<< magazine top >>

Rushing out of the carnival island

I thought that a carnival was originated in Brazil. It's completely misunderstanding. A carnival has been existed in Europe for hundreds of years. In facts, there are many famous carnivals in Europe like the one of Venice or Nice.
Then I looked closer at the spelling of the "carnival "once again. And I found the word of "carnis", which means meat or flesh in Latin. Festival and carnival, each word doesn't have the same meanings in exact.
However, the carnival style which peoples dance with rhythm of samba was born in central and south America. European and African tradition, both were mixed together in the colonial period.

The carnival of the Canary Islands has the south American samba style. Euro originated culture had been transformed in Brazil and back to Europe. Maybe we can call it "resonance of culture".
The carnival season of the Canary Islands is February. The most famous carnival in the islands was the one of Tenerife. Unfortunately, I don't know the carnival of Tenerife.
However I came across a big carnival in Gran Canaria Island. It's not like the carnival which was dancing on the street like Brazil. A stage was set up and the group was shown one after another. Each team compete for dance, music and of course, costumes.
Many tourists came over not only from Europe but also from African Continent. So the carnival was really animated. It seemed the biggest event through the year.
With ending the carnival season in the Canary Islands, Brazil, the other side of the Atlantic ocean, get into the season. What a huge scaled story it is!

I enjoyed the carnival very much but I made a big mistake. I hadn't booked the returning air ticket to the main land of Spain. And there was no vacant seat at all. The seats were fully booked for whole one week after the carnival. I had not imagined the situation because I hadn't known even existence of the carnival itself.

"What can I do for it?" I was thinking with drinking beer in the bar. "At the carnival plaza, I was invited by Senegalese tourists 'Why don't you come on board our ship?' So should I had accepted their offer? But they said that they let the mother ship stand by off the shore and landed by small boat. Generally, it is called 'Illegal immigration' isn't it.......?" After a while, bartender asked me. "What are you thinking, senor?" Yes, I'm a sort of person showing what I'm thinking on my face. I described the situation.
"That's not big matter at all. Forget about it! It's a carnival today, uh?" He encouraged me.

"Well, but I have been the Canary Islands for more than 2 weeks. What should I do for another one week here. With thinking about my schedule to go back to Japan, it's surely time to leave the island." However I had no choice. I declared to prolong the stay at the guest house and made my mind spending another one week in Gran Canaria Island.

However the good news comes suddenly. When I asked at the port, they said there were extra tickets of ferry for the main land. And it would departure in an hour. I booked for it and returned to the guest house quickly.
I packed all my baggage in 5 minutes, and told the old woman at the reception. "I'm gonna leave. I got ticket for the ship" "When is that?" "Tonight?" "My God! Tonight?" She looked so surprised. Same to me. The situation had been completely changed in 30 minutes.

I went to the port breathlessly and took on board. Minutes after, the ferry departed. The arriving time to Cadiz was 6:30 pm. I thought it's next day. But it was 6:30 on the 3rd day.
I rushed out of the carnival island like this.

Feb. 2006

Today's piece
"Carnaval " Gran Canaria Island, Spain 1993

Eid and the New Year's Day

fumikatz osada photographie