The Indentureship story berths at Trincity Mall
May 26, 2018 Attention: News Editors
When the ships began departing from the shores of India to Trinidad in 1845, not only did they bring just under 144,000 immigrants to these unfamiliar lands, but a mission that was already carved on the souls of these ancestors.
The Pichakaree song composed by Raviji titled “Mission to the Caribbean” speaks to the deceitful plot that started in India, but faith would twist this plot into a legacy that hundreds of thousands of descendants would wake up to each morning, armed with pride for their east Indian heritage as they navigate the demands of the western world.
“There is a mystery behind indenture history
Haa Sahaib take we, from the ancient country.
Beyond Kaalaapani, only half the story
But a secret voice was singing that they need you
So ah sending you.
Ja ah sending you on a mission to the Caribbean”
Pichakaree “Mission to the Caribbean” composed by Raviji
Trinidad and Tobago has benefitted tremendously from this mission that started in 1845. Through the physical and political abuses, the iftars, bhajans, dholaks, wearing of ‘sindoor’ (red dot worn by Hindu married women); all of which are extracts from a vast repository of east Indian culture brought by our ancestors, have largely remained intact today thanks to the efforts of each generation to preserve the Indentureship discourse.
In an attempt to capture this epic chapter of our nation’s story, the Remember When Institute of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, in collaboration with the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago, has facilitated a comprehensive exhibition leading up to Indian Arrival Day to honour the struggles of these ancestors at the Micles Atrium in Trincity Mall. This year marks the 173rd anniversary since this mission to the Caribbean started.
On the exhibition, Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly states that “Each citizen, regardless of their origin, should venture to the Micles Atrium to feel the trepidation of these ancestors through the pages of the General Register of Indentured Immigrants, allow the energy and melody of the tabla sounds to pulse through one’s veins, and pause to reflect on the role of the East Indian community in shaping a thumbprint that is unique to Trinidad and Tobago.”
The exhibition runs until June 2nd, and members of the public seeking to learn more about the relics or information displayed can contact 225-4023.