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Travel & news discussion about the "spice island"


Postby KarenS » Mon May 08, 2006 6:50 am

From "GOUYAVE, GRENADA - The girl in the flounced white micro-mini and green glitter tube top writhes and drunkenly gyrates to the dancehall beat throbbing through the Q-West nightclub.

Throughout the club, sporadically lighted by the flash of a camera or strobe light, barely clad girls dance themselves into a frenzy of carnal excess.

This rustic seaport scented by nutmeg, diesel and decomposing fish seems an unlikely venue for the most controversial new dance craze in the Caribbean. But anyone who makes the journey here on a Friday night ‚ÄĒ actually, Saturday morning ‚ÄĒ is likely to get an eye-opening glimpse of Passa Passa and an idea why parents, clergy, government and cultural guardians are trying to exorcise the Jamaican import from the island.

Grenadian elders have condemned Passa Passa, performed to the fast, rhythmic percussions of the reggae offshoot known as dancehall, charging that its striptease eroticism exploits directionless island girls. In this nation where many parents have gone abroad to find work, they say, the young women lack moral guideposts, leaving them susceptible to attention-getting stunts.

'It's vulgarish. People strip and grab at their bodies,' said Carl Charmaine, a father of five, including three teen daughters. 'This is not good for Grenada.'

Education Minister Claris Charles elevated Passa Passa from a fringe pastime to a regionwide controversy when she recently called for a ban.

'The line between freedom of expression and respect for our values has been crossed,' Charles said.

The Jamaican-born dance craze, aimed at catching the eye of music video producers, initially migrated to clubs in St. George's, the Grenadian capital. But the condemnation by civic leaders has sent it underground here in Gouyave."

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