Indian Arrival Day – Trinidad and Tobago

On May 30 1845, the Fatel Razak docked in the Port of Spain harbour in Trinidad and Tobago with 225 adult passengers on board. The passengers were immigrants from India who came to the British colony to work in the sugarcane plantations after the abolition of African slavery. Trinidad and Tobago commemorates the arrival of the first Indians and observes May 30 of every year as a National Holiday since 1994.

Not only did the Fatel Razack brought a new labour force to assist in the economic development of Trinidad, but also a new people with a new culture awhich added to the multi-ethnicity of the society. The commemoration takes the form of prayers, speeches, songs, music, dances and plays in communal as well as public spaces. The spirit of the day is invoked at various beaches with the reenactment of the landing of the first boat-load of pioneers who gave birth to the Indian community in Trinidad.

In most celebrations, replicas of the ship Fatel Razak are constructed which holds the same sentimental value as the Mayflower has for Americans. At libraries, books and other reading materials are put on display. Schools engage children in art and research competitions, and in the re-construction of their respective family trees. Citizens are encouraged to collect and display old photographs and artifacts relevant to the history of Indians in the Caribbean.

Have a Happy Indian Arrival Day citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

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