Dey Spoil Paramin Parang!

Sometimes we should be wary of change and change for change sake may not always be a good thing. You know the saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it and a good example of this  is the Paramin Parang festival. This event   usually takes place on the traditional Monday before Christmas but was moved to a new venue and date for 2009. Immediately people sensed that 'this was not right'.  They broke the mold and moved the Parang from Paramin to the Trinidad Country Club in Maraval. Yes Gailos they spoilt the Paramin Parang because it is now Maraval parang!
Some people grudgingly attended the event that was held last Friday and immediately the feeling was that the tradition that made the event special and its special link to Christmas was now gone. Gone also was the bush rum and the abundance of wild meat and the Paramin pastelles and the numerous stalls selling all the traditional foods offered by the regular Paramin vendors. That was just it most of the regular participants from Parmin were missing. It felt like the heart and soul of the festival was replaced by an upscale group that did not understand that it was Paramin and the ghosts of celebrants from the past that gave the event that feel of Paramin Parang. This was different this was Maraval not "we Paramin".  Indeed there were those who had a wonderful time and were happy not to have been trapped in the traffic that usually had people so annoyed for the traditional festival but at the same time the sights and sounds and the smell of the mud were missing - these little annoyances made you know that "yuh reach" and that yes Paramin parang is alive and well!
However, change is here and with some change comes improvements' that would take some time to sink in if only it could 'sink in ‘at the recreation grounds in the hills of Paramin.  The sense that this change was not good also trickled down to the amount of bands that participated in the event this year with the numbers less than the previous year.  Some of the bands that participated in the Maraval event included the reigning National Parang Champion, Los Alumnos De San Juan, Los Tocadores, Flores De San Jose, Paramininos, Marcia Miranda and Damian Joseph the Chinee parang man.
Some people were happy and loved the abundance of bake and shark while others lamented the fact that Paramin Parang was now Maraval Parang. The traditionalists were there lamenting the lack of the babash and all the traditional meats and food that made the parang "Paramin Parang" was gone and with it the that which made their parang so special. Well let's hope that a change of heart will take place and next year we can once again head to the Paramin recreation ground to complain about the traffic and mud but in the end leave satisfied that the tradition of Paramin Parang lives on.
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