Divali festival souvenir magazine 2016

Chatti and Barahe – 6th and 12th day Hindu childbirth ceremonies

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co. Ltd. (ICC) wishes to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine – Divali 2016, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this edition of its annual magazine is “Chatti and Barahe – 6th and 12th day Hindu childbirth ceremonies.”

Among all ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago, Hindus perform the most intricate childbirth ceremony. Some families prefer to observe the birth celebration on the twelfth day, in which case it is known as a barahe and is of greater magnitude than the sixth-day celebration. This is one of the rare Hindu religious ceremonies in which a female [masseuse] officiates.

The masseuse performs rituals such as gently tossing the baby into the air, dragging the new-born in a scoop (“soop”), applying kajal [lamp mascara] to the baby’s eyes, and dotting her forehead [tika] to protect the new-born from being infected by najar [evil eye]. For several days, the traditional masseuse massages the baby and the new mother, and she also attends to the maternal abdominal band. On the evening of the celebration, guests arrive and are served food and drinks. The evening begins a long night of noisy rejoicing when chutney and sohar songs are rendered in Hindi and English. The participation of relatives from both sides of the family emphasises the importance of birth in continuing family lines and cementing family bonds.

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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2016

Hindu and Indian-formatted music radio stations in Trinidad and Tobago.

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co Ltd (ICC) is proud to announce the publication of its latest magazine commemorating Indian Heritage Month (May 2016) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of the magazine which marks the arrival of East Indians/South Asians from India to Trinidad (1845-1917) is “Hindu and Indian-formatted music radio stations in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The theme of this year’s edition of our magazine is “Hindu and Indian-formatted music radio stations in Trinidad and Tobago.” There are 39 FM radio stations in Trinidad and Tobago servicing the diverse needs of the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society. Nine of them are Hindu and Indian-formatted music radio stations: Jaagriti 102.7 FM, The People’s Station 90.5 FM, Taj 82.3 FM, Hot Like Pepper U97.5 FM, Win Radio 101.1 FM, Heritage Radio 101.7 FM, The First…The Finest 103 FM, Sangeet 106.1 FM, and Aakash Vani 106.5 FM.

The very first sound of Indian music on radio was aired in 1947 when Radio Trinidad – the country’s first radio station – was launched. The station broadcasted a one-hour program, Indian Talent on Parade, hosted by Kamal Mohammed. While ground-breaking, the limited time for the Indian music on air would remain for over 40 years. Longer Indian programmes were not considered economically feasible until 1993 when103 FM was launched. 103FM created a revolution. It proved that there was a need for radio stations dedicated to Hindu and Indian religious and cultural programmes.

May-June 2016
11 x 8 ½ inches. Glossy pages and cover.
ISSN 1683-4143
40 pages with advertisements and articles.

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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2015

Janeo: The Hindu student admission ceremony

Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd. (IDP) wishes to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine – Divali 2015, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this edition of its annual magazine is “Janeo: The Hindu student admission ceremony.”

Also known as the upnayana samskara, this ceremony is one of the lesser known expressions of Hinduism in Trinidad since it was initially observed only by the upper caste Brahmins. The janeo ceremony is also part of an ancient tradition which has survived over generations in Trinidad, far away from ancestral India. The ceremony represents the 10th of 16th samskaras or rites of passage in the life of a Hindu.

The janeo ceremony is significant because it emphasizes the importance of teaching and learning in one’s life, particularly spiritual education. The ritual of the granting of the sacred thread marks the coming of age of a male child at about the age of twelve who is believed to be sufficiently developed to enter into the brahmacharya or student stage of life. At this stage, the initiate becomes “twice-born.” Traditionally, he would leave his natal home for his teacher’s ashram or gurukula where he would live without luxury or sense-gratification to keep his mind pure and focused. Under the strict guidance of a guru [teacher], the young boy would begin to study the Vedas and learn to recite the sacred Gayatri Mantra. The auspicious ceremony, which lasts for three days, is celebrated lavishly in Trinidad.


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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2015

Mastana Bahar: the longest running (45 years) local TV talent show in Trinidad and Tobago

The theme of this year’s edition of our magazine is “Mastana Bahar.” This magazine captures the history and evolution of Mastana Bahar [Joyful Season] which is unquestionably the longest running, locally-produced TV talent show in Trinidad and Tobago, and perhaps even in the Caribbean. It is the longest running talent show when compared to competitive and non-competitive, Indian and non-Indian cultural TV programmes. Its closest competitor is Scouting for Talent which ran for 30 years (1963 – 1993) hosted regularly by Holly Betaudier. Mastana was first produced by Sham Mohammed on July 4, 1970 on Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT).

