Wednesday, June 20

Such a long journey


Indians are frequently called as a model minority. Here is one example of how Indians fared in Trinidad. 

Fascinating story. I wonder what you will tell your daughter about how your father immigrated from India to the uk? Dadu immigrated from Bangladesh. You don't hear much from me on that but one day we will go there :)



Such a long journey


By Namit Arora

How and why 145,000 people migrated to a small Caribbean island.

Image: Carey L Biron

I recently visited the Indian Caribbean Museum near the town of Chaguanas in Trinidad. Set in a large hall, the museum did not have other visitors at the time. Its friendly curator, 69-year-old Saisbhan Jokhan, came out to greet me and quickly proved to be a trove of information. The museum commemorates the history of a million Indo-Caribbeans, whose ancestors came as indentured labourers from the Subcontinent between 1838 and 1917. Graphic panels at the museum include details on immigrant ships, copies of girmits (indenture agreements) and rare archival photos of life on Caribbean sugarcane plantations. Evocative objects abound: an improvised sarangi, a pair of wood slippers, a rotary sugarcane press like the ones still used in mofussil India, even a life-size model of an indentured worker’s hut. Other displays show milestones in the life of the community, such as a 1970 photo of the first ‘Indo-Trini’ policewoman; a panel on Alice Jan, the first lady of Indo-Trini culture; and Indo-Trinis winning the right to build their own schools in 1952, allowing them to replace Christian with Hindu teaching.

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