Tis’ the Season for…

Tis’ the Season for…

Giving, Parang, Ham, Fruit Cake, Sorrel, Turkey, Mince Pies….whatever yuh want….And Sharing!

“Hello….UK Soca Massive… yuh there? Well I woke up this morning and hear they giving me the pork to take home for Christmas. They ask me wat I want to drink,…. well Christmas coming, everybody drinking rum, so ah tell them just give me a shot, a shot of Johnny Walker, a shot to make me feel right”. Feeling nice, I start to feel a change of climate flowing through the atmosphere, travelling to my ears and guess what it was… the sweet sounds of Parang”

It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, if you bypass the normality that has commercialised the true meaning and origin of Christmas and has turned society into panic stricken, shopping hungry maniacs’ intent on spending every last bit of copper, nickel and plastic available to them. However,  as the Soca Viking aka Bunji Garlin so eloquently put it, it is Merry Christmas, not Xmas but Christmas, a time when we should be celebrating the birth of the Son and fully embracing our loved ones.

Merry Christmas From The UK Soca Scene

It seems like a life time ago, when the imminent arrival of Christmas signified a time where people put their differences aside and came together as one big family. It also seems like another lifetime where Christmas symbolised a revival, a time of impending newness when households gladly took on the audacious task of spring cleaning their homes and polished the well-trodden veranda floor until one could see one’s reflection breathlessly panting back at them. It was a time when houses where re-painted and if one could afford it, pushing the boat out and buying new furniture. It was a time where communities visited each other frequently, church bells clanged endlessly with the announcement of newly married couples, estranged families, friends, long lost relatives, enemies all coming together and congregating under one roof sharing the mystical celebrations both at church and at home. This was Christmas and despite the ferocious sweep of capitalism that has enveloped society, an essence of that once ago Christmas still beats at this time of the year abroad and right here on the English soil.

Christmas is celebrated differently around the world, with many cultures developing their own celebratory festivals and with time passing, adopting the ever evolving change and retaining an element of the traditional ways. The Caribbean with its diverse culture and rich pickings sings a beautiful Christmas carol lullaby mixed with the new and the old and one cannot lie but say Christmas season along with Carnival is the sweetest back in the islands. However there are common themes that bind the whole culture together and it this sharing of similarities that make Christmas ever the more worthwhile.

Parang is synonymous with Christmas time and is uniquely Caribbean, with roots cemented in the Venezuelan soil. It derives its name from the two Spanish words; Parranda and Parar meaning to fete or stop. In the cluster of islands forming the Caribbean it has its origins from the island of Trinidad & Tobago, with majority of the islands adopting the music as well.  Traditionally it was performed by a small band often known as Parenderos, who went from door to door serenading people with religious, Spanish worded songs and using various instruments such as maracas, bass box or a cuatro. Nowadays it is sung in English and has categorised itself into different styles and fused with other music genres such as Soca, Chutney and Calypso with instruments such as steel pan added to the mix.

Not by passing the significance of Parang music during this festive time, it is the feasting time that is the favoured of all them, often bringing a melange of dishes to the table and quelling insatiable appetites. Whilst each island has its own signature style of dish and often will feature this amongst many, there are some dishes that definitely make it to the table such as a ham, curry goat, chicken, rice ‘n’ peas often complemented by an array of salads, macaroni pie and sweets such as black cake or pudding. Homemade black wine, sorrel, mauby, ponche a crème or rum are some of the favoured drinks that wash down the gullet’s rich takings.

Tis’ also the high season of the social calendar that brings people together, with various events thrown every week in the run up to Christmas. This is the time of grandeur and splendour with fancy shiny trimmings being the trend. Whether you are in the Caribbean, Europe or North America, this is the time where majority soak up the festive atmosphere that is prevalent in the air and share the goodwill and heartfelt thoughts that come about at this time. It is a time of festive, remembrance, giving, sharing amongst a few that signifies in the Christian religion the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a signal to the start of a new better year.

In the spirit of giving we here at UKSS formed our own mathematically incorrect formula for the perfect Christmas.




And in the spirit of sharing, don’t be a Scrooge, we would like to hear what your perfect formula for Christmas is!


/ Soca News / Tags: ,


No comment yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.