July 30, 2010

Yuh Cyar Play Mass and Fraid Powder | Yuh is ah Trini


Triniglish|Trinididioms Spoken and Explained #36
Yuh is ah Trini|"Yuh Cyar Play Mass and Fraid Powder"

There was a time in Trinidad and Tobago when sailor mass was King of the Carnival celebration. Carnival Monday belonged to Sailor mass and in those days’ flour bags (bags made from cotton) was one of the materials used to make the outfits worn by the masqueraders. Now this is just a little history and has something to do with this "yuh is ah trini post". If you lived during the period when Sailor mass was boss then it would be easy to understand the phrase, "Yuh Cyar Play Mass and Fraid Powder". 

Sounds simple enough but this simple phrase runs deep and can be used to put some sense where nonsense exists. Well during the parade of the sailor mass bands the masqueraders used a lot of 'baby powder" or talcum powder. They whitened their faces with the powder and would throw or shake the powder on everyone passing by... Sometimes they would break ranks and go after onlookers throwing powder on them.  During that period people knew that if you did not want any powder on you "fine dan dan" (ie nice clothing) that you needed to stay away from the sailor mass. Right there you had the key to the phrase if you did not want to get powder on your person then stay away from the band. In other words don't get involved if you don't want to pay the price for your actions. The consequences or your actions even though innocent could get you in trouble. 

So my friends if you don't want to experience the consequences of your negative actions (by doing things you know will get you in trouble) then it is quite possible that one of your elders could very well be saying "yuh cyar play mass and fraid powder".  So stay away from situations that could lead to trouble because if you don't then all hell will break loose. "Ent it is Trini who say so!". 

In today's society we need the young people to come to grip with the consequences of their silly ways. You know the saying, "Friends will carry yuh but won't bring yuh back". In other words they will encourage you to go somewhere or do something then abandon you when thing go south (sour eh). So it is very important to understand that "Yuh Cyar Play Mass and Fraid Powder" because the consequences of your actions may bite you in your behind.

 
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