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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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2013

Major Indian-inspired Festivals of 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 2013) 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 “Indian-inspired Festivals of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Few countries in the world offer as many multi-cultural festivals all year round as Trinidad and Tobago. The range of festivals is reflective of the diversity of the people in the multi-ethnic society who can trace their roots to Africa, India, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Although East Indians form half of the population of the twin-island republic of 1.3 million people, not many visitors witness the variety and abundance of their colourful festivals. Indian-inspired festivals are of Hindu, Muslim and Christian origin, and include Divali, Eid-ul-Fitr and Soopari Mai. The first two festivals are observed as national holidays in addition to Indian Arrival Day. Other Indian-based festivals include Ram Leela, Phagwa, Shiv Raatri, Ganga Dhaaraa, Kartik, Janam-ashtimi, Ganesh Utsav, Ratha Yatra, and Hosay. All of these festivals have been adapted to suit the modern times and local environment. These Indian-inspired festivals form an integral part of the multi-ethnic society and add colour, enthusiasm, harmony and character to Trinidad and Tobago.


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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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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2012

Portraits of Chutney Singers 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 2011) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of the magazine which marks the early arrival of East Indians/South Asians from India to Trinidad (1845-1917) is “Portraits of Chutney Singers in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Chutney has become the defining idiom through which people of East Indian descent have made their musical mark in the Caribbean. Never before have chutney artistes, chutney concerts and chutney competitions pushed for airplay and space on the public stage as in Carnival 2012 in multi-ethnic Trinidad and Tobago. In recent years, Indians have contributed to changing the construction of “the national festival” to the extent that Carnival has now to be re-defined to include Chutney Monarch, Chutney Brass, Chutney Soca, Chutney Calypso, Chutney Glow, and Chutney Mardi Gras. Events that are chutney-based have allowed Indians to gain a sense of inclusion in this grand “national” festival, although on the periphery of the main city centre. What these cultural incursions mean is that chutney has allowed Indians to actively participate in Carnival without losing their (sense of) ethnic identity


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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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Indian Arrival Day commemorative magazine 2011

The Indian Diaspora in Belize, Guadeloupe & Suriname

Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co Ltd (ICC) is proud to announce the publication of its latest magazine commemorating Indian Heritage Month (May 2011) in Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of the magazine which marks the early arrival of East Indians/South Asians from India to Trinidad (1845-1917) is “The Indian Diaspora in Belize, Guadeloupe & Suriname.”

Belize is located in Central America, Guadeloupe in the Northern Caribbean and Surname in South America. Belize is English-speaking, Guadeloupe is French-speaking and Suriname is largely Dutch-speaking. Yet, all three countries belong to the Caribbean and have descendants of East Indian indentured immigrant labourers domiciled in them.

Indians in Belize comprise four percent (7,000 persons) of the population, Guadeloupe, eight percent (30,000), and Suriname, 37 percent (172,200). The Indians in Belize have lost almost all of their traditional culture, Guadeloupe still maintains some, while Suriname, has managed to preserve a rich Indian cultural heritage. If there is one country in the Western World that can be labelled “Little India,” it is Suriname. Interestingly, Belize and Guadeloupe are longing to re-discover and re-claim their Indian history, heritage and culture. Both countries are looking towards Trinidad for inspiration, interaction, support and sustenance.


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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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