Oh wow, it’s finally Friday. I’m giddy in my seat because tomorrow marks the start of an unforgettable Four-Day Weekend! You heard me! In Barbados, there will be NO WORK on Monday and Tuesday because Monday is our annual Crop Over festival when at least a quarter of the population and tourists will be parading down the streets in colourful (and skimpy) costumes! Can anybody say: “Par-tay!”?

I’m so excited. This will be my second year ‘jumping’ as we call it and I can’t wait. I’m a little worried though because I’ve been sick the last few weeks and I have to take it easy for the next two days so that I can participate without feeling guilty. Oh but for that sun and for that feeling of going down the street dancing. Aaaah, I will do anything, even if anything means barricading myself in the house and drowning myself in medication.

This is makes me think about books. Especially fantasies. This Crop Over festival parade-like thing is part of our culture. The dancing is part of who we are as Caribbean people. The music is our own. It’s all us. It represents a perfect example of how our histories have such a tangible effect on our lives. This is really something people should think about when creating a new society. What is it like? What are the people like collectively? Does their main religion reflect this? What are their festivals? Are they religion-based? How did they star? How has their history affected what the society is like?

You can’t write a book with a new society without answering these questions. The Crop Over festival is mostly based in history. It comes after sugar cane has been harvested and therefore the crop over (more or less). So the slaves and the maybe the entire colony would celebrate duing the Crop Over season and dance, have music, and parade. This has extended into modern day where many costumes have themes to reflect slavery days. We have different events where we even pick a King and Queen of the crop. These people are the actual harvesters/ pickers who harvest the cane and have managed to do the most work. Or something along those lines.

We also have competitions to pick artistes who’ve brought the best songs for the Crop Over season. The entire summer is littered with parties to get everyone ‘hype’ for one day of partying down the road. And all this came from one aspect of history. So my words to you. When you sit down to create the society your protagonist lives in. Give consideration to all these things.

Over and out.

K, the Popinjay.