Guyanese join in NY celebrations for 70th anniversary of Indian independence.

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August 30,2017

Dear Editor,

Thousands of Guyanese were among tens of thousands of revellers celebrating the 70th Anniversary of India’s Indepen-dence at the 37th annual India Day parade on Madison Avenue in Manhattan last Sunday. Some Guyanese were also among the performers on floats (from 40th Street) and at the cultural programme on 27th Street where the parade culminated.

Guyanese, like most other spectators, came out to catch a glimpse of popular Bollywood actors who graced the parade. Some Guyanese were also present at the post parade banquet and awards ceremony. Guyana’s former President Bharrat Jagdeo was a Chief Guest and Grand Marshall at the parade in 2011. Several Guyanese attended the post parade banquet with the Bollywood stars to celebrate India’s 70th independence anniversary.

India’s independence, August 15, 1947, has historical significance for people of Indian origin as well as others in Guyana and in the Caribbean.  The desire for India to become a free nation propelled Caribbean based Indians to identify with the ‘Quit India’ movement and the struggle to free India of British rule since the early part of 20th century. India’s freedom would pave the way for the independence of Caribbean colonies where some 500K Indians were bonded in contracted servitude from 1838 to 1917.  The Caribbean colonies began obtaining their independence in 1962 (Trinidad and Jamaica and later Guyana and Barbados in 1966).

Indo-Caribbeans have been fervently participating in the annual India Day parade on Madison Avenue since it was launched in 1981. The India Day parade was organized by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA). Ramesh Kalicharran, formerly of Bush Lot Essequibo, has been serving as Indo-Caribbean liaison to the Asian Indian nationals in assisting the annual parade.  Kali also assists with publicity for Guyanese participation. The parade serves as a platform to celebrate one’s heritage comparable to other ethnic groups (like Afro-Caribbeans) celebrating their heritage in the US.

It was an impressively organized parade which has become a major attraction in the City of New York drawing tens of thousands of spectators and is among the major cultural events in the city’s calendar of events. Bollywood actors from Baahubali fame Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah Bhatia were the star attractions. Previous parades attracted mega stars including Amithab Bachchan, Jeetendra, Shah Rukh Khan, Hema Malini, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, etc. Politicians also graced the parades – including senators, mayors, and presidential candidates. This year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, seeking re-election next month, was the chief guest. Waving the Indian tricolour flag, the Mayor said the Independence Day parade celebrates the “extraordinary contributions” of the Indian-American community to the city.

“This is a day we appreciate what people do for the city regardless of what they look like, regardless of what language they speak, regardless of where they were born. Everyone here contributes to making New York City better and making America stronger. That is what we are celebrating today”.

Kalicharran showered accolades on the organizers describing it as another magnificent event and expressing pride in Guyanese and Caribbean participation. He also praised India on the attainment of her 70th anniversary of gaining independence.

Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Bisram

Original Post

In 1947, as Pandit Nehru was making his famous Independence Speech at the Red Fort, some thousands of miles away in British Guiana, it was noon time the following day. Gathered were Hindu Indians (probably born in India) on the Albion Bridge. They celebrated with the regular Indian sweets, flags and clip-on buttons of the Indian Tri-color flag. Bicycles wheels decorated with multi-color crepe paper, box carts drawn by people and bicycles, multi-color spinning wheels in a cluster-a scene typical of a 1947 Hindi movie.

Every one dressed in the typical Indian white attire, trousers, kurta and Nehru Style topi. Women in long skirts, sleeved jackets, urniee, and as usual, jewelled.

I remembered the sun being hot that day. Peering through my Patti's and Tatta's Wallaba Picket Fench to see all the people on the bridge, drumming and singing. 

I caught the glimpse of a young girl in her celebrations, she raced accross the rickety bridge over the trench to the wooden garrison style house in the fenched yard. The span of the plank created a harmonic response as she quickly strode on it.

She threw open the gate bearing gifts. As with all children, I hasten to her with outstretched hands. In April, I had turned 2 years old.

Landoo, gulabjamoo, jilabee, bandamlach, satwah, ball of parched rice, gulgulah, manborg, barra, poulowrie and much more. Too much for me to hold on to, my Patti came to the rescue.

Smiling, the young girl patiently pinned the button of the Tri-Color Indian Flag on my shirt.

And in parting, she gave me a Spinning Wheel.

Fascinated with the colors of the flag, I kept it for years, well into teen age years.

The Spinning Wheel was more of the excitment, I ran with it and realized it spun faster. Perhaps, my first inclination of an Engineering pre-occupation.

I watched the procession from the landing as they faded from view heading to the logies of Plantation Albion, in celebartions.

Perhaps, some wealthy Indian in Albion had a radio set, and they may have heard the voice of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and his famous words. 

 

Why Indo-Guyanese participated in India's Independence, but the majority refused to participate in their own country's independence? Is it because Indians welcome them with open arms while the PNC/AFC neglected them or made them feel like Mexican aliens in Guyana?

seignet posted:

In 1947, as Pandit Nehru was making his famous Independence Speech at the Red Fort, some thousands of miles away in British Guiana, it was noon time the following day. Gathered were Hindu Indians (probably born in India) on the Albion Bridge. They celebrated with the regular Indian sweets, flags and clip-on buttons of the Indian Tri-color flag. Bicycles wheels decorated with multi-color crepe paper, box carts drawn by people and bicycles, multi-color spinning wheels in a cluster-a scene typical of a 1947 Hindi movie.

Every one dressed in the typical Indian white attire, trousers, kurta and Nehru Style topi. Women in long skirts, sleeved jackets, urniee, and as usual, jewelled.

I remembered the sun being hot that day. Peering through my Patti's and Tatta's Wallaba Picket Fench to see all the people on the bridge, drumming and singing. 

I caught the glimpse of a young girl in her celebrations, she raced accross the rickety bridge over the trench to the wooden garrison style house in the fenched yard. The span of the plank created a harmonic response as she quickly strode on it.

She threw open the gate bearing gifts. As with all children, I hasten to her with outstretched hands. In April, I had turned 2 years old.

Landoo, gulabjamoo, jilabee, bandamlach, satwah, ball of parched rice, gulgulah, manborg, barra, poulowrie and much more. Too much for me to hold on to, my Patti came to the rescue.

Smiling, the young girl patiently pinned the button of the Tri-Color Indian Flag on my shirt.

And in parting, she gave me a Spinning Wheel.

Fascinated with the colors of the flag, I kept it for years, well into teen age years.

The Spinning Wheel was more of the excitment, I ran with it and realized it spun faster. Perhaps, my first inclination of an Engineering pre-occupation.

I watched the procession from the landing as they faded from view heading to the logies of Plantation Albion, in celebartions.

Perhaps, some wealthy Indian in Albion had a radio set, and they may have heard the voice of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and his famous words. 

 

This is lovely, Siggy. When I had the chance, I never thought of asking my elders how they marked India's independence in Guyana. Your firsthand account is my first peek into that occasion. Thanks aplenty, bhai.

Prince posted:

Why Indo-Guyanese participated in India's Independence, but the majority refused to participate in their own country's independence? Is it because Indians welcome them with open arms while the PNC/AFC neglected them or made them feel like Mexican aliens in Guyana?

Indo Guyanese are Guyanese and should celebrate Guyana regardless as to whether their party is in power or not.

Apparently Indians can only become "Guyanese" when it is accompanied with "abie pan tap, black man time done?"

seignet posted:

In 1947, as Pandit Nehru was making his famous Independence Speech at the Red Fort, some thousands of miles away in British Guiana, it was noon time the following day. Gathered were Hindu Indians (probably born in India) on the Albion Bridge. They celebrated with the regular Indian sweets, flags and clip-on buttons of the Indian Tri-color flag. Bicycles wheels decorated with multi-color crepe paper, box carts drawn by people and bicycles, multi-color spinning wheels in a cluster-a scene typical of a 1947 Hindi movie.

