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May 5 is Happy Indian Arrival Day for Guyana

Celebrating 178 years of Indo-Caribbean alliance

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Indians in Guyana Image: Pinterest
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By Shabana B:

May 5, 1838: The first British ship of indenture sailed from Kolkata, India, across the seas and made its way to Guyana. The ship was filled with Indian indentured servants, most of whom were taken by deception, while others were hoping for a new life. Hardly either received what they were expecting.

Shabana B

Not a day goes by where the question of what being Indo-Caribbean means escapes me. It is something I’m always thinking about, and even become frustrated with myself for not having a straight answer. I feel the answers are written in the bones in my body that were forged by my foremothers who boarded those ships with uncertainty. I want so badly to know what they were thinking. How they were feeling. I wish I had words to describe how my ancestors live inside me but elude me at the same time.

I lament every day the vital information and pieces of self that my great-grandparents possessed but somehow became lost between generations and trauma. Forgotten in sweat that dripped down their backs as they labored under the hot Caribbean sun, producing the sweet crop they were not allowed to taste.

Today, I will celebrate them instead. I think about the pure bravery of my pregnant maternal great-great-grandmother, boarding a British ship with hundreds of strangers, having only the clothes on her back and her children. I inherited courage from her.

I think about her daughter, my great-grandmother, who filled her mother’s spot on the plantation when she was old enough. I imagine she must have felt obligated to put her mother’s hardened hands to rest after so many years. I inherited integrity from her.

Related article:Indo-Guyanese and their legacy

Guyana: Indo-guyanese and their legacy

I think about my paternal great-grandmother and great-grandfather who traded in their fluent Bhojpuri that flowed like a river when they spoke, for the worker’s patois enforced by belts and the watchful eyes/ears of their white overseer. I inherited humility from them.

These are legacies of strength. They sit in my core, fill me up, and make my muscles ache all at once. I carry the weight of indenture on me. 178 years ago, Indo-Caribbeans did not exist. 178 years ago, someone decided for me, who I would be.

Shabana B is originally from Guyana (The West Indies) and lives in New York. Twitter: @indoguyanese

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  • Akanksha Sharma

    Happy Indian arrival day to Guyana 😀

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    The ancestors of Indo-Guyanese had really struggled alot in their initial days

  • Pragya Jha

    Guyana is a small country in the Northern part of Latin America, it has a significant presence of people of Indian origin.2016 witnesses 178 years of the arrival of East Indians to Guyana.

  • Sharon Singh

    It’s great to know their are others who feel the way I do, I can’t forget to mention that the British took a lot away ….God Bless Guyana

  • Akanksha Sharma

    Happy Indian arrival day to Guyana 😀

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    The ancestors of Indo-Guyanese had really struggled alot in their initial days

  • Pragya Jha

    Guyana is a small country in the Northern part of Latin America, it has a significant presence of people of Indian origin.2016 witnesses 178 years of the arrival of East Indians to Guyana.

  • Sharon Singh

    It’s great to know their are others who feel the way I do, I can’t forget to mention that the British took a lot away ….God Bless Guyana

Next Story

Indians’ online security concerns increasing: McAfee

In the wake of growing risks of identity theft and fraud, 50 per cent of consumers have signed up for an identity theft protection solution with 42 per cent planning to start using it

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McAfee says that online security concerns are rising in India. IANS
McAfee revises its online security portfolio. IANS
  • Today everyone is putting their information online or saving it on clouds
  • There are many concerns rising about the online safety
  • In India especially safety concerns are rising

As today’s connected world is putting more personal information into the digital realm, nearly three in four (79 per cent) Indians have said that their concern about online security has increased vis-a-vis five years ago.

tamil language
Storing data online is a common practice. Pixabay

A study, “New Security Priorities in An Increasingly Connected World” by global cyber security firm McAfee, also revealed a disparity in concerns as Indians do not view safeguarding their connected devices (25 per cent) as equally important as safeguarding their identity (45 per cent) and privacy (39 per cent).

“Even though consumers are increasingly worried about their security and privacy, we have also observed a disparity between their concern and action,” Venkat Krishnapur, Vice President, Engineering and Managing Director at McAfee, said in a statement. In the wake of growing risks of identity theft and fraud, 50 per cent of consumers have signed up for an identity theft protection solution with 42 per cent planning to start using it.

Also Read: Online intervention helps teenage moms deal with depression

The research indicated that the primary ways consumers rely upon for monitoring their identity include checking online bank and credit card accounts for unauthorised charges (64 per cent), checking social media for fraudulent posts (38 per cent) and using credit monitoring services (31 per cent).

Internet penetration in rural India abysmal: Report
Indians have a rising concern over their internet security. Wikimedia Commons

“In an ever-changing digital world fuelled by volume, speed and complexity, consumers should take a proactive approach towards protecting their identities and data,” Krishnapur added. When it comes to purchasing connected home devices, 39 per cent Indians ranked security as the most important factor. IANS