Saint Lucia – Bad in Bum Bum!

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Bad in Bum Bum

What is Carnival in Saint Lucia? Is it an expression of our culture, costume making skills to depict a theme or story, or is it simply an opportunity to allow man to get on bad in bum bum with wild abandon, a hidden hedonistic desire, or did it really come into being so we could let loose before the long period of Lent?

In all cultures, near and far, there are customs and norms of behaviour. In fact it has always been argued that without rules and laws society would descend into chaos and anarchy. It is true that we all came upon this earth through a sexual act, however the display of this innate tendency is one reserved for an appropriate time and place.

As animalistic as we consider ourselves, our day to day interactions are far from impulsive and wild, reiterating our belief that we are indeed more than mere animals.

It’s been said, time and time again, that Carnival is bacchanal. That the shock and disgust many express year after year as a result of the debauchery and drunken sexual behaviour is what Carnival is really all about, and the expressions of concern come from a bunch of prudes who should just stay at home or go to the beach.

In essence this approach chooses to excuse all vile, sexual, drunken, and very often unlawful behaviour which would not be tolerated on any other day. From highly intoxicated minors to mature gogehs, astounding wardrobe-malfunctions, bodily malfunctions, and everything else in between. Let’s face it, Carnival has continued to shock the senses!

In 2015 this viral photo shook us all into the reality of how low our vaval had sunk.

Carnival 2015 Shocker on Manoel Street

Kiddies Carnival, or Junior Carnival, as it is now called, was a rather revealing insight into how pervasive the bacchanal had truly become, even our little ones had succumbed to its despicable contamination.

Imagine my shock and dismay on arriving at the William Peter Boulevard a few weekends ago to witness Junior Carnival. What greeted my eyes had to be captured on camera for fear I would not be believed.

On stage were children barely ten years of age doing the 6:30, split, mahtay, tick-tock, rolling it, dropping it like it’s hot, and every other variation of dirty whine you could imagine. Abodee abo fess, messieur!

This is Ricky T’s Road March hit “Sully”

Can anyone, even in the wildest stretch of their imagination say with a straight face, that Kiddies Carnival performers on stage in the William Peter Boulevard, whining and splitting to “Sully” in all of its Carnival context, be seen appropriate? (See photos)

The mother of all insults was the song “Bad in Bum Bum” by Mighty feat. Subance. This song clearly directs its attention at our women who are “Not bad in English, Not bad in Spanish, But you bad in Bum Bum.” Of course “Not bad” meaning not good, unapologetically telling these women they’re only good at bum bum: whining – what an insult.

Shockingly, the ones whining and gyrating to this insulting song are the very women it denigrates. Nevertheless, “Bad in Bum Bum” can be used as an incentive for an education but lamentably this opportunity seems to have been lost in all the bum bum attention.

Maybe a closer look, beyond the “Bad in Bum Bum” part of this song will reveal exactly where the artiste is coming from. Lyrics follow:

BAD IN BUM BUM

Not bad in English
Not bad in Spanish
But you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
When all girls taking pleesh
New position you unleash
Cause you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
Your man say you not perfect
Friends say makeup not good
But when you get in the mood
Everything looking good
You giving them licks
Cause your bumper doing Physics
You not bad in Maths
But you doing Jimmy flicks in Metrics
Not bad in z’affaire moon
You wining on in in tune
Cause you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
Not looking like grande moon
Bumper doing typhoon
Cause you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
Make Bum Bum touch ground lemme see
Shake Bum Bum in 3D
My girl don’t mind nobody
In Bum Bum you have PhD
Your Bum Bum not sayzee
My girl you doh have fwaydee
Your clothes not on kwedee
Your Bum Bum it giving afwechee
Not bad in English
Not bad in Spanish
But you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
When all girls taking pleesh
New position you unleash
Cause you bad in Bum Bum
You bad in Bum Bum
My girl if you bad so
Make it sing like calypso
Bumper ca boowee glo chaud
Make it speed up de tempo
My girl girl you bad in Bum Bum
Looking so nice like chicken and ham
If you want to bring Bum Bum
Come I will give it a body slam

For many weeks preceding the Parade of Bands many late nights were spent at Mas camps designing and assembling costumes. Definitely a labour of love, these vaval aficionados work tirelessly bringing the theme of the year’s band into a dazzling production. Whether it be mystical, Amazon, fairy tale, or whatever else that captured the imaginations of the band leaders, the costumes eventually evolve into wondrous works of art.

