February 13, 2010

Today was the Istrian Carnival procession.  Probably the most common ideas of Carnival come from places like New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and Port-of-Spain.  Istrian Carnival was nothing like that.  (Most notably, there were no dancing girls in bikinis.  Although I have no idea whether that may be attributed to cultural factors or climatic ones.)  Since Istria seems to be rather proud of their Venetian heritage, I have to say that I was expecting more of a Venetian-style Renaissance masquerade.  It wasn’t that either.

What it was is rather hard to describe.  I thought I’d eventually figure out some sort of theme, but I never did.  It seemed to be a family-friendly event (although I rather suspect the cavemen weren’t drinking Cockta) that most of Koper was either involved in or turned out for.  I’d say it was sort of a haphazard blend of Halloween, international culture festival, and social consciousness event.  Almost all of the kids – and a fair number of adults too – were dressed in costumes with the usual array of princesses, witches, a surprising number of American Indians, superheros, and cute animals.  (Which totally explains the costume display that was in the front of the supermarket last week.)

In the procession, there was a pirate ship, people dressed up as gypsies, an environmental group protesting – I’m guessing here – contamination of the fisheries, several Arab culture themed groups, what appeared to be Middle Earth elves, an entire float dedicated to Cuba complete with salsa dancers, a Fidel Castro and a Che Guevara, something that may or may not have been the Loch Ness monster, a group making sausage (it’s true what they say…), a float encouraging recycling, and some ladies dressed in/as…lettuce?  Considering that the leaves appeared to be wilting, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that they were wearing real lettuce.


Venetian masquerade

Stop pollution?

Elves - Middle Earth or otherwise

Don't ask me what the guy in front has to do with sausage.

The lettuce...people.


2 Responses to “”

  1. Kelly said

    WOW! That is one interesting parade. It made me google the whole thing. One post said that they burn a doll that represents all of the bad from the year before. I love cultural events! You have experienced a lot and have hardly been there!

  2. Tad Parker said

    Neat. Protestors in gas masks? They weren’t gassed or squished under tanks! It’s good that you DON’T have to live here to be allowed to speak your mind.

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