Armchair Field Trip to Grenada: Parang!
In Europe they have the Eurovision Song Contest; in Carriacou, there's Parang, which features slightly less ridiculous outfits but has all sorts of other elements of competitive showmanship:
- The main objective of organizing the festival was to revive and keep alive the "house to house" serenading of string bands. At that time this indigenous aspect of our culture was slowing dying. "¦
- Carriacou Parang is filled with fun, humor and excitement. The lyrics in the songs are rather controversial at times, since they reflect on political events in the country, historical events and the social wrong doings that occur in people's lives through out the year. The festival is held in the form of a competition, with organized parang groups from villages through out Carriacou & Petit Martinique and even Grenada all competing for cash prizes along with a challenge trophy.
The groups are comprised of not more than eight (8) members and they are all dressed in colorful outfits to reflect the festive season. All of the instruments used for this occasion are percussion instruments, these include: base drum, iron, guitar, quarto, violin, marack (shack "“ shack), mandolin, saxophone, tambourine and any other percussion instrument that can make a melodious sound.
Sadly, we will be missing the sweet sounds of Parang this year "“ we're a week early.