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.


  • Divali Festival in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Editorial: Chatti and Barahe – 6th and 12th day Hindu childbirth ceremonies
  • Greetings from the Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly
  • Greetings from the High Commissioner of India His Excellency Bishwadip Dey
  • Significance of childbirth ceremonies
  • Maternal and infant mortality in the Caribbean
  • The role of the masseuse
  • Turmeric [hardi], honey and ghee [clarified butter] as medicine
  • Halwa dessert
  • Herbal bath
  • Massage and abdominal band
  • Reverence to Dharti-mata [Mother Earth]
  • Bhajans [hymns] and deeya [clay lamp]
  • The baydi [altar]
  • The deities Dee Baba and Parmaysee
  • Baby in scoop
  • Mother and child eat
  • Kajal [lamp mascara], sindoor [vermillion powder] and naming
  • Music, merriment and shaving of the baby’s head
  • Conclusion
October-November 2016
11 x 8 ½ inches. Glossy pages and cover.
ISSN 1683-4143
40 pages with advertisements and articles.

Order Copies


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