Every one dressed in the typical Indian white attire, trousers, kurta and Nehru Style topi. Women in long skirts, sleeved jackets, urniee, and as usual, jewelled.

I remembered the sun being hot that day. Peering through my Patti's and Tatta's Wallaba Picket Fench to see all the people on the bridge, drumming and singing. 

I caught the glimpse of a young girl in her celebrations, she raced accross the rickety bridge over the trench to the wooden garrison style house in the fenched yard. The span of the plank created a harmonic response as she quickly strode on it.

She threw open the gate bearing gifts. As with all children, I hasten to her with outstretched hands. In April, I had turned 2 years old.

Landoo, gulabjamoo, jilabee, bandamlach, satwah, ball of parched rice, gulgulah, manborg, barra, poulowrie and much more. Too much for me to hold on to, my Patti came to the rescue.

Smiling, the young girl patiently pinned the button of the Tri-Color Indian Flag on my shirt.

And in parting, she gave me a Spinning Wheel.

Fascinated with the colors of the flag, I kept it for years, well into teen age years.

The Spinning Wheel was more of the excitment, I ran with it and realized it spun faster. Perhaps, my first inclination of an Engineering pre-occupation.

I watched the procession from the landing as they faded from view heading to the logies of Plantation Albion, in celebartions.

Perhaps, some wealthy Indian in Albion had a radio set, and they may have heard the voice of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and his famous words. 

 

Very nice. Brings back lots of memories. I remember the Spinning Wheel and the flying of kites at #63 beach.

Btw, the sweet is not "landoo" it's laddoo..

The peeps from Albion/Port Mourant would say "Patti" and " Taataa"; in Canje, the say "Aajee" and "Aaja" for paternal grand mother and grand father respectively.

In my village, I remember the exchange of sweets by various homes. There was also "Mitai". Image result for indian flag emoji

There is nothing to celebrate.  As I said before I prefer those Pakistani girls that keep to their traditional South Asian culture and marry their Pakistani men folk rather than the Bollywood Hindu girls that will chase after the first white or Western man that she sees.

Prashad posted:

There is nothing to celebrate.  As I said before I prefer those Pakistani girls that keep to their traditional South Asian culture and marry their Pakistani men folk rather than the Bollywood Hindu girls that will chase after the first white or Western man that she sees.

Prash Bhai, what is wrong with them having a WhiteIndo baby ?

After all, you already embraced our Dougla Brothers and Sisters.

Prashad posted:

There is nothing to celebrate.  As I said before I prefer those Pakistani girls that keep to their traditional South Asian culture and marry their Pakistani men folk rather than the Bollywood Hindu girls that will chase after the first white or Western man that she sees.

So how come you did not chase after your own kind but chose to dilute your genes? 

yuji22 posted:

Carib with his racist Shyte once again about Indos this and Indos that.

Yuji why don't you look at all of the threads that you start which are usually some version of "blackman a kill ahbe coolie".

Its interesting that you accuse me of talking race when this is your daily scream.  Not all who work in sugar are Indians and yet you scream Indians. 

Maybe if the PPP were brighter they would be highlighting the numbers of non Indians who also work in the sugar industry.  But they don't as "blackman a kill ahbe coolie" is the new anthem now that "ahbe pan tap, blackman time done" seems rather quaint now.

Prashad posted:

Cain in the Guyana context yes but according to family tree dna company Prashad has African, Chinese and East Indian ancestry.

Given that those Indians from India who you worship don't like either Chinese nor blacks I think that your quest for "pure Indianhood" seems rather silly.  To them you are a black man with straight hair.

Prashad posted:

There is nothing to celebrate.  As I said before I prefer those Pakistani girls that keep to their traditional South Asian culture and marry their Pakistani men folk rather than the Bollywood Hindu girls that will chase after the first white or Western man that she sees.

Well according to you black people are whites with an inferior pirate culture so I see that you aren't any better than these Bollywood Hindu girls given that both sides of your wife's family consist of white people.

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