Karnevol 2016, Shooting Stars

Published in Highlights

The 2016 Karnevol skit - inevitably - centred on Jelsa's Christmas “Star Wars”. Friendly fun, culminating in peace.

In the run-up to Christmas 2015, the atmosphere in Jelsa became decidedly heated. When is a Christmas star the wrong kind of star? This burning question had the community polarized, with a small but vociferous section claiming that among the Christmas decorations put up by the local council was a 'communist star'. Some even refused to take part in the Christmas Eve celebrations on Jelsa's Pjaca in protest. The Mayor defended himself and 'his' star. The national press took up the story, having little else of note to report on. The poor innocent star became a political football. Some workers took it on themselves to remove it and replace it with a shooting star. The Mayor quite reasonably demurred. Most normal people in Jelsa and beyond thought the whole thing a joke. And so it became, when the time was right.

 

The Christmas kerfuffle having died down, the gifted humourists who make up Jelsa's first-class Carnival Association (Udruga Karnevol) gave the story a final airing as the culmination of the Shrove Tuesday festivities. Jelsa's Pjaca was adorned with five-pointed stars, up on walls and balconies, with a big outline on the ground in the centre of the square. There were five-pointed stars everywhere.

The stage was set for some fun with the star as the central attraction. There was a narrator on the stage, who expertly led the unfolding dialogue.

A TV commentator and cameranan on high reflected the unprecedented national media attention which Jelsa's “Star Wars” had engendered.

Overhead, two stars travelled back and forth in endless motion, one five-pointed, the other a shooting star.

Their endless motion was readily explained: one cafe owner had offered the young worker a sum of money to put up one star, another the same amount for the other. To make it fair to both, the stars were in constant motion, so that conflict was avoided.

What was the car doing right in front of the balcony? Ah. Jelsa has a parking problem, and everyone wants to park as close as possible to their favourite cafe, shop, restaurant. That's how the modern world functions, right? Meanwhile, there was a sub-plot. A group of nuns took to the stage, set up a tent, and started enjoying a picnic. Food is always central to the action in Dalmatia.

Light-hearted, with a bit of barb. The scene reflected a recent event, when Jelsa's nun were re-located. The house where they had lived for several years was given a make-over before being re-allocated to the local religious education teacher. The sudden departure of the nuns was a shock within the parish, where they had been well-known, respected and loved by several generations for their service to the community.

Every Carnival focuses on national politics as well as local happenings. So it was no surprise when the current country leaders rolled up in their Most-mobile - as in Popemobile, Most being the Bridge party which held the balance in last year's elections, and which in Jelsa was parodied as Most uzdisaja, the Bridge of Sighs. Yes, indeed, only too apt.

The story of the two stars was initiated by Jelsa's renowned blogger, the ludi Englez (mad Englishman) Paul Bradbury, famous not only for his excellent perceptive writing, but also for his short-sleeved wintertime t-shirts, his pink skin and his love of beer. Seen in the photo above in grey t-shirt, star round neck, photographing the Most-mobile. Of course he had to feature in the Carnival sketch, short sleeves, pinkness, beer and all.

Parodied Paul was subjected to a humorous portrayal of his well-known dislike of chard (blitve), which contrasts with his undying love of beer. Then he was relegated to his role of photographing and recording the events of the day. He got off lightly, according to his wife. Flanked by 'Professor' Frank John Duboković, Paul watched his doppelganger with fascination.

The politicians were duly lampooned, especially the Croatian President, who in real life has taken up a university course alongside her presidential duties, and the Prime Minister, who famously confused his words and referred to his citizens as 'buildings' in his first public speech, a gaffe he will never be allowed to forget. On stage his character sang the Prime Minister's 'Orešković song'.

Then the stars took centre stage again. The Christmas drama was re-enacted. The five-pointed star went up, came down, was replaced by the shooting star.

 

The Mayor threw a wobbly - rather more dramatic on stage than his dignified press statement which also appeared on his Facebook page.

And then a peaceful compromise was found: both stars erected to take pride of place together.

Indeed, the same solution as was found for the Christmas crisis.

The show concluded with happy singing and dancing - and a cryptic question from the compere: who will be on stage next year? which politicians? how many stars? will anyone start a sweep on it at the local betting shop? 

Paul Bradbury took up a photo-opportunity with his young doppelganger.

There was the triumphant departure of the stars of the show.

