Notting Hill Carnival: The Caribbean Sea in London


This is the largest street carnival in Europe and the second largest after Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro with 2 million visitors in two days. It develops in West London during August. Its roots date back to the 60’s with the Caribbean Carnival and the efforts of the Trinidadian Claudia Jones “the mother of the carnival”. She worked as newspaper editor, the first black newspaper in the UK (West Indian Gazette) and she was the main figure who developed it and promoted it. Also, hippie movement in the 60’s and the willingness to create a multi-cultural unity event in London brought all the ingredients together for what today it is the worldwide known Notting Hill Carnival.

Nowadays, it is the Caribbean population who are the heart of it although it is more and more popular and diverse year after year. Well, every culture loves partying, I guess.

Giant floats and dancers, costumes, street shows, theatre, cabaret, drum bands and parades together with happy smiley people create the perfect mix for anyone willing to see the most cultured side of the city. Everything looks less British during those days and London becomes the Caribbean for a while.

When asking one of the organizers she explained to us that through arts they try to get the Carnival to serve as the catalyst to facilitate: artistic excellence, education, engagement, empowerment, integration, transformation of perception of other cultures and finally to inspire and entertain everyone willing to approach and participate. Everyone is invited.


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Diversion and diversity are the two words that better describe it. It is worth to visit with your family although you have to be careful and make sure you all keep safe and together. All the surrounding streets are crowded, which sometimes makes it a bit too much, especially for younger children. Pickpockets are always around too, so watch your belongings, because not everyone is there just for partying.

If you are travelling with friends, then you should try to attend any of the dozens of after parties that local clubs, bars and discos have ready for visitors. Who knows, you may be lucky and even see one of the hundreds of celebrities who like to join these parties, such as Adele, Daniel Radcliffe or Robert Pattison.


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i360-by-diverbo-useful-vocabulary  VOCABULARY

willingness to create: la voluntad de crear
floats: carroza
parades: desfile
engagement: participación, compromiso
empowerment: potenciación
to approach: acercarse
to be crowded: estar lleno de gente
pickpockets: carteristas
belongings: pertenencias



30/11/2015Level - difficulty 2Great BritainAudioExerciseText3 min