THE EDITOR: As a fourth-generation son of East Indian immigrants, I am very aware of the sacrifice of those who came before. Survival became an art and family became the purpose.
Education became the key to unlocking the future. Our forefathers had the wisdom and foresight to shake loose the shackles of ignorance, religious intolerance and cultural blindness.
I now have a duty to exemplify those values in my words, actions, behaviour and attitude. These values must become the metering rule for my children and their children to come.
As a 21st-century Trini of East Indian heritage, I am very conscious that there are cultural traditions that have outlived their purpose and finds no home in today's society.
We must create a new paradigm fit for these times, while holding on to the values espoused by our ancestors.
We must be prepared to work twice as hard, walk twice the distance and dig twice the depth to achieve in a highly competitive world.
As we commemorate the anniversary of the arrival of East Indians, our allegiance must remain steadfast to our beautiful twin-island republic.
But we should never forget that the Indian sub-continent remains our repository of 4,000 years of science, mathematics, engineering, medicine, art and culture.
That history is embodied in the DNA of every East Indian in this country. As greatness is part of the construct, it must never become the elusive dream. We must harness this potential which resides in all of us.
Please give a word of thanks and prayers to our ancestors and reflect on the road ahead as our
Kala Pani waits to be navigated.
MP for Mayaro