Maticoor Night at the Trinidad and Tobago Culture Fest in London

| August 9, 2012

Maticoor Night: Women, Tassa and Poetry Celebrated at the Culture Fest
LONDON, 30th July 2012 – The sounds of the tassa reverberated through the halls of the Tricycle Theatre on Saturday announcing the start of the Maticoor.

The group exited the Theatre via the entrance on the Kilburn High road and made their triumphant re-entry through the Buckley Road entrance. Traffic stopped and motorists tried to get a glimpse of the festivities.

What is a Maticoor? A Maticoor is a very important part of the traditional Hindu wedding. The women of the wedding party come together to ready the bride for married life.

The goal of the Trinidad and Tobago Culture Fest is to celebrate the richness of our culture. It is an opportunity to educate locals and foreigners alike. That is why event organiser Attillah Springer felt that it was important to highlight this particular custom.

“The Maticoor night is a vital part of our cultural landscape that we don’t know enough about. Let’s not forget chutney music evolved from the musical traditions practiced at the Maticoor night,” she says.

In reality the event was a celebration of the key of elements of a Maticoor. Vahni Capildeo, a poet and academic explained that the language at a Maticoor may seem overtly sexual to Western ears, but that is because Hinduism is a practical religion, and allows for sensual expression. The result in a Trinidadian context is chutney music which is known for its saucy lyrics.

It was highly interactive show. When Tanusree Guha, a Bengali folk singer sang a particularly melancholy sounding song, she was called on it by an audience member. Ms. Guha explained that for many love songs though the melodies tend to be sad the lyrics are not.

A mehndi artist was on-stage and audience members were invited up to have their hands decorated. Towards the end of the programme the women in the audience were called on-stage to dance.

Miss Springer was delighted with the reception, “I think they really enjoyed it! I wasn’t too sure but the proof came when the older women in the crowd got up on the stage for the lawah and danced.

If they got it and felt comfortable enough to take part so freely, then I think we did our job well!”

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Category: Culture & Society, Trinidad News

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