Monday, April 22, 2024

TONI THORNE: So you’re not into Crop Over? Really . . .


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QUITE RECENTLY, I went out for drinks with a few friends and acquaintances. Naturally, the topic of Crop Over came up and we started to discuss which events we shall be attending and our personal reviews of events which took place.

I realised one of the persons in our group was particularly silent throughout our discussion and seemingly very nonchalant about the entire topic. A mutual friend turned to Miss Nonchalant and asked: “So what are you excited about this season?” Miss Nonchalant replied in a condescending tone: “I do not do Crop Over. There is nothing about Crop Over that I like.”

This offended the members of our group and the more I thought about it, the more I knew this column was necessary.

Now, before you make any assumptions, Miss Nonchalant is not a Christian and even if she were, her comment would still be offensive. Crop Over has a place for all religions and I know many members of various religions who partake and enjoy the festivities.

Miss Nonchalant falls into a category of people who think it sounds impressive to say that they do not find Crop Over attractive. These are the kinds of people who behind closed doors, more than likely turn up their noses at what they may describe as “low culture”. I know of these people. Those who are Bajan ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Like it or not, Crop Over is our main festival and showcases who we are as a people. For the record, to simply see Crop Over as the art of wukking up is a myopic view and discounts activities such as the heritage walks, Pan Weekend, social commentary, Cityfest and Bridgetown Market, to name a few. This sweet festival is the leading platform for the creation and promotion of our artforms: from bashment soca to gourmet roast breadfruit.

Intelligent people are not impressed by the comments that Crop Over is “not your thing” or “on a whole, too rah rah”. Such comments show that your mindset is one which has been greatly influenced by imperialism, resulting in a disdain for your cultural identity.

There is no right-thinking person who can look at the entire schedule of activities (NCF produced and otherwise) for Crop Over and say that there is nothing that would be of interest to them.

Moreover, such sentiments are even more offensive when they come from non-Barbadians who have decided to make Barbados their home. Would you go to Jamaica and tell Jamaicans you dislike reggae? Would you go to England and insult the Queen?

Let me tell you a secret: when you scoff at our culture, it says that Barbados is good enough for you to make a dollar and even raise your children but elements of our culture (the very essence of our way of life) are not good enough for you.

There is no merit in actively seeking to exclude yourself from our culture. If you take issue with the Mother Sally, tuk band, Kiddies Kadooment, The Landship or Stiffy Star Quality, move to Culpepper Island.

In fact, move “all de way behind God back”.

Go with God.

Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email:


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