The Twin island country, Trinidad and Tobago is full of surprises! Located in South America, the Trinidad and Tobago’s population stands at 1,328,019. The majority of the population comprises of the people of African and Indian descent, with people of mixed race, European, Chinese as well as Middle Eastern ancestry that add to the diversity of the ethnic mix of the country.
Three events that make Trinidad and Tobago full of surprises and special are listed below:
- Mango Festival, Macoya Market
To celebrate the goodness of Mango, Trinidad and Tobago Mango Festival was held on Sunday, July 3, 2016, at the National Marketing Development Corporation’s Market in Macoya. This annual mango festival showcases a wide variety of locally-grown mangoes as well as mango products and is organised by the Network of Rural Women Producers of Trinidad and Tobago. This year, in 2016, marked the 21 years of service to rural women and hence the celebration was done on a grand scale.
The idea of the festival is to pay tribute to the economic potential and diversity of mangoes, that is considered as the king of tropical fruits by the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The festival will feature the fun-filled themes of various mango varieties and will also showcase the various products made from Mangoes.
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The objectives of the festival included to make people aware of the benefits of eating mangoes, positive effects of Mango on health, to support enrollment of women in mango industry, to showcase the benefits of mango industry, to reveal the exploitation of mango fruit and to create awareness and educate people about the potential and growth of Mango festival in attracting large number of tourists.
The festival is one of the largest local food events in the city and attracts a large number of people across the globe. Several delegates also took part in the event and there were activities for children as well, which made it a fun event for people of all ages.
- St. Peter’s Day in the coastal village of Carenage
The celebration of the birthday of the Biblical fisherman, Saint Peter on June 29 is known as St. Peter’s Day. This day is widely celebrated by all the fishermen across the globe. To make this day special and to mark this day, a special service in the church is organised as well as a market fair in the churchyard. There is more to this festival, the highlight is a street procession leading to the blessing of the boats and the fishermen by a Roman Catholic priest in the sea.
Saint Peter is an important figure in Christianity and is of great significance for Christians, especially for Roman Catholicism. The festival is regarded as a historical occasion and is centred on the sea, fish, and fisherman in particular. This is so because, according to the biblical story, St. Peter was one of Jesus’ twelve Apostles and also a fisherman.
The day begins with a traditional 8 a.m. church service at the St. Peter’s R.C. Church in Carenag, that is conducted by local Archbishop Edward Gilbert. The church is filled with churchgoers who come to celebrate the ritual celebration with family as well as friends. They are also entertained by costumed girls in Caribbean wear with baskets in hands.
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Also, many young people leave the procession in between at the fishing centre to join the fishermen riding on their boats for the blessing for their boats. It was followed by silent prayers by the adults.
In the evening, the roads get crowded with merry making and people dancing marked the end of the festival and the villagers return to their respective towns on the last day of the event.
Film screening at UWI Film Programme Building
Directed by Gideon Hanoomansingh, “Calcutta To The Caribbean- An Indian Journey” is a documentary film tells the history of Indians who went to the Caribbean and how the abolition of slavery brought these workers to the sugar plantations.
In 1845, on May 30, a small sailing ship weighing 415 tonnes, the Fatel Rozack, was tied up at the lighthouse jetty in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After almost a 3 months and 6-days voyage from Kolkata (then Calcutta), around the southern tip of Africa and across the southern Atlantic, it came to Trinidad.
The details mentioned here are just mere glimpses of their lives, the documentary holds in it much more. One has to watch it, to get closer to the lives of these Indian labourers, share their struggle and unsaid pain. One journey that doomed their lives forever! Their experiences were akin to slavery.
The film was screened on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at Film Programme, UWI, #12 Carmody St., St. Augustine. This was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival, this year in 2016.
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