photo: Pixabay / Adrian Scottow

According to the organization of the Rotterdam summer carnival, parade participants are no longer allowed to twerk at another. Carnival fans are surprised about the statement. “They are messing with our culture. Now we are going to grind even more, out of protest!” 

Quinlan de Windt, from Curaçao, can’t wait to join the parade again on Saturday. “The ban on bubbling is on everybody’s mind. People in my carnival group are surprised. There is also understanding here and there, because there was a dance off last year that, according to some, really went too far.”

Bubbling is ‘vulgar’
In a statement, the organization specifically talks about the bubbling music and the dance style that would be ‘ordinary’. “It goes too far?”, Ruben la Cruz wonders. As MC Pester, he and DJ Moortje formed the famous duo that developed the bubbling music genre: mixing songs with exciting lyrics, with a typical beat.

“During the gay pride in Amsterdam, you also see a lot of nudity and people dancing vulgarly. You would also see nakedness on national television. Have you ever seen the carnival in Limburg, what they do there? I think it’s hypocritical.”

‘This is a family party’
According to the organization, a ban on ‘vulgar’ dancing is necessary because it is a ‘family party’. “Oh stop it! Carnival is rather called a devilish party; an outlet, with a lot of dirty things. It is unthinkable that you would tell people in Aruba, Curaçao or Jamaica that you should not grind.”

Criticism is expressed on social media that the organization is ‘colonial’. Participant Quinlan understands the critics. “Such a ban also gives me the feeling that you want to take something away from our beautiful Caribbean culture, here in the Netherlands. And that.. in the special commemoration year for the slavery past.”

‘Bubbling Master’ La Cruz notices that mainly white people in the organization are being blamed online. “But our own people are also in the organization! They also contribute to destroying our culture and creativity.”

‘Go twerk and grind!’
Jermaine Berkhoudt was a presenter at the events of the summer carnival last year. He is also shocked by the decision and calls on everyone to speak out. “And everyone already knows what will come of this: a grind protest! We will soon be demonstrating with thousands of people on the Erasmus Bridge.”

La Cruz also sees various messages online about couples dancing close to each other in protest. “Many people in the Netherlands have been talking about our freedom fighter Tula lately. But how free are we actually to express ourselves? I support the grind protest; 100 percent!”

“Go twerk and grind! If your guy wants to stand behind you for the butt shake, do your thing. Be free, be yourself and say no to violence. I will be in Rotterdam tomorrow, but at the reggae festival together with DJ Moortje.”

“The organization thought it would achieve something with a ban, but if you see what happened, you can safely say that they are making bubbling music more popular. Everyone is looking it up. And then they start shaking their buttocks.”