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

  • Exclusive: major supplier to brands including KFC and Nando’s used offshore companies allowing them to reduce UK tax payments, investigation suggests

    The global megacompanies supplying some of Britain’s most popular meat brands, including KFC, Nando’s chicken and Sainsbury’s organic range, appear to have been using offshore companies that allow them to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax in the UK.

    An investigation by the Guardian and Lighthouse Reports has found that two companies – Anglo Beef Processors UK and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (owned by Brazilian beef giant JBS) – appear to have reduced their tax bill by structuring their companies and loans in a way that allows them to take advantage of different tax systems, in what one expert has described as “aggressive tax avoidance”.

    Continue reading...

  • Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspended

    There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

    Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

    Continue reading...

  • Prominent members of farmers’ union express dismay after comments by Minette Batters

    Farmers are threatening to quit the National Farmers’ Union after its leader said she supported the UK government’s apparent move to scrap post-Brexit nature subsidies.

    This weekend, the Observer revealed that the government was poised to abandon the “Brexit bonus”, which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups have described as an “all-out attack” on the environment.

    Continue reading...

  • Stars of film about 500-mile trek to Scotland for Cop26 hit the road again for Bristol premiere

    There will be no red carpet, no designer outfits and definitely no limousines. In fact, the stars of the film have shunned any sort of mechanical transport and instead walked 135 miles from London to Bristol for the premiere, and are asking their audience to accompany them by foot on their last leg before the screening.

    The film, which is being premiered on the harbourside in Bristol on Tuesday evening, is Of Walking on Thin Ice (Camino to Cop26), which tells the story of a group of climate pilgrims who hiked 500 miles from the south of England to Scotland for last year’s climate conference in Glasgow.

    For more details and tickets visit the Encounters film festival website.

    Continue reading...

  • Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire:It feels like sitting in a crypt – I am surrounded by the skeletons of dried perennials

    I try not to make excuses so I’m just going to tell the truth: everything in my garden is dead. The drought was fierce and I was sick, distracted. I couldn’t bear to look at it but I’m trying to look now.

    It feels like sitting in a crypt. I’ve pulled up a damp chair and I am surrounded by skeletons, the limbs of my perennials dried, bent and snapped. The hydrangea’s flowers have turned to ghostly brown lace too soon, drooping leaves turned almost black like prayer flags. There is copper, rust and blood; piles of viburnum leaves dropped early in fright. The penstemon looks as if it has been set alight then frozen, its orange flames still and hellish. When the rains finally came, too late, the parched snails came out of hiding and ate everything that was left. Talk about overkill.

    Continue reading...

  • Movement aims to make the mass damage and destruction of ecosystems a prosecutable, international crime against peace

    California winemaker Julia Jackson has long grasped the threats posed by the ongoing global climate change crisis, from more intense wildfires and hurricanes to rising sea levels. But for her, those ideas crossed over from the abstract to the tangible when her home was razed by the Kincade wildfire that devastated her native Sonoma county in 2019.

    “I lost everything – all my belongings,” Jackson said. “It shook me to my core.”

    Continue reading...

  • The deaths within days of 11 sturgeon, a species unchanged for thousands of years, have puzzled scientists

    When the first spindly, armour-clad carcass was spotted in the fast-flowing Nechako River in early September, Nikolaus Gantner and two colleagues scrambled out on a jet boat, braving strong currents to investigate the grim discovery.

    Days later, the remains of 10 others were spotted floating along a 100km stretch of the river in western Canada.

    Continue reading...

  • Defra accused of ‘all-out attack’ on environment by wildlife groups

    The government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment, the Observer can reveal.

    Instead, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sources disclosed, they are considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy.

    Continue reading...

  • Super Typhoon Noru tore its way out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving casualties, floods and power outages. Government work and classes at schools have been suspended in the capital and beyond

    Continue reading...

  • David Malpass apologises after saying he ‘doesn’t know’ if he accepts climate science

    David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism.

    Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds