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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

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

  • 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

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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

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People in India Get the Best Good Night’s Sleep: Survey

Sleep quality, patterns, and duration may vary among countries, but one thing’s clear – people still aren’t getting enough sleep, it noted

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When it comes to quality sleep, India has astonishingly come on top — followed by Saudi Arabia and China — among the most restful populations where people get the best good night’s sleep.

The survey, conducted online by global market research firm KJT Group on behalf of Philips among 11,006 adults ages 18 and older in 12 countries, found that roughly 62 per cent of adults worldwide feel that they don’t sleep well when they go to bed.

The worst on the chart is South Korea, followed by Japan for poor sleep habits.

On average, adults globally sleep only 6.8 hours per night during the week and 7.8 hours per weekend night.

Rather than getting the recommended eight hours each night, more than six in 10 adults sleep longer hours on the weekend to catch up on sleep (63 per cent), the findings showed.

More than 4 in 10 adults say their sleep has gotten worse in the past 5 years, compared to only 26 per cent who said their sleep has gotten better and 31 per cent of adults saying their sleep hasn’t changed.

Canada (63 per cent) and Singapore (61 per cent) are the two countries with the highest reports of worry/stress impacting their sleep, said the “Philips Global Sleep Survey” 2019.

Lifestyle factors are crucial determinants when it comes to an individual’s sleep. The top five reasons around the world were worry/stress (54 per cent), the sleep environment (40 per cent), work or school schedule (37 per cent), entertainment (36 per cent) and a health condition (32 per cent).

Sleep, Mental Health, Students
Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues. Pixabay

Sleep is finally being recognized as a key contributor to an individual’s overall health and wellbeing.

Losing just one or two hours of sleep per night can have the same impact on motor and cognitive functions as going without sleep for a full day or two.

“However, adults across the globe deal with various health and lifestyle factors that can stand in the way of them getting the best night’s sleep,” said the survey.

Among those who live with a spouse or partner, 35 per cent of women either only occasionally, frequently or never sleep in the same bed as their partner who snores.

Six in 10 global adults experience daytime sleepiness at least twice per week.

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Nearly 67 per cent of global adults reported they typically wake up at least once during the night.

Adults in India (36 per cent) and the US (30 per cent) were the most likely to sleep with a pet in their bed, said the survey.

Sleep quality, patterns, and duration may vary among countries, but one thing’s clear – people still aren’t getting enough sleep, it noted. (IANS)