IJJ, July 6, 2008: CHUTNEY AS POLITICAL IDIOM; ‘From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize -The Indentured Immigrants’; NAIPAUL: Leaving the ghetto; VISHAWANATH ANAND, World Chess Champion

International Jahajee Journal (IJJ), July 6th, 2008
Voice of the International Indian Diaspora

http://www.jahajeed esi.com/  

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Home of the International Jahajee Diaspora

Editor: Deosaran Bisnath
deobisnath@yahoo. com
http://deosaranbisn ath.blogspot. com
http://deosaranbisn ath.wordpress. com/
http://jahajeedesi. blogspot. com/

http://www.jahajeed esi.com/forums/ index.php? act=idx
 
 

 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these
are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence (USA)

Happy July 4th to all our American readers.
 

Six-year-old Nikita Ramadhin, a Second Year student, performs a dance during an awards ceremony for successful SEA students at the Gandhi Memorial Vedic APS Primary School in Aranjuez yesterday. See pages 5, 8. Photo by Roger Jacob
Six-year-old Nikita Ramadhin, a Second Year student,
performs a dance during an awards ceremony for
successful SEA students at the Gandhi Memorial Vedic
APS Primary School in Aranjuez, TRINIDAD.
http://newsday. co.tt

 

 


Chutney as a political idiom

By Kanchan Gupta

 

The distance that ‘East Indians’ — men and women from what is known as the Bhojpur region, apart from

those from Bengal, of whom there were few — indentured to work on sugarcane plantations in Mauritius,
and later in British colonies in the Caribbean, travelled in jampacked ships and in abysmal conditions
across the kala pani, was not only geographical but also cultural. Within a span of three to four months, the time taken by schooners to transport the indentured labourers from the dockside in Calcutta to the
disembarkation jetties at Port Louis in Mauritius, Port of Spain in Trinidad, and other similar
destinations, these men and women, fleeing what a historian has described as “the appalling poverty
and joylessness of life under such conditions that cannot be easily pictured”, found themselves in an
alien land with alien practices that violently clashed with their centuries-old religious and social
traditions. Draupadi not only became Drupatee and Sriprasad was renamed Seepersaud, courtesy
immigration clerks, but along with their new names they were also confronted with the choice of
disowning their past or clinging on to it. Some disowned it; most refused to break free of all that they
had learned and inherited by way of tradition, rites and rituals. Tattered copies of the Ramayan became
the most valued possession; pandits with knowledge of Sanskrit found themselves pushed up the social ladder; and, despite its best efforts, the Presbyterian Church failed to separate ‘heathens’ from their
‘heathenism’ .

 

In the post-colonial era, the cultural identity of the East Indian community — referred to as Indo-
Caribbean in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana and other Caribbean states — became the foundation
of their political aspirations: Politics was, and remains, a means of protecting identity and asserting the
right not to be swamped by Afro-Caribbean, or Black, culture. But for all their efforts, the East Indians
have not entirely succeeded in this, as is evident from the creeping influence of Creole culture and Black culture, even among those who remain firmly rooted in Hindu traditions linking them to their homeland.
The World Is What It Is: The Authorised Biography of VS Naipaul, by Patrick French, provides a certain
insight into this conflict between past and present and the gradual accommodation and assimilation of
cultures as memories recede with each passing generation. While keeping the past alive has been
easier in Mauritius, where descendents of the indentured labourers are in a majority, it has been more
difficult in the Caribbean where East Indian communities are suffering numerical erosion as the affluent
among the new generation seek fame and fortune in the US and Europe. The uneven electoral
performance of the United National Congress in Trinidad and Tobago and the trials and tribulati
ons of Mr Basdeo Panday are indicative of the community’s declining numbers, although infighting and
back-stabbing, the staple of politics in India, have played no mean role in preventing the UNC from
becoming the dominant political force. The Afro-Caribbean politicians have not missed the opportunity to exploit the Indo-Caribbean community’s weaknesses to their advantage, thus retaining power when they
should have really been in the Opposition.

