The East Indian mark on St James

St James at night. FIile photo/Jeff K Mayers
St James at night. FIile photo/Jeff K Mayers

THE EDITOR: On Monday our country will commemorate 177 years of East Indian arrival to our shores. Incidental to this is the 84th anniversary of the inclusion of St James into the city of Port-of-Spain.

This historic event took place on June 1, 1938. Since then, St James has developed from a sleepy village into a vital sub-division of Port of Spain.

Originally, St James was settled by Tamil Indians and that event was immortalised by the naming of a large percentage of its streets after cities and regions in India.

Hence, we have Bombay, Calcutta, Bengal, Kandahar, Lucknow, Agra, Benares, Madras and Patna Streets, to name some.

Moreover, the two religions associated with Indians in Trinidad – Hinduism and Islam – are very well established here and the Hosay commemoration is a major religious and cultural event which has become very well-known.

Furthermore, all aspects of Indian cuisine, whether in direct form or indirectly in the manner in which food is seasoned, have become characteristic of St James households, regardless of ethnic origin and of food vending outlets all over the country.

Additionally, architecture in St James and the enterprising spirit of its people reflect the philosophy of life of the Indian immigrant.

All of those characteristics have functioned to cause St James to be regarded as the most vital sub-division of Port of Spain and incidentally, the best example of spiritual, cultural and ethnic harmony in the Trinidad landscape.

Most natives of St James are proud to be St Jamesians and are quick to acknowledge the contribution the Indian immigrant made to the creation of this outstanding community.

Indians in St James also participate in events of other religious and ethnic groups, thus reinforcing our national motto, “Together we aspire, together we achieve.”


Port of Spain


"The East Indian mark on St James"

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