Saturday, 7 March 2009

Carnival: Vitrolles

Well say 'goodbye' Netherlands, Dutch liberty, and rainy weather and 'hello' to the Côte d'Azur, Bouches-du-Rhone, warm ravishing weather, and les filles français! Yes, I chose to do my internship, my final thesis and complete my master programme in the charming city of Aix-en-Provence, France [more precisely  Vitrolles, at an IT consultancy called Osiatis]. There were many valid reasons for the choice, aside from the weather, my French girlfriend [Maite], and learning a [useful] language; but I won't go into the gory, corporate details in such a social setting.
So I'm in France now, there's just such a magical feeling about it, with he vast landscape, the polite, friendly [beautiful] French people, and fresh [seemingly] unpolluted springtime air, and the oh-so accessible nature surrounding Aix. Contemplating what to do with our weekend [which dare not be wasted on petty work], we decided to go to my work-place city of Vitrolles for a traditional Carnival.
IMG_8840It was something quite culturally oriented and not "adult-oriented" as our Carnival in Trinidad. It was interesting, but lacked a certain, "je ne sais quoi"…perhaps alcohol, half naked people in costumes, hot weather, and blasting music and chaos! [See the video below on Trinidadian Carnival that has passed this year in February]. There was live jazz-type music by some of the players, and a few locals in costumes, not large but homely. In all, the day was enjoyable except for the fact that it ended in my 10th break up with my girlfriend, but, c'est la vie! [we're back together now by the way; sinusoidal relationships; *sigh*].
n677912899_1382925_4002254I've come to realise that European Carnivals [Maastricht's  Carnival, Nice Carnival, Finnish Vappu Celebrations], will never be the same as the Carnival back home in Trinidad. They will always be some how more "sane", perhaps all have their own cultural aspects, but Trini-Carnival, is all about the fun, sun, and one-love! A time when all are together and united, and break free from social laws and norms and create a controlled and enjoyable chaos [or as we say "bacchanal"].
For more pictures of Vitrolles Carnival, see:
Vitrolles Carnival [from the City website]:
All areas of Vitrolles will come alive on 7 March on the theme of imagination and dreams at the carnival organized by the City and the associations vitrollaises. The inhabitants of the Frescoule, embodied as gypsies, will join the city center to the edge of their "tank-trailer, under the orders and disorders of the" Emperor of the country trips." The program of this parade: gear wheels, oversized characters, waders, country, etc.. Les Pins, the Hermès Liourat and will not be left with their "Island of Dreams". Brazilian dance, African and capoeira are there. The inhabitants of the village, they trace the legend of Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of rain for Vitrolles. Around Caramantran, theatrical tableaux, folk dances and music will be organized. Starting from 14h, on the place de Provence, where the final will take place in the parade, several activities will be introduced such as free riding school, a makeup workshop hosted by the municipal or ludothèque a bar held by the associations vitrollaises.
Now the real Trini-Carnival: remember the sun is hot, and people playing in costumes usually have access to a free bar with unlimited drinks, so they have no choice but to behave like this. :)