Carnival, Culture and Masks

Carnival, Culture and MasksIn several cultures across the world, carnivals are a major representative tool of history. In carnivals, there is a solid tradition of wearing costumes and masks. People can hide their real identity and take the form of whatever they like the best through their costumes and mask representations. People take carnivals and festivals that involve wearing masks (Halloween) as an opportunity to completely let go of themselves for some time. There is a bit of a paradox hidden in the culture of carnivals.

In the modern era, of course being a part of a carnival and wearing masks is synonymous of fun. However, in the ancient time wearing masks was a mechanism to exercise more freedom because people felt restricted by their own identities. The culture of wearing masks solely began from Venice, Italy. Currently, people wear decorative masks only during the Venice carnivals, but in the ancient times Venetians used to wear their masks all year round.

Coming back to the current time, we all have tried to mask our otherness (opinions, thoughts, vulnerabilities) one way or the other because we felt our status endangered in the social paradigm. We do take help of intangible masks which in turn takes a toll on us.

The culture of wearing masks (tangible and intangible) comes down to the fact of distorting our presumed identity in order to exercise freedom of the self and mind.

There are several open-ended discourses on the matter of culture, human existence and identities. The elements that we use as a harbinger of our cultures represent the very paradox of it, but since it is so deeply hidden in the actions and processes, it is hard to come to terms with it.

However, on the positive note : these carnivals do unite people together and put them in a festive mood.