Karnaval Explained- Episode 5- Cholera.

Okay, this is my very, very favorite Karnaval group.  They've had it for the past 2 years (or maybe 3?), since cholera has been here in Haiti thanks to the good ole United Nations peacekeepers.

Haiti utilizes many different mediums to get public service messages across.  For example, there are songs on the radio that are popular songs that everyone sings but also has some kind of PSA message-- like Barikad Crew's songs, "Pa Koupe Bwa" (Don't Cut Down Trees) and "Met Kapot" (Put a Condom On.)  But it doesn't stop there.  There are radio spots that talk about how to (and how not to) treat people with HIV/AIDS.  There are billboards that explain how to avoid STDs.  Kids learn songs in school about how to wash their hands properly... (it's an adorable song!)

In a culture where so much is understood/explained via the spirit world, trying to get people to understand the basics of germ theory in relatable ways is good.  That is why I love these cholera masks so much.

This little group is sponsored by a few different NGOs and the banner reads, "Don't Forget!!!  Cholera is still here."

The banner is followed by several different players in the cholera story-- 
There's a little man.  
There's a water faucet.  
There's a big bar of soap.  
There's a gallon of treated (read: clean) water.  
There's a fly.  
There's a cholera microbe.

There is a pile of trash.

And.... wait for it... there is a pile of poop.

And the whole length of the parade, these characters act out a little play that goes something like this.

The guy pretends to poop.  -> The cholera microbe starts chasing after him. -> The guy runs over to the soap, rubs his hands all over it.  -> The guy runs over to the water faucet and starts vigorously pantomiming washing his hands.  ->  The cholera microbe runs away defeated.

There are several permutations that they might do-- sometimes having to do with the fly landing on trash and then landing on the guy.  Or with the guy not washing his food with clean water....

But in the end, the way the guys always defeats the cholera microbe is through good sanitation.

I am sure you can understand why this is my favorite group.  And seriously, how do you get to be the pile o' poo wearer???  Speaking of which, that reminds me of this Karnaval post Nia wrote on her blog a year or so ago-- you should read that, too.


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