LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cultural expression of our culture with dignity

Carnival is a significant part of our Dominican culture, which reflects the diversity and richness of various art forms of the people, in its expressions of joy and festivity.

Carnival can be and has been the barometer for measuring segments of society’s moral status. The festivities have been used by the unscrupulous as a cover for criminal and immoral behaviours. Carnival has also been known to fan the flames of immoral expressions in our people.

A little yeast reflected in the skimpy costumes can cause the whole dough of immorality to rise. Unguarded, the immoral behaviours of a small segment of the revellers can poison the whole society, and the beauty of the artistic expressions of carnival festivities can be reduced to showcase behaviours not normally prevalent in our society.

It is against this background that the Diocesan Family Life Commission expresses concern about the progressive decline in the artistic expressions of carnival costumes in bands towards nudity. We seem to be moving away from the rich diversity, colour and artistic ingenuity of the foundational bands such as Carnival Corner, Thunderbirds, Ole Time Sake and even more recently the Stilt Walkers, towards a simplified skimpiness governed by anatomical details of our women.

We are particularly concerned and horrified by the excessively revealing nature of some of the costumes promoted and presented by some bands. The recent promotional photographs that we have seen of these costumes do not seem to leave much out of presenting nudity in our carnival as a costume in itself.

Our concern is the formational impression of our young men and women; that beauty in our ladies is synonymous with maximum and detailed exposure of the body. Are we reinforcing the fallacy in our young men that women only have beauty when they become an object of sexual enticement or pleasure? In their quest for attention from their male peers, will our young girls soon believe that they need to be even more exposed to be noticed? Our women are being reduced to objects of pleasure.

The objectification of women can be the seed out of which moral decadence grows. Once women are reduced to objects, the values of people are reduced further to objects of pleasure and profit by the “power class”. The “sexual trade” becomes more commonplace, our society becomes more chauvinistic, and the value and power of women become synonymous with sexual appeal. Our children, from a young age, also become objects of sexual exploitation and trade. We fear that child sexual abuse in both girls and boys will no doubt increase, even as it is already at alarming levels.

Unfortunately, our carnival is being used to enlist our own women themselves to become the avenue by which they are further reduced to objects and the degrading of our society. It is ultimately an attack on family life.

The Commission is calling on the Christian segment of our populace to bring back light and salt to the artistic expression of our carnival by presenting themselves in attire that is devoid from nudity and otherwise objectifying our people. We are to be Christ-like in our cultural expressions and not be a source of temptation for others.

“He said to them, ‘Causes of falling are sure to come, but alas for the one through whom they occur! It is better for him to be thrown into the sea with a milestone round his neck than to be the downfall of a single one of these little ones. Keep watch on yourselves.’”Luke 17:1-3.


Diocesan Family Life Commission
Roman Catholic Diocese of Roseau
Turkey Lane

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  1. analy thomas
    February 7, 2018

    The One and Only,
    The only true religion is Jesus Christ. Jesus casted out legions from a man whom nobody could tame, into herd of about 200 pigs and they all drowned. The people of that community did not care about that man’s well being but cared about how many pigs they lost!
    They prayed the worst prayer ever “LEAVE US< WE WANT TO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!" He left and their prayer was answered. Lot was the only reason the angels delayed their destruction for that city. Noah was the only man righteous in the eyes of God, and because of him, 8 were saved.
    Today this world, is still standing because of the grace and mercies of God. There are children of the living God on this earth and hence the reason for God's hand on it.
    Only a fool says that there is no God. You need not celebrate carnival alone but April 1st too!
    We will soon be gone and you will join the world in celebrating the death of both prophets who will rise again.
    be wise, your soul is worth more than…

    • The one and Only
      February 7, 2018

      Analy thomas…
      Perfect! Bravo! Congrats! You just gave a lesson on religion. How about you take all that energy pray for the people that actually commit crimes? Take that energy and make Dominica SAFE! Use your prayers to make Dominica so safe that someone can go out walking at night with no fear of being robbed or killed..take that energy and go solve real problems..
      Instead your trying to come down on us because we show some skin? Really??
      Is it because you won’t be able to control yourself? You don’t get to have any?

      By the way
      Don’t worry about my soul..

      Yours truly
      The one and only :)

  2. Me
    February 7, 2018

    Poor phrasining of the head line, with surplus verbage.”Expression of our culture with dignity” would be adequate and more effective

  3. analy thomas
    February 6, 2018

    I agree that we can celebrate ancestral freedom from slavery but i applaud the catholic church for the bold moves and statements made amidst the odds. Someone must speak up! The bible clearly says that if you are not a child of God you are a child of the devil! The only IF is repentance!… Just like how God makes promises with conditions. IF you do that, this will happen. IF, IF, IF.
    He gives choices.
    Amazingly, Adam and Eve clothed themselves after they had given the authority to satan. Matthew 8:34 and Mark 5:1-17 speaks about a demon possessed man who walked naked. Why is this type of nakedness associated with sin or the devil?
    There are many Antichrists living on this earth and the spirit of Antichrist has been here since Jesus walked the earth so i do understand what world we are living in but there is repentance.
    God wants to heal our wounds, wipe our anger, unbelief, and rebellious attitudes away to show us what true love really is.
    We know nothing!

