Not by chance, the arrival

In this May 2018 file photo Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar sits in a boat, representing the Fatel Razack on which East Indian indentured labourers came to TT from India, at Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Bonasse Village, Cedros.
In this May 2018 file photo Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar sits in a boat, representing the Fatel Razack on which East Indian indentured labourers came to TT from India, at Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Bonasse Village, Cedros.

THE EDITOR: We will celebrate Indian Arrival Day on Monday. This day is set aside to honour those who took that journey from India to Trinidad, thousands of miles, and in so doing, have left a rich history that is still with us to this day.

Along with their labour they also brought their styles of dress, music, songs, dance, language, religious beliefs, cuisine and customs which are a part of TT's rich and diverse tapestry.

I do not believe this was a "shot in the dark," or “by chance” occurrence. There must have been a divine hand at play.

In every facet of Trinbago life, we see the descendants of those indentured labourers making their presence felt.

Trinidad and Tobago is a true melting pot of various races, religions and cultures and it makes us all the more better as a people. And I thank God for this.

We must never take our diversity for granted. We must never forget the blood, sweat and toil done by our Indo and Afro ancestors, who although they came to these lands in very different circumstances, nevertheless paved the way for the people and country we are today.

The road ahead may be rough but our diversity must be our strength. Our differences, experiences, skills and abilities, must be harnessed with the understanding that united we stand, divided we fall. Diversity is a beautiful and powerful thing.

Let there be no doubt, the slave trade which brought our Afro-Trinbagonian presence can never be forgiven nor should it be forgotten. But out of this great evil, came great good, came descendants and generations of people who have played and continue to play a critical role in our country and its development.

Nothing happens by chance. Our forefathers endured great hardship and sorrow so all of us today – their offspring – can make our country and world a better place for future generations.

The arrival of the Fatel Razack across the "kala pani," was not be chance. Happy Indian Arrival Day to all of us.

ARNOLD GOPEESINGH

San Juan

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"Not by chance, the arrival"

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