Trinidad and Tobago celebrates Holi

March 12th, 2012 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Port-of-Spain, March 12 (IANS) Led by Indian-origin Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Hindus in the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago joined the rest of the Indian diaspora to celebrate Holi.

At over 100 specially arranged competitions centres, cash prizes and trophies were given away.

The young and the old - accompanied by tass drums and cymbals - danced and paraded through the streets, making this year’s celebration another grand one.

On Saturday, the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Cultural Co-operation led by Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra marked Holi.

Holi is not a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago so it is celebrated on the Sunday closest to the official date.

Said the prime minister: “It helps us to place importance on where we come from. Phagwa (Holi) is a season of hope and a time to renew our commitment to securing our future because the children here are our hope and our future.”

Finance Minister Winston Dookeran said it was a tribute that the Indians who came here between 1845 and 1917 from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had maintained their links with the motherland.

Some 148,000 Indians had come here to work on the sugar and cocoa plantations.

“It is a message of truth, honesty, graciousness and about life itself. It points to an aura of infinite spirituality,” said Dookeran.

Around 25 percent of the 1.3 million people in Trinidad and Tobago are Hindus.

(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at paras_ramoutar@yahoo.com)

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