 

The immediate provocation for these thoughts is a fine collection of essays in the journal, Man in India
(Serial Publications, New Delhi), whose special issue on the Indian diaspora in the Caribbean provides a fascinating insight into the post-colonial lives of the descendents of indentured labourers. Edited by Prof
Kumar Mahabir of the University of Trinidad & Tobago, among the best-known scholars of the East
Indian experience, it brings together views from Trinidad, St Vincent , Suriname , Guyana and Martinique . My favourite is Kai Abi Barratt’s essay, ‘I found my East Indian beauty’. While reading it, I was
transported back in time to an evening spent in the frangipani-scented lush lawns of the residence of Mr
Basdeo Panday, who was then Prime Minister. After a sumptuous dinner, we were treated to live
chutney music.

 

The relevance of the show dawned the next day when a group of young East Indian activists met me at
the hotel and launched into a long tirade against the UNC Government for sponsoring that year’s
calypso carnival and thus poking the community squarely in the eye. Afro-Caribbean musicians, I was
told, use calypso to denigrate East Indians and flaunt their prowess by using sexual innuendoes: The
wilting Indian beauty succumbing to the raw charms of the macho Black. An agitated young Maharaj,
his first name slips my mind, said Mr Panday should have withdrawn official support for the calypso
carinval and instead promoted chutney, integral to the East Indian culture, to make a political point. By
not doing so, he had pandered to the Blacks at the cost of East Indian sentiments. Apparently,
community elders had lodged a similar complaint with Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To disprove his critics,
Mr Panday ensured there was a lot of chutney at the official dinner he hosted for the visiting Indian
Prime Minister and we had a riotous time.

 

But like all things Indian, community opinion, it now transpires, is divided on chutney, described as
“representing Indian cultural continuity and persistence” in the Caribbean , too. Drupatee Ramgoonai, the most popular exponent of chutney and whose album Pepper Pepper (Mirchi Mirchi in Hindi) was a huge
hit, has riled community leaders with her lyrics and performance skills. In the popular chutney song,
Lick down mih nani, she sings,

Lick down mih nani

He fender break

On nani waist

Now she can’t move

She two knee bruise

While he drivin he was gazin

Ah feeling sad, she bump she hard…

 

What is seemingly incomprehensible to us Indians in India is replete with shocking double entendre for
conservative East Indians in Trinidad for whom Drupatee Ramgoonai’s music is as outrageous as that of
Executor and Dictator, popular calypso artistes. Kai Abi Barratt quotes a Maharaj incandescent with
rage, “For an Indian girl to throw away her upbringing and culture to mix with vulgar music, sex and
alcohol in carnival tents tells me something is radically wrong with her psyche. Drupatee Ramgoonai
has chosen to worship the gods of sex, wine and easy money.” In a sense, it’s the same old story of
the past jostling with the present for a future that is tense.

 

 

“Smutty & Dutty”

“…Another question I must ask is: how is it that chutney artistes such
as Adesh Samaroo and Lalchan ‘Hunter’ Babwah are allowed to
glorify the abuse of alcohol under the guise of ‘culture’?

Alcohol is the drug which is singly responsible for the destruction
of more individual lives and families than marijuana, cocaine and
guns put together.

Despite this knowledge, these chutney artists are held as cultural
heroes. The terms “smutty” and “dutty” have more applications
than those which many include in their subjective definitions. ”
Ganesh Gupta, GUYANA

 
 

 

From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize –
THE INDENTURED IMMIGRANTS

by Karan Chand

Karan Chand is a Guyanese living and teaching for the
past 19 years in Belize City, Belize.
This book is on the
list for Literature at two high schools in Belize and
others are now considering it to be included as an
additional text.

