Notting Hill Carnival!
Notting hill Carnival made a return this year and I can't contain my happiness!
Firstly let's just recap how and why this all started...
A lot of Caribbean immigrants migrated to the notting Hill area in the 1950's and became the target of Teddy Boys in the race riots in 1958. The unfortunate death of Kelso Cochrane aged 32 from Antigua during this period all racially related, started a movement in the neighbourhood as thousands attended his funeral to show solidarity from his murder.
There was a lot of activism to ease racial tension in Notting hill and how things could improve.
Claudia Jones a Trinidadian human rights activist put on a BBC broadcasted indoor 'Caribbean Carnival' in the UK in 1959, widely known as one of the starting points for what is known today as Notting Hill carnival! The first outdoor carnival was in 1966 and today the carnival can see over a million people joining each day over the bank holiday, the second largest carnival after Brazil's Rio!
Notting hill and West London is a beautiful blend of cultures and people and a truly gorgeous neighbourhood and I feel very lucky to be less than 5 minutes walk away from the famous Portobello Road aligned with quirky shops, independent restaurants and cafes of course a full heap of gentrification since the 1950s! The colourful houses and flats are a desirable part of town for most Londoners..and a flock for the boho's and artisans.
The carnival was a vibrant, colourful, tasty chaos! Not ideal for locals no, and crime is still abundant (Although not as bad as pre covid) but for the sheer size of it in the streets too they do a pretty good job of it I think! BBQ's on every corner, local beers and rum punch's in abundance it's just a crazy atmosphere and a chance to embrace the culture for what it is..for me it really did make me feel like I was in Jamaica minus the palm trees and beach of course.
What a lot of people forget too is that for a lot of us, we are second, third generation from the islands and have spent a whole lot of our time in the UK and are British! What is so beautiful is the blending of the cultures helps remind that too and celebrate it and I think after it being missing for a few years because of covid we needed it!
I loved seeing everyone just enjoy themselves (the majority anyway) I am not going to get bogged down in the negatives of it as I did find it wonderful and jam packed with flavour, colour and music for two days with such international appeal too, it's worth a visit and a trip!