How does the culture of street festivals in Europe

However, without scandals has not managed. So, a March in the Belgian town of Aalst came under a barrage of criticism for parody of Orthodox Jews – organizers accused of anti-Semitism, the city Council is already laying claims. At the time, as some need to reconsider the acceptable “dress code” for holiday, others lament that political correctness erodes laugh culture, which was so proud of Europe.

Among the targets of the carnival of satire be some kind of “sacred cow”

because of the accusations of nationalism, the celebration of 600 years of history in the past year were excluded from the list of world intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. The newly rising political storm in Aalst has split not only our countrymen, but, as is often the case with Belgium, the whole country. The mayor, Christoph D”Eze, who plays for the independence of Flanders, declared that “is not going to become the mayor of censorship”. “This parade charged social themes that are exhibited in a humorous way. I don’t want to tell people something they laugh. Aalst grant the right to remain who you are,” snapped the mayor, who, incidentally, quietly refers to the parodies of him.

Photo: AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo “the Holiday has changed”: what’s wrong with the Brazilian carnival

what is acceptable and What is unacceptable in carnivals, actively discussed and in neighboring Germany. Radio station Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk reminds us that formal law only prohibits unconstitutional Nazi or extremist symbols. In other words, it is impossible to change into Hitler or bin Laden. However, there are other unwritten restrictions. Now it is considered indecent to paint the face with wax, wrapped in leopard skin with bone beads and even make cornrows. Or come dressed as Indians with feathers – by the way, they recently banned in kindergartens Erfurt and Hamburg. “About an official ban, I have not heard, but the last time we really try to avoid politically incorrect outfits “under the” Africans or, for example, Mexicans”, – has confirmed “RG” one of the participants of the Cologne carnival.

furthermore, among the targets of the carnival of satire be some kind of “sacred cow”. If Cologne entertainers found nothing wrong with that, to depict Angela Merkel in the form of a spider a black widow devouring political opponents, then laugh over the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was “nekomilfo”. Showing her giant doll embodies a rather pathetic image of the girl-a prophet with uplifted to the sky hands holding the ear of lilliput from “generation of parents”. “Greta is another story. Just because you can not say that do not take it seriously, says compatriot Tatiana, many years living and working in düsseldorf. – Can not understand. That is censorship at all, but somehow she’s a little bit there.”

Medieval monks wrote parodies

As a born carnival tradition in Europe, what is possible and what was impossible to laugh at the participants of the mock processions, “RG” said culture expert, co-author of the book “Suffering middle Ages: the Paradoxes of Christian iconography” Sergey Zotov:

Where it all has went European carnivals?

Sergey Zotov: Medieval carnivals appeared quite early, they were born from the Church, liturgical views that are initially held right in the Church. It was that kind of plays on biblical themes, they are very fond of simple lay people who have never opened the Scriptures, but really wanted to submit as it was described in the event. Was simple scenes such as Moses climbs mount Sinai and receives the tablets of the Covenant. Moses could decorate the sacredICA, but could a guest actor. But gradually there was a growing indignation at the fact that sacrality is so boldly violated by plays for the common people. Already in the 13th and 14th centuries, the theologians write, that, say, they need to be banned. So under the strong pressure of the submission brought to the street.

Photo: iStock In Venice because of an outbreak of coronavirus canceled carnival

what about the famous “feast of fools”?

Sergey Zotov: This phenomenon, which wrote Bakhtin, is also widely known. It is believed that it dates back almost to the Roman Saturnalia, when the commoners at least one day freed from the shackles of laws that weigh on them, and the world was turned on its head. In the Middle ages people once a year could forbidding to ridicule the Church. Conducted a mock service, which looked quite provocative. For example, a special “Pope” was dressed as a donkey. From the 15th century such action was officially banned. Meanwhile, the parodies were born within the monastery walls have survived many mehovih of sermons and prayers, for example, when the monks are asked to send them a lot of alcohol and joyfully preparing it to drink. It was a mockery not over God, but over some elements vnutrisustavno the routine of life, and in such “humor her” there was nothing blasphemous.

Sort of the “skits”?

Sergey Zotov: You could say that. Another thing is that they call criticism. However, the broad carnival tradition has never been interrupted constantly held fairs, festivals, accompanied by costumed parades. It was one of the few ways of mass entertainment, which could involve people of all ages and social strata. These processions and laid the basis Carnavalin the modern Europe.

That is some taboo images, themes still have ?

Sergey Zotov: We see that a certain frame, taboos still existed then, and now – just for the history they were transformed. So, spectroanalyt medieval culture was allowed to laugh at the enemies by the Turks who in the imagination of Europeans often not imagined by human beings. In Germany almost every town has preserved historical names of streets, houses, pharmacies, derived from the word “moor”. They have now become politically incorrect, and in the country there are discussions about how decent these signs. Similarly, the Germans began to abandon some of the images that now seem they themselves are not funny.

a View from Brazil

Almost all the countries in the Latin American region at this time of the year covered by carnival extravaganza. The Grand carnival in Rio de Janeiro in addition to paints, dancing and fun is almost always accompanied by controversy. Samba school, Sapucaí sambodrome on defiliruya often include in their statements certain elements appealing to the current political or socio-economic situation. And it can be a ironic, mocking sketches, and quite tragic, thoughtful images. According to school officials, any censorship on the part no, there is only common sense. But this does not mean that everything is permitted, especially on such a large broadcast to the entire world event.

At the carnival in Germany, the car drove into a crowd

According to Brazilian experts, in recent years, the main carnival censor become social networks. If before insulting or abusive way may have gone unnoticed, but today a photo or video instantly spread across the network. Therefore, the participants of processions, in order not to fall under a barrage of criticism, trying to responsibly choose not outdated or out of context of the time look. For example, no one paints the face in black or red color in an attempt to portray brought from Africa as a slave or a local Indian. Also almost gone out of fashion politically incorrect now but very popular in the last century music, where the lyrics featured references to racial, cultural and national differences. Such control on the part of users, in addition to positive aspects, it also carries negative. So says Brazilian historian and composer Luis SIMAS, pointing to the danger of total political correctness, inevitably leading to the already-present censorship. “Carnival is a celebration of inversion, where each may appear desirable manner, adopting the personality of this character. Of course, there are issues that should be treated with attention, but we must be very careful in banning topics related to our cultural and historical identity,” sure SIMAS.

Prepared by Alexey Churikov