Renowned US musicologist Peter Manuel (2000) stated that “Mastana Bahar has evolved into an institution in Trinidadian culture.” And in her book entitled Music in Latin America and the Caribbean (2004), Malena Kuss wrote that since the 1970s, the local talent TV show has been a central feature of local cultural life.

At present, Mastana is aired on GISL TV 4 on Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It is also broadcasted on IETV Channel 1 on Sundays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2014

Visual Arts on Indian cultural heritage

Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd (IDP) is proud to announce the publication of its latest Divali souvenir magazine. Divali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, was observed as a national holiday on October 23, 2014.

The theme of this year’s edition of the magazine is Visual Arts on Indian cultural heritage. The body of work featured in this magazine presents various visual interpretations of Hindu and (East) Indian cultural heritage in Trinidad and Tobago. With a total of 26 contributing artists, this compilation showcases a mix of established and aspiring visual practitioners whose works demonstrate competence and maturity in their respective genres.

As a highly visual religion, Hinduism is mainly characterised by brightly coloured and ornamental images of gods, goddesses and deities. These and other images have captured the imagination of artists and other cultural workers. The artistic exploration of Hindu and Indian images by artists take several forms and media which include drawings, mosaics, installations, rangoli, mehndi, mixed-media, conventional and digital paintings, and three-dimensional designs.

This magazine is a compilation of artistic works by mainly Indian artists working on Indian cultural themes. The truth is that not many Indians in Trinidad and Tobago are practitioners of the visual arts. It is important that this under-representation be addressed. The presence of non-Indian artists working on this theme suggests that they have been exposed to a certain degree, and have been influenced, by Hindu and Indian culture.


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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2014

Finding family roots in ancestral India

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre (ICC) is proud to announce the publication of its latest magazine commemorating Indian Heritage Month (May 2014) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of the magazine which marks the arrival of East Indians/South Asians from India to Trinidad during indentureship (1845-1917) is “Finding family roots in ancestral India.”

This edition of the magazine captures the experiences of six persons of Indian origin from the Caribbean who were successful in finding their distant relatives in ancestral India. Ramesh Ramcharan, Ramnarace Dwarika, Dev Ramoutar, Veda Marimuthu, Shamshu Deen and Vishnu Bisram share their sentimental experiences through spontaneous words and selected photographs. In their narratives, they paint a moving picture, filled with amazing discoveries and extraordinary kindness. These five men and one woman went to India separately and at different times (1998, 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2012). Their spell-binding accounts engage readers in such a way that they are made to feel part of the returnees’ personal experiences. Their stories allow readers to connect – in a very real way – to a past and a place that some people could only have imagined when listening to the stories of their grandparents. These real-life narratives are invaluable sources of information, and the accounts presented in the magazine cannot be found collectively in any book or on the internet. They contribute a unique and precious aspect to the historiography on indentureship.


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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2013

On Ramleela: Free Open-Air Folk Theatre

 

Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd (IDP) is proud to announce the publication of its latest Divali souvenir magazine. Divali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, was observed as a national holiday on November 2, 2013.

The theme of this year’s edition of the magazine is “Ramleela: Free open-air folk theatre in Trinidad and Tobago.” Ramleela is perhaps the oldest living form of free outdoor folk theatre in the Caribbean. It definitely holds the unrivalled record of being the only play to have been performed at dozens of venues for over 100 consecutive years in the region. Produced by community groups throughout the country, villagers all serve without the expectation of payment. The attractions include the performances of actors in their glitzy costumes, their opening parades through the streets, their rhythmic stylized dancing, the colourful stage décor, the spectacular giant effigies, and the thunderous tassa drumming. Villagers play the roles of animals, clowns, humans, saints, gods and demons through masks, costumes, props, gestures and body movements. They do not speak but mime to the songs and dialogues of a pundit [priest] who narrates through a loudspeaker in Hindi and English. The performance takes place in a large flat space in a playing field fenced off by bamboo trunks. The spherical “stage” allows the crowd to have unrestricted view from all vantage points. The final scene of the play climaxes with the torching of the 30-foot effigy of the giant demon, Ravan. He turns into a towering inferno in the dark night until he totters and comes crashing down to the ground with thunderous applause from the audience.


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