THE Divali Nagar site at Chaguanas will come alive on Friday evening with the classic sounds of some of the top exponents of East Indian culture.
It is part of the month-long celebration to commemorate Indian Heritage month leading up to the 177th anniversary celebration of Indian Arrival on May 30.
It is the first time in two years, due to pandemic constraints, there will be physical gathering of Indian artiste before a physical audience to celebrate the occasion.
The events, hosted by the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), began one week ago with an Evening of Folk Culture (Lok Sanskriti). It featured folk songs from Kajri Bhajan and Vivah Geet, traditional chutney from Jhaal Ramayan, chowtal, biraha/nagara, pitchkaree and local composition presentation of items by Naresh Timal (Biraha Raja), Nisha Ramkissoon, Shiv Sangeet Sangh Ramayan Group, the Biraha Raja Chowtal Group, Rukminee Beepath and Rasika Dindial.
NCIC’s PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said the celebration is in keeping with the continued effort to develop and sustain cultural traditions.
Mangaroo said all events will be held at the NCIC Nagar site, Chaguanas, and admission and parking will be free to the public.
The Evening of Indian Classical Music (Shastriya Sangeet) is scheduled to begin at 5 pm and will feature the basuri, tabla, sitar, sarod, violin and harmonium.
Some of the top exponents of East Indian culture will add their vocals, including Rana Mohip, Shivanand Maharaj, Narinder Maharaj, Anil Maharaj, Sharda Patasar, Sachin Boodram, Arista Katwaroo, Sanjay Boodoosingh, Anup Ramsundar, Sadanand Brahmadat and Purwa Joshua.
For lovers of local classical songs, NCIC will pay tribute to the legends as it presents taan singing on May 21.
Guests will hear performances by Dubraj Persad, Debashish Ramdath, Karishma Dhowtal, Nirmala Seesnarayan, Veejai Ramkissoon, Moonilal Girdhari and Rakesh “Raja” Yankaran.
“On May 22, we will formally launch an exhibition of a book festival, visual arts and design and poster display on the early years of Indian cinemas in Trinidad and Tobago. There will be a special display of pottery, as well,” Mangaroo said.
This exhibition will run from May 21-June 6 from 2-7 pm.
Mangaroo said the stage of NCIC Nagar will explode with scintillating and colourful performances as it presents an evening of dance on May 28.
Among the dancers are Sandra Sookdeo Dance Group, ZeeTv Shiv Shakti Dance Group, Khalnayak Dance Academy, Prema Shakti Dancers and Theatre Workshop, Radha Krishna Dance Group, Kiss Natraj Dance Co, Nritya Sangam Dance Group, Susan Mohip and the Nritanjali Dance Theatre.
The NCIC will wrap up the month of cultural activities on Indian Arrival Day with Gormitya Ki Yatra (Journey of the Indentures) from 5-8 pm.
“Talented sons and daughters of our beloved island will come together showcasing their talents in the various genres of Indian music, songs and dance.
“Artistes like Rana Mohip and the Sargam International Orchestra, Kimlyn Boodram-Persad, Mukesh Colai, Satnarine Ragoo, Saraswati Maharaj, Abhijit Anchortassoo, Nelisha Mohammed, Susan Mohip Dance Group, Rooplal Girdhari and others will be featured,” Mangaroo said.