Category Archives: Divali Magazine

Divali festival souvenir magazine 2017

Secondary Schools Sanskritik Sangam Cultural Competition

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co. Ltd. (ICC) is pleased to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine for Divali 2017 in Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this 36th edition of its free hard copy and online edition of its annual magazine is “Secondary Schools Sanskritik Sangam Cultural Competition.”

The Sangam’s Competition cum Festival has been in active, continuous operation for the past thirty-eight (38) years. It has been providing an incentive and platform for students to participate in out-of-school educational and cultural activities. Through the determined and voluntary work of a few teachers, the Sangam has been able to draw as many as 70 secondary schools to compete and perform on a single stage.

The activities consist of quizzes, public speaking, choral speaking, story-telling, essay writing, play writing, short story writing and poetry writing, as well as drawing and painting, and producing textile and craft items. The Sangam also organises a heritage and cultural workshop, and Sangeet Pratiyogita – a festival of song, music and dance.

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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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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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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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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2012

The Brilliance of Indo-Trinidadian Literary Writers

Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd. ( IDP) wishes to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine – Divali 2012, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this edition of its annual magazine is “The Brilliance of Indo-Trinidadian Literary Writers.”

After Carnival, Divali is the second largest open-air national festival in multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago. The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated by lighting of thousands of deyas [clay lamps] on decorative designs of split bamboo tubes. The lights twinkle in the shadows of free public performances by actors, models, drummers, dancers, musicians and singers. During the days and nights preceding Divali, non-Hindus and non-Indians actively join in the celebration by lighting deyas, wearing Indian clothes, and partaking in eating traditional Indian foods and sweets.

From the 1930s, Seepersad Naipaul and his family began to establish themselves as the first literary dynasty, not only among Indo-Trinidadians, but also among writers throughout the English-speaking Caribbean. Seepersad was followed by his son Vidia (VS), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, and has been the only Trinidadian to claim this internationally coveted prize so far. The Naipauls have been followed by writers up to this day such as Neil Bissoondath, Rabindranath Maharaj, Ron Ramdin, Raymond Ramcharitar and Kevin Baldeosingh. Acclaimed women writers include Rajandaye Ramkissoon-Chen, Madeleine Coopsammy, Lakshmi Persaud, Ramabai Espinet, Shani Mootoo and Niala Maharaj. It would surely be akin to blindness not to notice the happy coincidence of the literary success from these women, and the ground-breaking appointment of an Indian woman as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago in the person of Kamla Persad-Bissessar.


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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2011

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Divali Nagar

Indo-Caribbean Divali Publication Ltd. ( IDP) wishes to announce the publication of its latest souvenir magazine – Divali 2011, Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of this edition of its annual magazine is “Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Divali Nagar.”

After Carnival, Divali is the second largest open-air national festival in multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago. The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated by lighting of thousands of deyas [clay lamps] on decorative designs of split bamboo tubes. The lights twinkle in the shadows of free public performances by actors, models, drummers, dancers, musicians and singers. During the days and nights preceding Divali, non-Hindus and non-Indians actively join in the celebration by lighting deyas, wearing Indian clothes, and partaking in eating traditional Indian foods and sweets.

The Divali Nagar in central Trinidad has become the hub of all Divali celebrations in the island. Indeed the Nagar is the most frequented entertainment centre in the country during Divali second only to the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah during Carnival. Performances take place on a grand stage at the centre of the park for nine nights attracting thousands of local visitors and foreign tourists. Sales and promotion booths include a commercial bank, clothes, fabrics, carpets, electronics, furniture, cars, household items, and of course a wide variety of food stalls. There are also educational booths providing information about alcoholism, yoga, astrology and the various sects of Hinduism. The bazaar [trade fair] also provides a perfect forum for showcasing the talent of both foreign and local performers in the field of song, music, dance and drama. The activities culminate with a magnificent display of fireworks.


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Divali festival souvenir magazine 2010

Hindu sects in Trinidad and Tobago

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC) 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 Friday November 5, 2010.

The theme of this year’s edition of the magazine is “Hindu sects in Trinidad.” According to the 1990 official census data, Hindus in Trinidad form the second largest religious group in the country, after Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics comprise 29% of the population, Hindus 24%, Anglicans 11%, Muslims 6% and Presbyterians 3%. In a population of over one million, approximately 238,000 persons are Hindus.

Hinduism remains one of the oldest living religions in Trinidad and the wider world. Christians are divided into sects such as Catholicism, Anglicanism, Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. Hindus are also separated into various sects. Traditionally, they have been branched into four main denominations: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism.

In Trinidad, Hindus can be further categorised conveniently into sects such as Sanatanist, Arya Samaj, Kabir Panth, Sikh, Shivnarine/Sieunarine, Lord Murugan, Mother Kali, Hare Krishna, Sai Baba, Ganapathi Sachchidananda, Radha Madav, Chinmaya Mission and the Divine Life Society. It is not a simple task to categorise Hindus since they are often open and versatile in their beliefs, practices and affiliations.


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