Carnival is almost upon us. Should you find yourself in the countryside between now and the beginning of Lent in mid-March you might experience something resembling a traditional Greek carnival celebration, complete with phallic implements, cross-dressing and animal-themed bawdy. If, like me, you grew up in a city, your experience will be much tamer, “westernised” and child-oriented: key elements include plastic clubs, streamers and confetti, and flammable store-bought costumes (actually ours were homemade, which I’d like to think were the envy of our friends!). Whatever the theme, carnival is a release-valve from the everyday, an opportunity to subvert the norm, and, engage in a Bakhtinian (if you’re pretentious) party before lent sets in.
If you’re planning to dress up and join in the transgressive fun, you had better start preparing your costume now. Why not take some tips from those who have been playing dress-up all year?
BOYS – “Military” Collection
This year’s surprise hit. Armchair war-gaming enthusiast Defence Minister Panos Kammenos did his best to squeeze into army fatigues at every opportunity, while PM Alexis Tsipras “pulled rank” to defeat him at “Armed Forces bingo”. Pick your wing-man and try your hand “up there with the best of the best”!
BOYS – “Farmer” Collection
The men of the moment, the farmers are taking the country by storm with their inventive and versatile looks, politically incorrect PR stunts and imaginative accessories/weapons. Are you an “anarchist” farmer kitted out for full biochemical warfare, or a “hipster” farmer direct from Brooklyn to audition for a modelling contract? There’s loads to choose from!
BOYS – “Establishment” Collection
While the PM and his posse go ostentatiously tie-less, the “establishment” appreciates that the necktie is one of the few means of expression remaining to the oppressed male minority. The “budget” costume option, can also be worn to weddings, funerals, court hearings etc.
GIRLS – “Role Models” Collection
Fed up with princesses and Little Red Riding Hoods? Try a modern girl’s costume. You don’t have to lose your femininity to go into (and out of) politics – just ask shape-shifting revolutionary Rachel Makri. You too can don the iconic red glove in solidarity with the darlings of the revolution, reinstated Finance Ministry cleaners turned court clerks, just like platinum-selling popular songbird Haroula Alexiou. Or you can play at being PM for a month, like Supreme Court President Vassiliki Thanou, and issue writs to anyone who disses you. And there is alway the perennial favourite for grown-up girls – the sexy key worker – this year’s model comes without drugs due to shortages.
UNISEX – “Humanitarian” Collection – NEW BIGGER RANGE!!
Fancy yourself a humanitarian for a day? Take your tips from these veterans in the cause of (posing with) the refugees, and bask in the warm glow of praise for the hard work of others. Outfits come in formal, beachwear and “off-duty celebrity” editions. Grannies and small brown children NOT supplied. No actual volunteering or crisis management experience required. Prior record of threatening to “flood Europe with jihadis” no disqualification. Celebrities by prior arrangement with media only. WARNING: Life vests may not function as advertised.
Main image of reveller dressed as politician with the sign “I voted for the memorandum” pelting himself with yoghurt, Kozani 2012, via rizosm.wordpress.com. Μασκαράς (maskarás, lit. carnivalist, denoting both disguise and lack of seriousness) is an insult that politicians are intimately familiar with.