"The two days of Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago are not official public holidays
- but they might as well be - almost everyone is out on the streets, dancing,
'jumping up', 'wining down' and basically having a ball."
This is taken directly from Tidco's website. How many ppl in Trinidad does really study if Carnival is an official holiday or not? Well unfortunately(fortunately?) for me I work for an international company. Early in the game the ceo asked me for a copy of all the Trinidad public holidays to distribute to the other offices. Shortly thereafter while discussing my salary raise he pointed out to me that the U.S and the U.K has more working days than Trinidad. Therefore, I am not really entitled to be paid at the same rate as them (talk about meggie!). What the ass..I am not the government!! That is my fault or wha?? Well then he proceeded to discuss cutting down on the public holidays. He actually asked me what I thought about only having X amount of public holidays for the company. Well he must be felt I was trying to duck the question. But I told him that in such a multicultural society as Trinidad, that is a very touchy subject. You cannot just regularise the holidays because many are religious holidays. You can't tell a Hindu to skip Divali or a Christian to skip Easter. And well you can't tell a person of African descent to come out for Emancipation. He went on to point out that Carnival is not an official holiday according to the government. Well you can't tell a Carnival Jumbie not to play mas!!!
Well you know I had to sort he out one time. I tell him if he feel Carnival is not a holiday in Trinidad he could come here and see where open. I tell him the only places open is KFC and the gas station. The banks take it as a bank holiday and if the banks closed then no business can go on. FURTHERMORE!!! If HE feel he seeing me Carnival Monday and Tuesday he is will be sorely disappointed.
But this begs the next question, what do carnival jumbies who have to work do to get the time off to play mas?? I don't play up at all, I taking vacation from Carnival Thursday straight thru Ash Wed. When I was in university, I ALWAYS had exams around Carnival, I used to move real dread. I would go to my professors and tell them "I won't be in the country next week, I need to reschedule". If someone give trouble and ask why, I would tell them "family reunion" or "a personal commitment". Hey I not lying, but I doh feel you should call thing on your family and say someone sick etc. Now faking a sick yourself is not always a good idea, cause between the alcohol, the paprazzi and the maccos ..YOU WILL GET KETCH!( and probably fired). They have ppl who does fire the wuk to play a mas. I know TSTT actually used to make you work a extra 5 hours to make up for the two Carnival days.
An article in today's Trinidad Express ( http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_opinion?id=161019852 ) speaks of cutting back on public holidays. Note that he does not even entertain the prospect of eliminating Carnival. I would love to get feedback on this, what do you do to make sure you have no other commitments to play mas on Carnival Day?