By Hayley Gunning
On Friday, September 20, the Students of Caribbean Ancestry (S.O.C.A) held their annual Karnival workshop.
Students at the workshop were decorating brightly colored flags, bras, shorts, and durags with neon feathers and eccentric rhinestones in anticipation for the Karnival party at the Stood later that night. Jamaican beef and veggie patties welcomed students into the Multicultural center where the event was held.
S.O.C.A is a “cultural club that promotes diversity on campus and aims to bring knowledge and awareness to things that are happening in Caribbean countries," said Isis Gonzalez, treasurer for S.O.C.A. and senior Liberal Studies major. "People from Caribbean cultures have a space to discuss things, and also people who aren't from Caribbean descent to come and learn.”
“Karnival is a celebration of many things- life, happiness, and your culture in the Caribbean Islands. It derived from slavery, and they took it back for themselves," said Kiyah Chester, President of S.O.C.A, and a senior Journalism major.
During her sophomore year Kiyah was part of S.O.C.A’s fashion show when the president at the time asked her to join the eBoard.
"Usually there’s a thing before called Jouvert, a celebration of darkness that goes from night time into the morning of Labor Day or Karnival Day," said Chester. "People celebrate Jouvert and then go to the parade in the daytime, there's floats, costumes, and music."
There is no definitive, universal date on which Karnival takes place annually.
"Different countries have different dates for their Karnival, the Karnival in Miami is happening October 13th, they have their own date depending on the country and their reasons for doing it,” said Isis Gonzalez.
“Karnival definitely means a time to be liberal, a time to have fun, dress however you want, and just express yourself- I think it’s great because it brings everyone from the Caribbean together,” said Judy Romelien a senior Communications major.
Romelien noticed the “cool events around campus” and is of Caribbean descent so she decided to join two years ago. As S.O.C.A’s Social Media Manager, she posts about events around campus to inform people about the club.
Ivin Huggan, a junior Economics major, was looking forward to “just dancing.”
“I’m Jamaican, they have cool events, Karnival especially," said Huggan. "Jamaicans love to dance, this club helped me meet new people. We’re just having a good time.”