting a ‘whine’ with that beautiful girl. If it was with drum and bass heads, we’d be on a non stop bopping flex, stood next to the same speaker for hours, cans in our hands shouting, yeah.

Depending on what type of person you are, depends on the type of carnival you’ll have!

I’m looking forward to the carnival this weekend, but I’m going to take it easy. Hopefully I will see you there doing our #SPSelfie challenge! Cya there.

Click here to check out the St Pauls Carnival website.

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.