Mashramani competitions stage strong comeback

– but Carnival and J’ouvert still hold much sway

A scence from Carib Soca Monarch 2018

Carnival and J’ouvert have come to Guyana, and as they do, they provide another opportunity to analyse Mashramani. Cultural phenomena are dynamic, especially those driven by the popular culture. Cultural change is normal and will come into play. While Mashramani has been evolving as a national tradition, it has been significantly affected by normal cultural change, but its development has been equally retarded by both cultural intrusion and official action.

Carnival and J’ouvert are examples of cultural change in Guyana, but they are both borrowed from other cultures and other festivals and are imitations. While cultural change will run a natural course, the advancement of Mashramani is suffering. 

Carnival came to Guyana officially in 2016 when the government fashioned a version of it to celebrate the nation’s Jubilee – the 50th Anniversary of Independence on May 26. It was then fully embraced in May 2018 when mainly commercial interests adopted it as a permanent feature running from May 18 to 28…..

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