From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize –
THE INDENTURED IMMIGRANTS
is

is available from the author – E-mail
kchand16@hotmail. com

 

BONDED SERVANT

 “…..Day after day Mattai left for work before daybreak after eating and using the communal latrine over the trench which was an open sewer. On his way he secretly threw his baited buoys into the canal at a grassy spot to conceal them. He worked very hard, always choosing ‘task work’ over  ‘day work’, determined to earn the maximum wage. He chopped cane with his cutlass and stacked them. As he did, he usually overheard the sound of cane being cut by others in nearby fields, amid voices in conversation. Not far away, other workers were constantly yelling at uncooperative oxen and mules as they hauled the long carts and iron punts 9 laden with cane being transported to the factory. Mattai worked alone swinging his cutlass with great proficiency. As he did, his body was continuously covered in sweat which soaked his sparse clothing and trickled into his eyes, burning them. From time to time, he swiped his saturated forehead with the back of his left hand and shook it, shedding the invading sweat. This was done in one continuous, instinctive action that did not disrupt the rhythm of his chopping.

Mattai felt helpless; entrapped. He had never expected to work so hard in his life. However, there seemed to be no easier option, no readily available alternative. Many years before, he had stopped entertaining the thought of escaping. Then, when he was still young and restless, he had fled from his quarters and ran all night through the dark forest hoping to reach the seashore. Convinced that he could not have been that far from his homeland, he had, for many months, planned to make a raft and set sail for Calcutta .  In his rush, he had thumped his right big toe, severely injuring it, on a piece of fallen bamboo. Ignoring the pain, rather enduring it, he had limped on. By daybreak, he had not reached any body of water. The next day, hungry and tired, he had been caught hiding in the bushes. The Driver on horseback had taken him back to the estate. At the manager’s office he had been sternly rebuked and told to pay one shilling on payday. In hindsight, he realized that he had been favored. Older men who had tried to escape had been tied to a post and severely flogged with a cat-o’-nine-tails under the manager’s house. They had convulsed in pain during the ordeal which ended with salt pickle being rubbed on their wounded backs. Some of them got so ill afterwards that they had to be taken to the sick-house.. ….

 
THE WEDDING

 

On the eve of the wedding people again gathered at the venue for the wedding, a large two-storied, wooden house on tall cement pillars. It was the “Cook Night”.  While most of the invitees danced, drank and socialized, chosen people cooked all night underneath the house preparing for the attendees on the following day. In an enclosed area illuminated by a Tilly gas lamp, some women were busy peeling and dicing vegetables and preparing concoctions of other ingredients, various spices, which they crushed to a puree on massala seels.6 These were sent nearby to the men who cooked them in huge caharies 7 along with rice and dhal  8 which they constantly stirred with long wooden paddles.  All the while, there was music mixed with chatting, laughter and drinking. The cooked food was carefully stored in a makeshift room called the bandara 9 with one man supervising its apportioning as needed. This was vital in order to minimize wastage and prevent shortage. This time, Mattai was present and actively participating by micromanaging, having been asked to take charge by the bride’s father, Babutty. He moved around stirring pots, tasting, adding ingredients and chatting, while at the same time giving directives to others who assisted him. He was considered indispensable as far as catering for large crowds were concerned, regardless of whether it was a time for celebration or sorrow.  At these times his new status, from an underdog cane-cutter to a supervisor, gave him a feeling of importance and made him tireless, especially when the drinks were circulating, even though he was well aware that it was a temporary position. It was a badge of honor for him and made his days. With such feeling of self worth, he worked unfalteringly and did not return home until the wee hours of the morning.


6  massala seels-rubbing stones

7 caharies- cauldrons/ huge hemispherical pots

8 dhal- cooked yellow split peas

9 bandara-makeshift room serving as a pantry

  

 

RICE CULTIVATION

“…Mattai’s daughter and son-in-law could not be there every harvest as they had both a rice and cane farm of their own to attend to. During their absence, Mattai, Sook and Rattowa worked late into the nights mostly in the ‘watch house’ with the light of a bamchodie 10. One night, Sook was walking behind the oxen in circles around a post mashing a pile of rice to separate the grains from the stack. Mattai was occupied nearby. They had not spoken for a while so absorbed were they with their work and thoughts. Suddenly, without forewarning, Sook said,

” Pa, ah want to be wan police.”

“Wha’ yu seh bie?” Mattai, who was putting threshed rice grains into jute bags, did not hear him. ” Ah want to be wan policeman.”

