Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fi Dem World Cup

The opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup is tomorrow, and there is a bit of a storm brewing.

Its effects are varied, and strange: no food, drink (even water), radios, flags, coolers, musical instruments allowed in the stadium.

US$1.50 for a cup of water. Patties, chicken and soup all going for more than twice the price.

This is the price we have to pay for hosting the world cup, and all the talk here in the Caribbean is about the obstacles that the average cricket fan has to face in order to enjoy a day of the world cup.

The argument is as follows: essentially, the country has leased the facilities to the cricket world cup organization, including the immediate areas surrounding each stadium. This is not Caribbean cricket as usual at all -- instead, it is feared that this is "white man cricket."

"De white man dem bring dem world cup come try take over tings, tek over the area and tek over people."

Barbara Gloudon, columnist for the Jamaica Observer, has hinted as much:

IT'S TOO LATE to list and track all the annoying details which have occupied national attention since the whole process of getting the Cricket World Cup into the Caribbean began. One or two of the annoyances have stuck in my craw though, and I don't see why I shouldn't let them annoy you too. Primarily, it is the range of petty restrictions about what and what patrons can take to the matches despite having to pay steep entrance fees.

Under the guise of fear of terrorists or whomever, West Indians are being denied the right to enjoy their cricket in the company of the traditional hamper stocked with the home-cooked rice and peas, 'scoveitch fish, chicken in all its manifestations (and God alone knows how we manage to work chicken in so many different ways), the jerk, the curry, the pudden, the bake (fried dumpling to those outside the Eastern Caribbean).

All these delights are necessary and mandatory to guarantee an enjoyable day at any cricket ground, whether high-priced stadium or country village green. Didn't somebody tell the ICC?

I think this tension is a good one for us to sit with for a while as it brings to mind all sorts of questions. The word I hear from South Africa is that their Cricket World Cup in 2003 was quite foreign in look and feel, and they felt that it had been hijacked by outsiders.

Come Tuesday, when the first game is played in Kingston, I wonder what is going to happen when they start to "confiscate" water, t-shirts, food and radios, or when they stop people from visiting their sick grandparents a block away because they have not been accredited. It might fly in other parts of the region, but here in Jamaica it might very well be a problem.

Altogether, I hope not.


At 3/10/2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Mad Bull said...

We shall see what we shall see, but I bet we all bow and accept it in the end...


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