Carnival and old customs - does digitalisation reach its limits here?

Every year, //next columnist Kristina Tewes looks forward to what is called the “11th season” - as a girl from the Rhineland, she loves and bleeds carnival. But even though many areas of everyday life have now been successfully digitalised, she feels that technology has reached its limits when it comes to customs like Carnival.

It's just not the same. Lying swaying in each other's arms and loudly singing out carnival songs together - no VR or video conference experience can ever replace that. The appeal of Carnival is precisely the conviviality and the crowded get-together. “Bützchen”(peck), “Strüssjer” (bouquets), “Kamelle” (candy) catching - unfortunately, this can hardly or not at all be experienced digitally. And let's be honest: sitting on the sofa at home all dressed up, but alone - there's something really sad about that, wouldn’t you agree?

For our home we have already come across some nice ideas on the web – self-built “Zoch” (carnival parade) out of Lego bricks or, of course, the classic photo challenges with old pics of previous years. If you stumble upon my social media profile pictures these days, you will see a carnival photo from a few years ago. And the home office workplace is decorated with streamers. My heart gets heavy by just writing about it.

Many carnival enthusiasts  came up with a lot of creative ideas this year in order to spread at least a few sparks despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Various carnival-clubs have sent out care packages for their members and invited them to a joint online unboxing event. So get your red noses ready…

The little ones are always the center for parents on carnival, that can’t be different this year: My children's elementary school will be offering a virtual carnival celebration - with a Kahoot quiz on all aspects of carnival customs and “Kamelle” bags that will be handed out to the children when they hand in their schoolwork. There will also be a virtual carnival parade - with self-painted floats animated by the tech-savvy teacher.

Of course we follow the Corona-restrictions strictly and I know that this is the way it has to be at this point in time, so let's make the best of it and hope for more convivial times in the future. Nevertheless, it won’t be the same. I keep thinking of this song by Milow: "I'm tired off using technology" - at least in relation to carnival, that's true for me – digitalisation has officially reached its limits. 

Text: Kristina Tewes

Paveier - Leev Marie (offizielles Video)

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