Mattai stopped working and let go of the bag which fell, spilling some of the grains.  Rattowa had remained later than usual because of the demanding work. In the moonlight outside, she was out of earshot winnowing the paddy in a huge sieve hanging on a frame in order …..”


10 bamchodie-  flambeau, bottle lamp

 

 

Episodes of Indian Experience
by Professor Kenneth Ramchand
Professor Kenneth Ramchand is Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature,
University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Emeritus of English (Colgate University),
and currently, Associate Provost, The Academy at the University of Trinidad and Tobago for Arts, Letters, Culture
and Public Affairs.
http://deosaranbisn ath.blogspot. com/


NAIPAUL: Leaving the ghetto

Short of money and short of food, V S Naipaul found his early life as a writer in Fifties London
harsh. Then the BBC offered him a lifeline with a radio programme, Caribbean Voices. It became an
important influence, but one he later felt obliged to disown

When V S Naipaul published his slim, grumpy memoir A Writer’s People late last year, assorted
reviewers took the chance to denounce him. It was a familiar spectacle, the lion in winter having
chunks torn from him by writers who would not have attacked him in his prime. In Naipaul’s case,
his determined self-construction during five decades in print was a provocation in itself: who was
this Trinidadian man who lived as a knight of the shires and denounced multiculturalism as “multi-
culti”? He said, or was said to have said, that Africa had no future, Islam was a calamity, France was
fraudulent and interviewers were monkeys. How dare he support Hindu nationalism? If Zadie Smith
– optimistic and presentable – was a white liberal’s dream, Naipaul was the nightmare. For a
successful immigrant writer to take the positions he did was seen as a special kind of treason, a
betrayal of what should be a purely literary genius. “Great art, dreadful politics,” complained Terry
Eagleton…. .
By 1962, he was aware that his identity had been compromised by external events. East Indians in
independent Trinidad appeared to be facing black majority rule, and many were trying to emigrate.
Under a new law, however, Commonwealth citizens would be denied the right to move to the UK.
Naipaul regarded the Commonwealth Immigrants Act as a betrayal. In a copy of A House for Mr
Biswas, he wrote his signature and, “For Andrew Salkey, in London, from which one may in future
be banned.” The mother country had abandoned a generation of orphaned children.

Ambitious, protean, deracinated by the accelerated politics of the end of empire, Naipaul made a
conscious choice to refashion himself. The publishing vogue for West Indian writing was over and,
uniquely among his contem poraries, he saw the implications of this early enough to do something
about it. Jan Carew remembered:

The last time we met was in a café in the Tottenham Court Road. By then, there were rumours that
Vidia was living in some part of London where West Indians were not welcome, and was taking up
with different people. He told me he was going to become English, and I thought he was pulling my
leg. The English are very strict about letting you in, particularly if you are a different colour. I
thought it was one of his jokes, but he was quite serious about it. He meant he was giving up his
West Indian imprimatur and taking on an English one.

Naipaul refused to be classified as a Caribbean novelist any longer. He would try to make himself
into a new type of writer, a world writer. Only very occasionally would he lift the mask. In Trinidad
in the late 1980s, he bumped into Sam Selvon at his sister’s house and accepted an invitation to go
boating near Soldado Rock. In the words of an eyewitness: “Sam said he wanted to swim. It was a
real hot day. Vidia says, ‘I would love to, but I don’t have my bathing things.’ Sam says, ‘I swimmin’
in my jockey shorts.’ Vidia says, “I can’t do that.’ We were in the sea, then kerplunk, V S Naipaul
was in the water, swimming around the boat in his jockey shorts.”

“The World Is What It Is: the Authorised Biography of V S Naipaul”
by Patrick French is published by Picador (£20).

http://www.newstate sman.com/ books/2008/ 04/naipaul- bbc-writer- short

 
 

 
“My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into
one another; and they all have their rise in my insatiable
love for mankind.” — Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

 

UWI Hindu Society,

c/o Guild of Students,

University of the West Indies,

St. Augustine.

uwihindusociety@ gmail.com

 

Hinduism, a way of life

 

 

 

Sitaram,

 

 

The University of the West Indies Hindu Society will be hosting its
Annual Dinner and Dance function on July 12th 2008 at the
Rooftop Restaurant, Mt. Hope Medical Sciences Complex, from 7.pm.

