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Bajans Call For T&T Carnival Boycott

By Terry Joseph
February 17, 2004

ALONG with beer made here and flying fish, Carnival has become a victim of current arguments between the Prime Ministers of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, at least one Barbadian journalist is calling for a boycott of the Trini festival.

One writer attached to the Barbados Nation who has, for years covered Trini Carnival is refusing to handle that assignment this time around and others in various media have been asking readers and viewers to miss the festival as a mark of solidarity with Prime Minister Owen Arthur's position on the fishing dispute.

But not all of Barbados media shares that view, Features editor at the Nation, Adonijah, who is also a calypsonian, published an article Sunday calling on Barbadians to forget politicians and carry on with their plans to visit Trinidad for Carnival.

The article titled: "Hold the Bus" said (inter alia): " I'm hearing all kinds of calls for boycotts of Trinidadian products and to stay away from Trinidad Carnival, because the politicians haven't been able to get it right for over ten years now.

"Listen, we the people of the Caribbean have for years shown the politicians the, whatever barriers they may set up, our natural history brings us together. Years ago, Black Stalin sang (in "Caribbean Man"): ‘Must be something them Rastas have that these politicians don't know/That is one race, from the same place, that make the same trip on the same ship...'

"My family is an example of the oneness of the Caribbean and I know this is not a rare story. One of my uncles left here and settled in Trinidad in 1922. I have a whole set of family there, including first cousins. Chances are that if you meet an Alleyne or a Wiltshire from Trinidad, they are related to me.

"So now you're telling me I should boycott my family? I don't think so. Let the politicians continue their foolishness. That's what they do most of the time anyway. I say let the politicians quarrel. We the people have always been years ahead of them when it comes to understanding what real oneness is about.

"Let's keep it that way," wrote Adojijah.

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