But a theme should not end as merely a presentation in style or visual appeal, and neither should its highlight be the King and Queen of the bands competition. Along the parade route a band’s theme should be played out, like a moving play, and portrayed on stage before the judges as though one was presenting a well rehearsed and choreographed show.

Instead, what we see is a mass attack of the stage by what appears to be a marauding horde of wild men and women, intent of destroying anything in their path. Save for the main costumes this is the identical behaviour from all bands. Chaaaaarge!

Chaaaaarge!

THE FRENCH HAVE ARRIVED

For a number of years French bands from Martinique and Guadeloupe have participated in our Carnival celebrations, displaying their costumes, and ability to portray their theme just like the local bands.

Year in and year out our Lucian crowds have been wowed by their beautiful costumes and less than vulgar behaviour of the women and men revelers. This year’s participation by the Guadeloupe Association Anthuriums and their band Mackozombis did not disappoint. Beautiful straw hats and bikinis adorned with anthiriums and assorted flowers had the crowds in awe, Carnival Monday.  On Carnival Tuesday they rocked it even more when the costumes were switched for headgear with breadfruit leaves, fruit bowls, and creole style designs, a la Journay Kweyol.

The comments from everyone was how sexy they looked without having to be vulgar. Their portrayal on stage seemed well rehearsed and well executed, it was like a breath of fresh air. Nothing like the mass attack we have grown accustomed to by all the St. Lucian bands. Along the entire route their theme was depicted like a mobile presentation, it was a joy.

Their on-stage presentations before the judges near the Castries Market can be considered as nothing less than a model for our local bands to follow. For a moment I thought the Radio City Rockettes were performing in Castries – it was unbelievable! The applause was thunderous, the approval apparently unanimous – all with no 6:30, no bodah clapping, no Bad in Bum Bum, no vulgarity! Isn’t this what carnival should be? See for yourself, and compare.

Crassness and vulgarity do not equate to culture, they are simply excuses by people who don’t give a damn about their own image or example. Many women who know better fall into the mentality of their peers and get swept up in the vulgarity. Women who say they want respect from men  engage in actions that suggest they are lesser than the respect they demand.

It seems that too many women who see a camera lense throw all caution to the wind and descend into an abyss of madness. What do you want to prove, how well you can wine or how low you can go for a cockolock? And when you portray yourself as PhD in Bum Bum why should you be surprised when you get approached by all the vile men on the street – after all, you’re not bad in English or Spanish!

Stop deluding yourself into thinking you have a right to be vulgar and lewd yet still be seen as a decent virtuous woman. You can’t have it both ways, jamet or respectable woman, make your choice as the two are not synonymous.

Carnival has become the passport for indecency, vulgarity, and drunkenness. Where are the boundaries that define our culture? Where are those in authority who should be guiding our cultural experiences and setting the standards. Where are the role models for the young girls? Yet when a woman wants to be virtuous or decent she is referred to as viciez!

Aduh zot paka hont!

The children mimic our behaviours. What do those women, mothers during Carnival expect their example to teach the children on the sidelines watching their every move?

The image we project must be cleaned up to a more family oriented display. There comes a time when we have to decide what is acceptable and what needs to be tossed out. That time has come. The idea of Carnival is definitely not one of a church choir, but downright nastiness and perverse and saloptay behaviour, in the name of fun, can no longer be tolerated.

We have become too desensitized to saloptay!

So, do you really have a PhD in Bum Bum?

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a well written article that I hope will be absorbed and hearkened to by the participants of Carnival and the organizers as well. Rules need to be implemented and songs of that nature should not be allowed to be entered into Soca Monarch far less to place in the competition, which then gives it the right to be played on the road and then to place in the Road March competition. There should be zero tolerance to the music and to the behaviour on the road.
    This article expresses everything I would have loved to express and more!!!!
    St. Lucians we need to come back to our self respect, morals and principles for us to earn back our self respect. No bad in bum bum for me!

  2. Ahhh interesting article, I suggest you look into the the parade festival in The Bahamas known as Junkanoo in December (Boxing Day) or January (New Year’s Day). I feel it best describes what type of parade you look forward to seeing. I think they are also trying out another festival themselves similar to the Trinidad carnival in May.

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