 

The theme of this event is entitled “Dhanyavaad,” as the evening would
be dedicated to acknowledging and honouring the Dharmic efforts of
the 2006-2007 Executive, as well as our Special Contributors who assist
us in the promotion of our mission. These honourees have rendered their
services to Hinduism in a graceful and dignified manner, and for this we
say “Thank You.”

 

We extend this invitation to you – our membership and external supporters,
to join with us in sharing a delightful evening.  

 

Tickets are priced at $80, and can be collected from Amrita (685-6133) or
Shivam (754-9471). For further information, please contact us!

 

 

We do look forward to your presence and wish you continued success
and spiritual bliss in all your future missions.

 

 

 

Thank You

Yours Sincerely,                                                                                                           

Emma Mangaroo                                                                                               

(President- 2007-2008)                                                                                           

 

The UWI Hindu Society is an organization formed by the
Campus Hindu Community under the constitution of the Guild of Students of
the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.
MOTTO: There is no Religion higher than truth

 684-9799

 

 

 

 
 
Indian Indentured Immigration to Trinidad
by Deosaran Bisnath, Editor, International Jahajee Journal
Part 1 : Origin of The Coolie Slave Trade 
http://deosaranbisn ath.blogspot.com/

   


GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
a chapter of GOPIO International.
P.O. BOX 2286, Chaguanas. TRINIDAD.

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) unequivocally and
categorically reiterates that there is only one authorized GOPIO Chapter in
Trinidad and Tobago, namely GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago, with its leadership
team that was installed on February 29, 2008
in Freeport, Trinidad.

The executives of GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago include Deosaran Bisnath (President);
Varsha Maharaj (Secretary); Oscar Ramoutar (Treasurer); Directors (Niranjan Bhaggan,
Jaganath Seeram-Maharaj) ; and Youth Officers (Shivanie Ramcharitar, Sacha Mahabal
and Avinash Sanu).

 

GOPIO International emphasizes that former GOPIO of Trinidad and Tobago chapter
president Devant Maharaj does not function in any capacity in GOPIO International,
any of its councils or chapters, and is not authorized to make any such representations
on behalf of GOPIO Int’l or GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago.

  

 

GOPIO is a secular, non-partisan, not-for-profit, international organization based in
USA with chapters in various parts of the globe, representing the interests and
aspirations of People of Indian Origin (PIOs), and promoting awareness and
understanding of issues of concern — social, cultural, educational, economic, or political,
to global NRI/PIO community.

 

GOPIO can be contacted:

Inder Singh (President, GOPIO Int’l) at gopio-intl@sbcgloba l.net  or by
tel +1-818-708-3885, Ashook Ramsaran (Sec General, GOPIO Int’l) at
ramsaran@aol. com
 or by tel +1-718-939-8194, Deosaran Bisnath
(President, GOPIO of Trinidad & Tobago) at
deobisnath@yahoo. com
or
by tel
+1-868-687-7529

Become a GOPIO member: write to –
GopioTT@gmail. com

GOPIO on the NET:
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/GopioTT/
http://gopiott. blogspot. com/

http://www.gopio. net
http://gopio. com

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~
HINDU WISDOM
user posted image


Where love is, there God is also.
-Mahatma Gandhi


 

May the light of wisdom illumine us.
May we become united with the Lord.
Let us contemplate five categories:
The world and luminous worlds in the sky,
Education, progeny, and speech.
-Taittiriya Upanishad

 



 

For aspirants who want to climb the mountain of
spiritual awareness, the path is selfless work; for those who have ascended to yoga the path is
stillness and peace. When a person has freed
himself from attachment to the results of work,
and from desires for the enjoyment of sense
objects, he ascends to the unitive state.
-Bhagavad Gita 6:3-4

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

 

 

The Indian Defense

 

It would take me 17 years to find that route, and along the way I’ve had hundreds of conversations about the origins of chess — with players, fans, officials, taxi drivers, barbers and who knows how many people who sat next to me on a plane. I’ve heard the ownership of chess being claimed by Russians, Chinese, Ukrainians, Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Spaniards and Greeks. My own view is that the sport belongs to everybody who plays it, but the question of its origins is easy enough to answer: chess comes from India.

