Supply: fantasy or reality?

Strolling through the beautiful Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy, on a sunny day, we saw children dressed in lovely costumes: Pierrots, Columbines, kings, queens, sailors, and pirates. They were playing, pretending to be the characters their costumes represented. What an innocent way of having a good time! The same scene is repeated year after year. It was Mardi Gras, the last day of Carnival.

In other parts of the world, the celebration lasts several days. Not only children, but adults too, participate in parties, balls, shows, and parades, which give them an exhilarating feeling of happiness. The most famous places for these are Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, and New Orleans, in the United States, where many people spend the whole year and most of their savings in preparing and sewing their magnificent costumes. How long does this happiness last? How much comfort does it offer, in meeting the needs of society?

February 19, 1996
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