Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why I Heart France Reason #11

I haven't done one of these posts in ages, so now seems like the perfect time since, It's that time of year again. Time for the Miss Mirabelle Pageant. You'll have to follow the link back to my original 2006 post if you need background info on what the pageant and celebrations are all about, because today in the right here and right now you are about to experience the loveliness that is the Mirabelle parade!

That's right. After living in Moselle for nearly 5 years, this year was the first time I actually went to the Mirabelle parade. The French in-laws drove into town just for the occasion, and that was all the impetus I needed to join in the festivities. French-father-in-law was so excited to go that you would have thought that Johnny Hallyday was performing.

Anyway, here are just a few low hi-lights from the parade:

There were marching bands.


Kids in costumes.


Hookers dressed like pirates.


Naked body-painted guys on stilts


And people in Black face.




Now, to be fair I should put the whole scene in context for you. The white people, who were dressed up as Africans were accompanying a float whose theme was Africa. (Why? We don't know.) On said float there were several real Africans (Whatever the hell that means.) joyfully playing drums.


Since the parade, I have had several discussions about the "Afrique" float --All of which have ended in ruckus laughter. The intellectual mind of course tries to understand why on earth you would dress a bunch of white people up as Africans. The only thing I could come up with is that perhaps the parade organizers couldn't find enough real people from Africa to participate. Lord knows my Black ass wouldn't be on that float playin' bongos. But then again as my husband often reminds me. "You're not African.". Hmmmm. And he has a point you know. Charlize Theron is technically more African than me. And while I'm off topic, I should state that what I find so interesting to contemplate is, why this type of costuming is considered totally playful and acceptable in France, but would surely cause a riot in the United States.

So, Why I Heart France Reason #11: White people dressed up as Black people.

While you're mulling all this over, please enjoy this video of a Big Blue Opera Singer!


raynaae said...

that singing blueberry was terrifying. *laughing nervously*

ieishah said...

oh, girl. last year i lived in belgium during xmas time. how shocked was i to see a gang of brothers accompany sinterklaas on his gift-giving mission? except they weren't brothers, now were they? then i moved to spain, where there's a man who blacks up to portray brazilian soccer star, ronaldhino, for crowds of tourists on the ramblas (bcn's equivalent to times square). feel free to take a look in my archives for pics of this damn fool. or not. he looks just like the fools in your pics. seriously. with all their success on the high seas throughout the history of the modern world, how did europeans miss the blackface-is-no-longer-acceptable boat?