Our claim is based not on dominance — although the Indian school is now producing lots of high-quality players, including (ahem) the world No. 1. Some of the oldest references to the sport are found in ancient Indian texts. In the great epic Ramayana (which, according to some sources, was orally transmitted sometime between 750 B.C. and 500 B.C.), the demon king Ravana invents chess to amuse his wife Mandodari. A brilliant mind, she promptly beats him at it. My grandmother told me that story when I first began to play the game at age 6. Chess also features in the Arthashastra (3rd century B.C.), perhaps the world’s oldest political treatise. Its author, Chanakya, describes chess as a game of war strategy, known as chaturanga, played on an 8-by-8 board. Think of it as the world’s first virtual war game.

I believe chess traveled westward out of India, through what is now Afghanistan into Persia, where it arrived during the Sassanid Empire — an Indian king is believed to have sent a chessboard as a gift to his Persian counterpart. At the royal court in Ctesiphon, the game was known as chatrang. The Arabs learned it (they called it shatranj) when they conquered Persia in the 6th century A.D. and carried it across northern Africa. They introduced the game to Europe when the Moors crossed the Mediterranean into the Iberian peninsula. It grew immensely popular in Moorish Spain, where it was played in the street — a practice still seen in parks and other squares in cities around the world. … READ MORE

 
 
 
 
   
 
 
The June issue of the Indo-Caribbean Times can be
accessed online at

http://www.esnips.com/ web/Indo- CaribbeanTimes

Some articles from this Indian Arrival special issue:

Canada

  • Indo-Caribbeans tell their stories of arrival in Canada:
    Dr Deoraj Narine, Manshad Mohammed, Indra Ramdass
  • 20,000 expected for Guyana Festival in Toronto
  • Vedic Cultural Centre marks a Century of Indo-Caribbean Arrival
  • Heritage Day celebrations in an East Toronto School
  • Tribute to immigrant #1 Kenneth Maharaj
  • Applying for refugee status in Canada
  • Camille Ross starts Guyana Beat television program
  • Caribbean Hindus to hold Canada Day Satsangh & Hawan to pray for the nation

 
 
My Arrival story in Canada

Dr Deoraj Narine

   I came to Canada from Guyana on September 1st 1979 to attend Acadia University in Nova Scotia
for an Msc in Chemistry.  At that time you could fly from Georgetown to Trinidad, Bermuda and Halifax.  I landed there all dressed up in this polyester suit and it was freezing cold in Halifax at the end of
August. Halifax as you know is next to the ocean. 
    I settled in there and it was quite nice but very, very cold. There was loneliness of course. If you were
there you wished the plane would land and you could step out of there and fly back to Guyana. But it
didn’t happen. You know we have to live out our dreams.
   One of the funny things about conditions under colonialism is that you never see white people dig a
drain. You never see them doing manual work. You see them riding on horse with cork hat or driving in
jeep. 
    The next day I was going to register at the university. There I was walking down Main Street in 
Wolfville,  Nova Scotia and there was this white guy digging a drain. You may not believe this but I stood up for about three minutes staring at this guy. Believe it or not. It was embarassing!   …
MORE AT:

 
 
 
 
 
THE INDO-ST. LUCIAN EXPERIENCE
Courtesy James Rambally
 
 “…I was speaking to an Indo-St. Lucian and this is the first time I
was able to actually get someone to admit how they really felt about
their experience in St. Lucia:

Growing up in St. Lucia, I was ashamed of being Indian. I did not
grow up in the Indian community as others did, and I was cutoff from
the outside world. I remember being terrified to go to school because
insults of Coolie Calcutta were hurled at me. I was always prepared
to defend myself whether it was physically or verbally. People always
threw insults about my anatomy and that the fact I was Indian, I was
naturally weaker than the others around me. I thank my father becuase
he would come to school and straighten out these people who called me
names and threatened me. 
 
