Monday, 2 February 2015

Imani Finley: My recommendations for Junkanoo

Traveling to a place you’ve never been can be very exciting, but there are numerous things you must take in consideration.  Specifically for Junkanoo, timing, safety, food and interacting with the locals are key elements I have recommendations for. The timing of the Junkanoo may be very difficult for any visitor although a common tradition for Bahamians. Therefore, I recommend any person attending Junkanoo, to get a lot of rest the day before as well as the day of the festival.  Attending a festival that starts at 2:00am was very unfamiliar for my classmates and I, and often times we struggled staying awake regardless of the excitement going on around us. Although, certain groups had such lively performances we forgot what time it was and was on our feet dancing to the band’s music. Next, safety is an important factor due to the time frame that the festival is held. It may be very obvious that you are a tourist, which could make you a possible target. Therefore, be careful not to bring large purses or valuable electronics with you besides maybe a phone or small camera to take pictures. This is imperative because more than likely you may have to walk to the festival grounds which involve walking down dark streets. Another recommendation is to eat a well balanced meal before attending because you may eventually get hungry and the concession stands may only offer smaller bites such as conch fritters and hot dogs.  Lastly, I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity of being surrounded by local Bahamians and communicate with those in your seating section. This will allow you to learn great knowledge about the festival from a local’s perspective as well as details of each group in the parade as they pass by.

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