Today, 1 May 2020, marks the celebration of Indian Arrival Day and Labour Day in Grenada. This year, the collaborative celebration for Indian Arrival Day would be conservative, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Indo-Grenadian Heritage Foundation wishes to mark this day, by reflecting on the events which led to the historical migration and integration of East Indians to the islands of the West Indies and also by inviting the nation to pray for the healing of our world from this dreadful disease.
Approximately, 163 years ago, East Indian indentured labourers boarded the “Maidstone” ship, just off the coast of Calcutta, India. The “Indian Middle passage” to Grenada took just about 25 weeks. The ordeals our ancestors suffered through the years must have been extremely arduous, however, they pursued their goals and made sterling contributions to the economy of Grenada.
Many of our descendants continue to contribute to various aspects of nation building, in many professional areas, including (but not limited to) doctors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, cooks. Our ancestors also brought a rich heritage to our culture and traditions. Whenever we are savouring a roti, flavourful mango, or some delicious curry, wearing a sari or even dancing to soca – we are enjoying various aspects of our roots. The East Indians struggled immensely with integration and acceptance across the Caribbean. However, over time perspectives continue to change, and we begin to understand each other through healthy socialisations and by remaining open to each other’s cultural views and perspectives and appreciating the beauty of diversity.
India continues a longstanding relationship with our state, by strengthening cultural and technical exchanges in the form of scholarships and cultural exchanges, and contributing to nation building.
As the world unites to combat Covid-19, we pray for the health and safety of our people and that science will soon provide solutions. May this worldwide spirit of unity, be embraced here in Grenada as we jointly celebrate Indian Arrival Day and Labour Day.
Happy Indian Arrival Day and Happy Labour Day to all.
Indo-Grenadian Heritage Foundation
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