Written by: Fia Thottan
The tightrope walker who awed us with his antics, the circus clown and his hilarious performances, the jugglers, the trapeze acts and the various other breathtaking and entertaining performances of the circus occupies a huge space in our childhood memories.
The exciting news of the traveling circus coming to town was something that sent thrills down the spine of the entire town. But who exactly are these people ? Which place do they call home within all of this traveling ? Or has that become a part of their culture?
The magical world of Carnival, a space we escape to, with its twinkling lights, colorful circus tents and performances that we believed were impossible is the place that circus folks call home. There is a little wonder in the idea of it, how intertwined within our extraordinary, lies their normalcy. For years traveling around in caravans and trains, artists and performers have shaped their lives around the circus. Many of the performers are people who have been born into the circus, fallen in love and married all within this magical world. The circus that is a form of entertainment and source of joy for us, is their home.
Most circuses travel by either caravans or trains. They carry with them everything necessary to create a home wherever their circus tents are pitched. Traveling around all these multiple locations, going to sleep at the sight of lush green sceneries and waking up to completely different ones, experiencing various cultures and meeting new people have inspired in them a certain happiness and excitement that they channel through their every performance.
The traveling circus is a part of every culture around the world from America to the Asian countries of China, India and more. Although they draw influences from their homeland most of the various circus performers have their own lifestyles and inculcates traditions of their own.
Circus has been around for a long time now entertaining us and making us laugh but, there are doubts as to how much longer they will stay on. Like every business they depend on heavy cash flow. The simple joys of performances apart, they are also the life source for all the many performers at the circus. The modernisation of the world that many circus crew have struggled to catch up on is causing them to lose their livelihood.
During the recent pandemic there were many traveling circuses that were stranded and starving as it put a pause on their performances leaving them without any source of income. Coming back from these losses is something most people are still struggling with and alongside the new and advanced innovations in the world, less and less people are excited about the news of the Travelling Circus, which once reigned to be ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.
So is the old world charm of these circuses fading out? Why exactly are the mighty performers that used to put a smile on our faces now just a passing nostalgic memory? The one thing we know for sure is that they aren't just performers, they are people who have inspired us and made us feel boundless joy. All of us have sat in that ring as they swung in high air and performed mind blowing antics wanting to try them at home.We all have memories of trying to learn how to juggle. We have looked at them with awe and secretly hoped to one day live as free as them. It’s safe to say that the traveling circus holds a special place in all of our hearts.