He later commented that in living in St. Lucia he thought Indians
never did anything of value. All he saw Indians doing was
agricultural and transportation jobs. It wasn’t until he left St.
Lucia that he saw Indian people had achieved momumentous feats.

We talked about the percentage of Indians in St. Lucia, and he
TRULY believed that the Indian population was less than half a
percent. He believed Indians in St. Lucia were a dying race and that
many had low self-esteem as the result of being Indian.”
 
 
 
 
  

 

 

Hindu wedding songs

By SEETA PERSAD 
http://www.newsday. co.tt
CULTURAL ACTIVIST, author and singer Rukminee Beepath recently presented her latest
work,
Vivaaha Geet
to the National Library in Chaguanas recently. Due to the numerous
requests from secondary school students and UWI, Beepath has been distributing her book to
schools and libraries across the country.
The book contains 108 traditional Hindu wedding songs and the corresponding meanings.

“The Hindu wedding contains the most fascinating rituals. It calls on the presence of the
various devis and devtas (gods and goddesses) associated with Hinduism to give blessings to
the couple who is prepared to take this step in life,” Beepath explained.

She said the belief is that couples were connected in another life. As a result, when they join
union in this life they call on the gods to remove all their bad karmas and bless them with
prosperity.

Beepath’s daughter, Reshma Beepath Umrau, who is also active in the cultural field,
explained that the rituals associated with a Hindu wedding takes three days to complete.

“There is a song for every step taken by the bride and by the groom in their respective
homes,” she said.

On the third day the couple comes together at the bride’s home to complete the ceremonies,
then return to the home of the groom to start their new life.

The book, which is available at local bookstores is also available in the United States and the
United Kingdom.

Beepath has also released a compilation of the wedding songs in a CD by the same name.
This compilation contains 20 songs which are sung as part of the Hindu wedding ceremony.





WORD PLAY

claque \KLACK\, noun:
1. A group hired to applaud at a performance.
2. A group of fawning admirers.

He cultivated the “Georgetown set” of leading journalists and
columnists and had them cheering for him as if he had hired a
claque.
— Theodore Draper, “Little Heinz And Big Henry”,
New York Times, September 6, 1992

Behind the hacks was the claque. They cheered and whooped in a
vague way, like a group of restrained English persons at a Texas
rodeo: “Whee! Whoooo! Polite cough!”
— Simon Hoggart, “Yee hah, chaps! It’s the manifesto”,
The Guardian, May 11, 2001

Charles Bukowski suffers from too good a press– a small but
loudly enthusiastic claque.
— Kenneth Rexroth, “There’s Poetry in a Ragged Hitch-Hiker” ,
New York Times, July 5, 1964

Claque comes from French, from claquer, “to clap,” ultimately of imitative origin.

 
 

 WAVES OF GANGA

Experience is never possible without consciousness. Anything that is
eternal must be infinite and unlimited. Consciousness is unlimited;
the consciousness of limitation shows that consciousness is greater
than limitation. Perfection is the attainment of immortal life or
pure consciousness. The enquiry of, “Who am I?” leads to self-
realisation (Brahma-jnana) . Divine wisdom can be attained only by
those who are endowed with purity. Tear the veil. Realise the reality.

Bliss is not an attribute. It is the very constitutive essence of the
self, or atman. As the self is absolute in nature, its bliss is also
absolute. This is the same as Brahman.

Annihilate the ego. Reach the goal here and now. Take the inner
essence and attain perfection. Relax not the keen vigilance against
your most subtle foes – egoism and desire. Where can you see the
Lord? I found the Lord where `I’ did not exist.

Where there is no sense of `I’, there is liberation. It is bondage to
have the sense of `I’ and `mine’. Identify with the all-pervading
soul (atman). You will attain immortality. This is the secret of
eternal life.

— SIVANANDA Readings

 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~
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