Caribbean Diaspora in China Celebrates

caribbean-party_w304The Caribbean Association in China (CAC) held a party with over 200 attendees at Pudong’s Crowne Plaza hotel to celebrate another anniversary party with a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme. Yanick Lawrence writes that “once the Caribbean beats got thumping, it was easy to forget that one was in China,” due to the abundance of Caribbean music and the food. Here is a description of the event:

The event was slated to begin at 7:00 pm but that too was on Caribbean time, which was barely noticeable as while we waited outside the entrance of the ballroom, many drifted to the far left to a coconut booth where one could enjoy jelly coconuts cut to order, with an extra special rum kick added. Many sipped on their spiked coconuts while catching up with friends they hadn’t seen since the last Caribbean event.

The band, Voicexpanders from the Phillipines set the mood with tunes from Jamaica’s Bob Marley. All around there was the smell of Caribbean flavours in the air. The buffet fare did not disappoint with its wide variety of dishes from the islands, including green banana and salted fish salad, rice and peas, Jamaican pumpkin soup, sweet-and-spicy black bean salad, creole fish stew, Caribbean seasoned tofu with vegetables, coconut rum cream pie, and plantain tart.

Once most people had started to enjoy their first course, the MC for the evening, Camille Lindo, who hails from Jamaica, got the evenings proceedings under way. There were two raffle draws throughout the evening. Raffle prizes included gift vouchers, notably from Shanghai’s first Jamaican owned hair salon, Studio Hair Ebony. There was a silent auction, from which the proceeds will fund various children charity events organised by the CAC, including the One Heart Foundation which was represented at the party. The fashion show featured paper dresses and designs from Reecia Charles who hails from Grenada. Following the formal fashion show, those in costume had the opportunity to display their get-up on stage. The audience voted for the best male and female costumes by way of cheers.

[. . .] Then it was time for DJ Laobang who took over the music reins from the band. South Korean-born, Japanese-raised Kim Young Soo aka DJ Laobang has lived in Shanghai for almost 10 years and has visited Jamaica on numerous occasions.

As Caribbean beats blared, the limbo competition, which has now become a tradition at this event, lived up to its reputation for fun and laughter. Many bent back, but as the stick got lower the competitors got fewer and in the end Christal Oliver from Antigua, once again reigned as the champion of the limbo, with Raphael Ewin from Jamaica coming in second. Free rum punch was served while DJ Laobang played some Caribbean oldies but goodies mixed with some modern goodies. Many got down to beats like It Wasn’t me, The girls dem sugar, Informer, Murder she wrote and Living dangerously. [. . .]

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