Trinidadians and Tobagonians Trace Their Heritage Through India Trip

May 31, 2004


On May 31, 2004 posted an Indo Asian News Service article that reported, "Well over a century after their ancestors left Indian shores to work in Trinidad and Tobago, a group of people of Indian origin are here to trace their roots and cultural ties with a country some of them have only heard of. 'It's brilliant to be in India,' said 17-year-old Vijay Ramkissoon, a hymn-singer who is part of the 13-member delegation in India participating in celebrations of India Arrival Day on May 30. The day marks the landing of the first indentured labourers from India taken to work in the Caribbean islands by the British in 1845. About 40 percent of the island's 1.3 million people are descendants of Indian workers who were brought as contracted labour on British sugar plantations...The delegation is in India till June 13. During its stay, it will attend a host of cultural events and travel to Bihar, from where a lot of the first Indians went, sight-see at Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra, including trips to the Taj Mahal and Mathura-Vrindavan, the mythical birthplace of Hindu god Krishna. One of their main hosts in Delhi are publishers Richa Prakashan, who are pioneers in publishing spiritual books in Roman script for non-resident Indians. Humming devotional Hindu songs, tracking of Bollywood and speaking a smattering of Hindi, the group is a microcosm of Indians in the island nation. Though separated from the mother country by generations, they keep alive their Indian-ness."