Traffic jam, thousands of people, and plenty action describe the scene at the last day of the Divali Nagar 2016 known as the largest celebration of Divali in the Western hemisphere. The event took place at the Divali Nagar in Chaguanas on Friday, October 28. Crowds of people participated in the night’s events of deya lighting, paying of homage to religious figures, musical and dance performances, buying and selling of items, and the good old fashion liming. At the Divali Nagar, there were displays of religious icons for visitors to observe of Hindu deities such as Mother Lakshmi, Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva. Representatives from the Raja Yoga Centre, Hare Krishna Centre, High Commission of India, the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) and several Sai Centres around T&T had booths offering many giveaways of cards, books, and calendars on gurus and the Hindu faith. Other booths at the Divali Nagar site consisted of commercial promotion and sale of cars, phones, food items, fireworks, and many other items. The food section at the back served a variety of meals in several tents with long lines of customers. The never ending flow of people coming to the site after the performances were over was a sight to behold!
October 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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By Marissa Armoogam. Photo: Felesha Parboo.
The people in Trinidad are well known for our tremendous love of celebrations and public holidays, actually we look forward to any time that allows us to step away from work and relax for a bit (I have personally witnessed offices and schools closed due to “Hurricane Watch” and every liming spot was packed with Trinis taking one before the storm). Our population is one where a diverse people live together in harmony (most of the time).
Because of our multicultural and multi ethnic backgrounds there are varying religious and cultural celebrations throughout the year. It is quite a blessing actually to live in such a society when compared to the harshness of the rest of the world.
The three major groups are Christians, Hindus and Muslims and yet each of these groups is able to peaceably co-exist. For each of these distinct and auspicious celebrations almost every Trini shares in the festivities, Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike each prepare on the special day the local foods associated with each event.
In a Hindu home on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr you are sure to find a pot of Sawine being made along with sweets, or for Divali each home shares in the making of Indian delicacies and dishes. And as for Christmas every Trini except for those who are exceptionally devout to their respective beliefs shares in the happiness and celebrations of Christmas.
There is an unsaid law, if you would call it that amongst Trini neighbours, as in all societies, not everyone gets along all of the time, sometimes a neighbour might get angry because the leaves from your tree might fall in his yard, then follows the customary “cuss-out” and then a couple of months of not speaking to each other. However, during the couple of months of not speaking, if an incident or unfortunate accident should happen to you, be sure it’s the neighbour you “cuss-out” that will be at your house first to make sure everything is okay.
Even though we as Trinis may have a vast variety of differences amongst us the love and sometimes even ‘tough-love’ outweighs the problems. So the next time your neighbour watch you hard because your tree drop some leaves in his yard… smile and say “neighbour ah love yuh, let we boil ah pot”.
October 2013 – Issue 7 www.sweettntmagazine.com