    • analy thomas
      February 6, 2018

      The bible says “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” Whom do we think that we are? Who gave us the right to try to override God almighty! Isn’t that what lucifer tried to do and was kicked out?
      People, be careful with your foolish comments! The words which you speak have power! What happens when you die and meet the lord in this condition? I know that you will finally believe and beg for mercy, therefore you will bow when reality hits but this day will be too late!
      The dead cannot praise God!
      How about you at least search. Ask Him to know Him! Ask Him to come in! He is not death! He can hear very well!
      The only prayer that God will hear of the sinner is “SAVE ME!” However you say it as long as it insinuates your desire to know Him He will answer!
      Come on people. Man cannot be that foolish! come on … please.
      Please, please.
      Praise the name of Jesus.

      • The one and Only
        February 7, 2018

        keep talking your bible gibberish and interfere during a live band, let’s see how many people will tell you leave? That’s all you people are gold for. Stiring up religious fights when it best suits you. Dominica has bigger problems, DEATRUCTION OF MARIA, CRIME etc… take you prayers and pray for prisoners to become better men and women. Pray that thrives will no longer be thrives. Instead you waste your time on men and women who choose to dress a certain way for carnival. Does a nude body cause physical harm? Is it a crime? No and no. If you pastors/priests/bishop etc cannot handle it and cannot control your hormones don’t watch. I’m sure WHEN you see it on TV you don’t make a big deal, but In person it’s too much for you?
        One word to describe you – hypocrite.

  4. The one and Only
    February 6, 2018

    To the Catholic Church:
    -since you so against the revealing carnival costumes, why don’t you speak up some more so that the TV service providers can censor the movies that are shown in Dominica? Any movie with a hint of nudity should be removed right? Because according to you it’s immoral right? So go ahead and try to control that is show on TV.

    -let’s not stop there, we need to have the internet services providers find some way to block off and make it impossible for anyone to browse an adult oriented website..
    Now would be the ideal time for you to use your religion as a weapon….right?

  5. papa
    February 6, 2018

    My question to this Roman Diocesan Family Life Commission is have you even seen a person or people born clothed ? Do you know or can you tell us of any such cases where people are born clothed ? No even in the Bible, we can find such cases.

  6. Roger Burnett
    February 6, 2018

    Last week my DNO commentary https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/features/commentary/commentary-differentiating-between-nude-and-lewd/ attempted to differentiate between nude and lewd. Perhaps it would be helpful to also differentiate between naked and nude.

    Sir Kenneth Clark, in his definitive book on the subject, expresses it at follows:

    “…To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes and the word implies embarrassment. On the other hand, the word nude does not project into the mind a huddled and defenseless body, but a balanced and confident body…”

    A few years ago the youth arm of the Catholic Church held a panel discussion titled: Naked without Shame. My contribution, very much on the lines of my commentary, received a thunderous round of applause.

    The Vatican holds a priceless collection of art works that depict the nude figure, one of which, I understand, hangs in the papal bathroom.

    It is alas true that he who thinks evil, sees evil!

  7. Ibo France
    February 6, 2018

    Most of the concerns expressed in this article should be genuine cause of alarm. The nudity and the simulation of sexual intercourse must have an ineradicable impression on the minds of the young. The ‘ventilated’ costumes can be relinquished and the simulated sexual acts also. I’m in total disagreement of Christianizing the carnival. We just have to try to temper our behavior by cutting back on the excesses and the extremes. The Catholic Church should raise its voice on many more issues that adversely affect the country. This one issue is not good enough. Stand up and be counted when pertinent matters arise and your voice can make a difference otherwise you would forever be deemed irrelevant.

  8. The one and Only
    February 6, 2018

    Here we go again…
    To person or persons who wrote this letter, if it bothers you so much to see beautiful women and some skin then don’t watch. Leave us alone. Are you priest worried that if you watch long enough, you won’t be able to control yourself?
    I guess you want make people miserable as you are confined to not having any fun..

  9. Looking
    February 6, 2018

    After selling your souls for 30 pieces of silver ($500,000), now you all find the testicular fortitude to speak out? Anyway thanks, better late than never. Hope another 30 pieces of silver is not used to keep you all quiet.

  10. Dominican
    February 6, 2018

    Turkey Lane is of course the address of bishop Malzaire’s residence in Roseau and why he cannot put his moniker under this message, coming from his church is cowardice. I would not even call it diplomatic because we all know, what & whom this message is aimed at. I have no problem with the message and can take it or leave it but it irritates me no end that our bishop is so reluctant to be outspoken and has to hide behind his diocesan life commission. Gabriel, please be a man for once and speak up for yourself.

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