Cabin Fever Cured with Armchair Travel

Comments (4)
  1. Neil Lees says:

    I refer to the comments made about Padstow’s 200 year tradition of Darkie Day, another example of political correctness gone mad, I find the description of Cornish residents as being ‘clueless’ quite offensive when considering that this celebration is actually a tribute to slaves who, seeking shelter from a storm, docked in the harbour of Padstow where the human cargo, delighted at being in a safe harbour, capered and sang on the quayside.
    Local townsfolk were so impressed by the coming together of what was seen as a primitive culture acting and mixing together n a westernised manner with local residents that the occasion has been celebrated ever since, despite investigations by the politically correct brigade.
    It is a charitable event raising funds for local concerns. A harmless event made to look sinister by those who do not understand.

  2. Bruce K. Hollingdrake says:

    Thanks so much for the comment. I must admit when I first heard ‘Darkie Day’ I thought – Oh my…
    I appreciate you taking the time to educate us. Sounds like a wonderful celebration.

  3. Rachel says:

    Neil and Bruce:

    “Political correctness gone mad”? “A wonderful celebration?”

    I don’t think so, and here’s why:

    First, the story about winsome slaves gamboling on the beaches of Padstow after their slave ship crashed on the beach is apocryphal. It is not documented by historians and seems to be an urban legend. Darkie Day’s roots in Padstow are simply vestiges of the egregious minstrel craze imported to Cornwall and other parts of the globe from my home country (USA). And while charity is a nice thing to cloak one’s bad habits in, that is irrelevant to the issue of whether Darkie Day is an offensive fiesta.

    While the rest of 21st century society has given up on Al Jolson’s songbook, blacking up and singing songs about mammies and niggers, the Padstow brigades soldiers on. Daeschner’s book apparently opened up a nationwide controversy over the appropriateness of Darkie Day in a modern, multi-cultural society (the Wikipedia sources and videos on the subject are worth a look) and so the organizers of this event have made some changes; most notably by eliminating afro wigs, offensive racial songs and epithets, the exaggeration of big lips and eyes in facial makeup and in changing the official name of Darkie Day to Mummer’s Day.

    Why not just scrap this whole antiquated and LAME excuse for a drinking binge and do a charitable event that centers on real Cornish culture? There are so many interesting aspects to Padstow and Cornwall that could be featured: fishing heritage, the language, mining, Celtic songs and poems, archaeology, food.

    I remain unconvinced that this is a quaint or wonderful local celebration. Just looks like making fun of black folks to me.

    -Rachel, Old Saratoga Books/Book Trout

  4. Chrys says:

    How about the southern hemisphere: Australia. I recommend the Great North Walk and the book about the Companion walking it. Great armchair travel reading.

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