The Jelsa Carnival is always well organized from start to finish. It is one of the happiest occasions in the local calendar. The skits are witty, cleverly written and well-presented, sometimes cutting close to a nerve or bone, but never malicious or spiteful. Its success as a happy festive event for all age groups is exemplary. Long may it survive in its current form!

© Vivian Grisogono 2016

 

You are here: Home highlights Karnevol 2016, Shooting Stars

Eco Environment News feeds

  • ‘Extremely grave’ situation in southern Indian state as more than 150,000 people displaced from their homes

    The death toll from floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala has jumped to 164 and could grow further, with more rain predicted and thousands of people still awaiting rescue.

    Roads are damaged, mobile phone networks are down, an international airport has been closed and more than 150,000 people have been left homeless after unusually heavy rain this month caused the most damaging floods in Kerala in a century.

    Continue reading...

  • Trump administration forces some scientific funding to be reviewed by adviser who was high-school football teammate of Ryan Zinke

    Prominent US climate scientists have told the Guardian that the Trump administration is holding up research funding as their projects undergo an unprecedented political review by the high-school football teammate of the US interior secretary.

    The US interior department administers over $5.5bn in funding to external organizations, mostly for research, conservation and land acquisition. At the beginning of 2018, interior secretary Ryan Zinke instated a new requirement that scientific funding above $50,000 must undergo an additional review to ensure expenditures “better align with the administration’s priorities”.

    Continue reading...

  • Just 30 of the prehistoric fish known to exist, raising fears oil wells will push it to extinction

    Bright blue, older than dinosaurs and weighing as much as an average-sized man, coelacanths are the most endangered fish in South Africa and among the rarest in the world.

    Barely 30 of these critically-endangered fish are known to exist off the east coast of South Africa, raising concern that a new oil exploration venture in the area could jeopardise their future.

    Continue reading...

  • This week the Upside looks at a transformation of the environment in Africa, and other tales of hope

    Is there any hope for the environment? We regularly get this question in emails from readers of this series. In the face of weekly stories on how humans have doomed our planet, some feel action is pointless. We’re certainly not here to distract from the scary news about our climate; it deserves everyone’s attention and we must make big changes now. But it’s arguable whether people are likely to act without hope.

    This week we found one tale of hope on the border of the Sahara desert. We also looked at a possible antidote to social isolation among retirees (another frequent subject of reader emails), and a tale of solidarity and humanity from the Balkans.

    Continue reading...

  • An anaesthetised polar bear, a surprising pine marten and a potty-mouthed parrot are among this week’s images

    Continue reading...

  • Rangers in this Central African Republic nature reserve face an array of dangers in their bid to protect a rich variety of species

    Deep in the heart of Africa, a dedicated group of rangers patrol the Chinko nature reserve. In baking equatorial heat, they are weighed down with body armour and camouflage fatigues. Beads of sweat run down their faces; mosquitos whine. The men keep watch over a vast patchwork of savanna and rainforest in the Central African Republic – a country mired in civil strife and one of the many frontlines of a poaching war that spans the continent and reaches across the globe.

    Continue reading...

  • Khan writes to attorney general over girl who died during spikes in nitrogen dioxide

    The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has written to the attorney general asking him to back a new inquest into the death of a nine-year-old girl whose severe asthma attacks coincided with spikes in air pollution.

    The mother of Ella Kissi-Debrah has fought a long campaign to highlight the role she believes illegal air pollution played in her daughter’s death in 2013.

    Continue reading...

  • Jorginho Guajajara’s killing is believed by members of his tribe to be the result of conflict with loggers in their Amazon territory

    Indigenous people in the Brazilian Amazon are mourning the murder of a community leader who campaigned to protect the forest from logging amid escalating violence in the region.

    Jorginho Guajajara, a cacique,or leader, of the Guajajara people, was found dead near a river in the city of Arame, Maranhão state, at the weekend.

    Continue reading...

  • On a planet of billions, nine represent the strong minority battling murder in the global corruption of land rights

    Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault.

    The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions.

    Continue reading...

  • Eleven people protesting over pollution from a copper plant have been killed by police in Tamil Nadu in south India

    Another person has been shot dead during violent protests in south India against a copper plant operated by a British mining giant residents say is polluting the local environment.

    Opposition politicians in the state of Tamil Nadu have accused the police of committing mass murder against protesters opposed to the expansion of a copper smelting facility in the port city of Thoothukudi.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds