This year, I celebrated Carnival again after four years abroad. And what better place to start than my native Curaçao? I arrived just in time to walk in the Gran Marcha (Grand Parade) and Marcha di Despedida (Farewell Parade), both for the first time. Then, three weeks later, I got to sneak a peek of Montevideo’s Carnaval.
The festivities were vastly different in both countries, not surprising considering their different geographies and histories. Yet, what I (re-)discovered in both places was a decades-old tradition, the type that forges community between people irrespective of their race, ancestry or belief. (more…)