Sunday, September 06, 2009

jouvert again


labor day weekend is a special event in certain parts of brooklyn. mostly in the areas with the highest concentration of caribbean folks. in the other areas its just another three day weekend, another reason to hang with friends and drink more and barbecue. but for those from the west indies its an explosive celebration filled with ritual and tradition. they start to party at 4am on sunday night and dont stop until 4am on monday night. its a wild, passionate affair that fills the streets with music, food, drink and people. bodies heaving against each other, drunk and sweaty and charged with emotion. the air is suffused with sex and anger and and joy and violence. an unruly release of a million sentiments.

for the first few years i lived here i only witnessed the parade that goes down eastern parkway on monday, i was unaware of the event that preceded it that night before. jouvert. the traditional celebration of the west indies. from what i understand, the jouvert in trinidad rivals that of carnival in brazil. a massive outpouring of jubilation that spills into the street and doesnt stop until its over, not even for death. but the jouvert in brooklyn is nothing to sneeze at either. that too, doesnt stop until it is over and that too, doesnt stop for death.

this is the first year ive been in the thick of things for labor day weekend. as ive explained in previous post, my neighborhood is very caribbean, and i can see the warning looks in my neighbors eyes that alert me to the party which will occur.

i tried to escape but couldnt do it this weekend. so i will experience first hand how labor day goes down in crown heights. it is quiet now, people are resting up. but its like being at the calm eye in the middle of a storm. you know later on the place will detonate.

i guess we'll just have to see.

3 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

I didn't know anything about Jouvert. Looks intriguing!

2:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous dk said...

Cool post. Thanks for passing this along...

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger -jkg said...

yeah jouvert is pretty big here in brooklyn. you guys would have big fun im sure.

2:45 PM EDT  

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.