Rasta is short for 'Rastafaria', a movement that emerged in Jamaica in the 1930's. Rasta is both a philosophy of life and a religion.Haile Selassie I who was the last emperor of Ethiopia. In Rasta, Selassie is accepted is considered to be 'Jah' the Rasta name for God.
Green, yellow and red are the colours of Rasta, orginating from the Ethiopian flag.
The next section is written by Ruth Tompsett.
Whistles and carnival go together like bread and butter or rice and peas! At carnival everyone has a whistle and uses it as often as may be to express sheer exuberance, to feel part of a bigger chorus or to heighten a particular moment of triumph or display.
Although more and more people come to carnival as spectators, carnival is originally and essentially participant. Blowing on a whistle is one of many activities in which spectator and carnivalist come together, sharing an action that renders everyone participant.
In NHC 2010, the South African vuvuzela, made an appearance and some revellers adopted it in place of a whistle. It is possibly less tuneful than a whistle and more intrusive on soca and pan music, but it basically serves the same function.
Stalls from which food, drink, T-shirts, carnivalesque hats or other paraphanalia are sold are regularly part of carnival, as well as individuals on the move selling whistles, flags, or the toy or gadget which is popular that specific year, such as soap-filled bubble guns. This whistle, sold at NHC in 2009, is strung on a band or ribbon in the colours of rastafari, the red, the gold and the green, and was purchased from an individual whistle seller. Rastafarian-designed items, such as posters, clothing, bags, jewellery and tams, are often available from Rasta-run stalls.
Whistles are sometimes given out as promotional material by sound systems or other commercial enterprises, in which case the ribbon in black or white or other plain colour will bear the name or logo of the company and possibly a promotional tag. Whistles are also sold with rainbow ribbons, or more usually in the colours of the flags of specific Caribbean nations, e.g. red, white and black for Trinidad, black yellow and green for Jamaica. The whistle may thereby display, in a small but potentially significant way, the wearer’s allegiance, taste, or even something of their character.
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