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BRIEF HISTORY

On May 30th 1845, the Fath Al Razak docked in the Port of Spain
harbour in Trinidad and Tobago with 225 adult passengers on
board. The passengers were immigrants from India who had
come to the British colony to work on the sugarcane plantations
after th e abolition of African slavery. The immigrants were
contracted for five to ten years to work in the sugarcane estates
in a system that ended in 1917. A total of 147 596 Indians came
to Trinidad over a 70 year period. Although they were promised a
free return passage back home, at least 75% of them stayed and
settled in the New World. In many ways, they brought Indian to
the Caribbean.
Indians were transported as indentured laborers between 1838 and
1917 from India to then European colonies of British Guiana (Guyana),
Trinidad, Suriname, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and other parts of the
Caribbean. Of the nearly 400,000 Indians, Guyana and Trinidad
received the majority, approximately 240,000 and 144,000
respectively
The arrival of Indians brought a completely new culture where religion,
language and social customs marked their unique identity

What is important to note about their presence is that, with the arrival
of a small percentage of Muslims and an even smaller percentage of
Christians, the majority of Indians who arrived were Hindus.

RELIGION
Indians generally participate in cultural festivals such as Phagwah
and Diwali, regardless of their religious beliefs

while Indians socialized into the dominant European culture by


adopting western language and other social practices, they also
engaged in resistance in order to sustain their heritage, particularly
their religious beliefs and practices.

It shows that Hinduism has survived in many ways as informed in


India by religious texts such as the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, the
Ramayana and Mahabharata
Hindus worship different deities such as Rama, Sita, Radha and
Krishna who are central in the religious texts of the Ramayana and
Bhagavad-Gita, they also worship Mother Kali. However, the worship of
Mother Kali is a common phenomenon among a minority of Hindus
who migrated from Madras

One of the important aspects of Hinduism is that some Africans (in


Guadeloupe) have been drawn to the Black Deity as devotees
This similarity of spiritual healing is a natural association among
Indians and Africans in the worship of the Black Mother Kal

Guyana is known to have established many Madras Temples in the


Berbice region, particularly in the Albion village where Hindus worship
Mother Kali

RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS
- DIVALI
A major hindu festival observed or practiced in the Caribbean is
that of divali.
Divali (or alternatively Deepawali, Deepavali or Diwali) is the
Festival Of Light.
The true meaning of Divali (Diwali) can be expressed as being to
bring light where darkness prevails (light over dark, good over evil),
truth where untruth prevails, to bring life where death prevails, to
brighten our surroundings, to illumine our minds.
It is said that that divali is celebrated on the darkest night of the
year.
Deepavali in Sanskrit means "row of lighted lamps"

In Trinidad, hindus have received a public holiday to observe this


religious festival.
Some non-hindus also participate in the making of sweets used on
this occasion and also drive through hindu populated village to view
the lighting of the deyas.

GANESH UTSAV/ GANESH CHATURTHI

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day Hindu festival celebrated to

honour the elephant-headed God Ganesha's birthday.


In india large clay murtis are set up on a pedestal and

worshipped for 10 days on the 10th day, strong men of the

village carry the murti to the ocean where it is submerged.


It is believed that submerging the clay murti indicates that all

the troubles of those who worshiped him will be washed away


as the clay melts.
In Trinidad a similar practice is followed. However it is done in

individual families or as a group in the temple.

Ganesh utsav in india

Ganesh utsav in trinidad

PHAGWAH / HOLI

Phagwah is one of the most ancient, joyous and colorful festivals of the Hindu

calendar
It is celebrated around spring with colourful water known as abir powder and

colourful powder known as abir. It commemorates good over evil, the start of new
beginnings.
this is seen being celebrated in Trinidad, as hindus come out in their numbers

wearing white at near-by savannahs to engage in such a fun activity.

Holi in the Caribbean

holi in india

religious landmarks
- waterloo temple in the sea
- 80 feet hunuman muriti