IN commemoration of Indian Heritage Month and the 175th anniversary of the arrival of East Indian indentured labourers in TT, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts is hosting an online series that will include virtual chats and cultural performances.
In a media release the ministry said through the decades, the contributions of the East Indian community have become part of TT's mainstream culture and have added further character and distinction to multi-ethnic artistic expressions. It said, "Since their arrival in 1845, East Indians, not only within TT, but throughout the West Indies, have made and continue to make an indelible mark on all spheres of life: the arts, academia, politics, culture and more."
Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly emphasised the importance of celebrating this heritage. She said, “Now more than ever, we cannot afford to forget or lose what makes us who we are as a dynamic, plural and multicultural society. The influence of the East Indian community is seen in every sphere of our culture from music to dance, to theatre, food and visual arts. Our society is enriched by the multiplicity of experiences that this heritage informs; and when all is said and done, recognising and celebrating our history will help us move forward with confidence to form our future.”
The series which began on May 19 will end with Masala, the fourth in the Live@Lunch Concert Series for 2020, on May 30. The concert will be streamed on the ministry’s Facebook page and will feature classical singer Ravi Jagroop, a poem by Rajan Maharaj, dancer Alana Rajah, The National Steel Symphony Orchestra and The National Philharmonic Orchestra.
The chats begin at 6 pm. The digital programme will continue with the following:
May 21: Pichakaree in TT with Geeta Vaahini, president of the Hindu Prachaar Kendra;
May 23: Ramadan Reflections with Mufti Fareed Jamal Moeeni, Islamic researcher and TV presenter.
May 26: Evolution of Ramleela with pandita Indrani Rampersad, intellectual kshatriya/warrior and researcher.
May 27, 6 pm: Classical singers Ravi Jagroop and Sapna Seepaul
May 28, 6 pm: Jahaaji Mai at the Kendra Pavitra Jaimungal
May 30, 12 pm-1.30 pm: Live@Lunch Masala Concert, .
To view the events tune in to the ministry's Facebook page @artsandculturett, YouTube and Instagram @CultureCommunitt.