Wow,this is wonderful.Celebrating IA day with my buddies over some El Dorado and coconut water we came to the sober conclusion that we ought to start thinking about celebrating Indian Arrival day in New York and Toronto.These two places contain more Guyanese than those living in Guyana.
Sure appreciate the scene at the Albion Sports Complex. I spent a lot of my time there, playing cricket, volleyball, ping pong and weight lifting. Martin Budhoo and Valerie Roberts were the welfare officers in charge of the men’s and women’s centers respectively, ‘Sugar Boy’ Baijnauth was the grounds keeper with Panday as his assistant.
The Sports Complex hosted such WI greats as Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Soloman, Clyde Walcott, Alvin Kalicharran, Lance Gibbs, Clive Lloyd and Steven Comach. I watched Habib driver hit Gibbs for 3 consecutive sixes into the rice field.
Thanks again for the snapshot
Some of you may remember the old days of rice planting- When the rice fields were flooded, farmers resorted to planting “beeya”.i.e. planting and carefully cultivating the best quality rice in a small area away from the flood.. When they were grown to a certain height to survive the flooded areas, they were transplanted one root at a time in the mud, .. it worked–in spite of the rain and floods , the farmers were rewarded with excellent crops.
IAC day was the arrival of the “beeya” for transplant! Since then, the “beeya” has been spreading success & culture everywhere, US , Canada , UK etc. – This may be the maker’s deliberate plan of sharing cultures and learning from one another. Consider ourselves pre-selected for this important mission.
AK rises to the philosophic when he writes of “the maker’s way of uniting cultures.”
On that theme I notice that even the British monarchy which we once worshipped is evolving.
Meghan Markle has inducted the British monarchy into the 21st century.
I don’t know to what extent the mingling of cultures is taking place in Guyana. The ways of the Maker remain mysterious to me. But I have no problem glorifying the joys of yesteryear with AK, Rodney, Mr Veeramallay and others who themselves are heroes of those glory days emblazoned on the rice fields and the cricket fields of our native land.
Perhaps it is enough to be grateful for what we had and what we have: that too must be the Maker’s way.
Each is entitled to his personal opinions, understandings and interpretations of historical events.Although my personal view of this event might not find favour with some readers, it is what it is.
Our parents and grandparents had to overcome nightmarish adversities from day one, and for them to successfully establish a thriving Indian community was a monumental achievement. It’s this that deserved celebration throughout the country. They deserved no less than for us to memorialise in our hearts our respect and gratitude for their sacrifices. I fully understand and support the Albion gathering if this was the main purpose of their celebration. We need to be very mindful of our actions and statements that might appear to approve, congratulate or crkebrate their transportation of our people from India. After all, our parents and grandparents were regarded as no more than the tools of their trade with the sole purpose of exploiting cheap labour to fill their coffers.
Rishi recently published a photograph of hundreds of arrivals huddled together, scores standing on the ground, scores standing on two staircases, and more scores standing on a veranda. I gazed and gazed at these seemingly anxious faces and saw nothing that deserved celebration. They stood there probably overwhelmed with conflicting emotions. In a strange land, poor, helpless, loss of their freedom, not knowing their final destination, type of living accommodations, availability of food, other basic essentials for a modest lifestyle, and fearful of their vulnerability at being in control of the plantation owners. Quiet and meaningful reflections of their long perilous journey and silent thanksgiving prayers seemed more appropriate. Indeed many died, but I am yet to know the manner of their last days. Inhumanity at its worst if they were unceremoniously dumped overboard as unwanted perishable commodities.
RG: I welcome your idea of celebrating Indian arrivals in New York and Toronto. Indians from strife torn Guyana left voluntarily for good reasons, and to the richest country in the world. A stark contrast to arrivals in British Guiana.
JN: I beg to. differ from your view that we once WORSHIPPED the British monarchy. We had no choice in having to accept that they were part of a then Super Power that ruled two thirds of the world, the British Empire. Remember how predominantly pink the map of the world looked!!
We all “worshipped” because it was always followed by a treat of “bruk mouth> and a soft drink. Not too different from church where we were also treated. We were brainwashed for sure.But hey, some of us were able to immigrate to the “Motherland!”
Mr J Nathoo:
It will be helpful if I place on record the reasons for my comments which, on this and so many other subjects , had been at variance with those from other contributors. I have never believed in trading my sincere opinions, my beliefs and my understandings, for writing just to please. By doing so i will not only be fooling myself but also disrespecting readers. ” You can mince your words, but never your actions” and truths.
Words have never been, and never will be, adequate to describe the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents. In bondage, they suffered pain and suffering from their A years to their Y years. With the blessing of God and their resilience, they emerged to ‘enjoy’ their short Z years. This has left a permanent scar on my heart. Any signs or even the slightest hints of any one attempting to gloss over, in any way, the evil deeds of their perpetrators invokes my resentfulness and hostility.This does not make me a bad person, I am human.
We knew no such hardships. Their sacrifices enabled us to enjoy comfortable lives. In fact so many of us live in the midst of abundance of all the comforts and joys of life, something they would never even have dreamt of..
During my very limited church attendances. I worshipped God and God alone. Not even the British monarchy. They were no Gods, and I do think not they believed they were.
I I will never knowingly offend you. We are all human and prone to misunderstandings.
We are not in disagreement. This is much ado about nothing.
Large Visitor Map
Widget records visits from date of its installation: 09-11-2011 @ 8.00pm