Trinidad Hindus celebrate Good FridayMarch 22nd, 2008 - 9:11 am ICT by admin
By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of-Spain, March 22(IANS) Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago, as part of a hoary annual tradition, participated in hundreds in the Christian observance of Good Friday. The tradition is that hundreds of devout Hindus, mainly women, visit the Roman Catholic Church at Siparia, 50 km from the city, and offer obeisance to,”La Divina Pastora or Divine Shepherdess,” but Hindus honour her as, “Soparee Mai” or the incarnation of Mother Kali.
Hundreds of busloads and cars packed with devotees visit the specially-carved sacramental place and offer incense, olive oil, candles, prasadam and monetary donations.
Hindus believe that the trek to Soparee Mai bestows on them wealth, honour, prosperity, fertility to barren women and educational success. Infant children get their first cut of hair.
Catholic clergymen are always on hand to receive the offerings and they bless all devotees. Those who cannot make it on Good Friday, visit the church at other times.
Hindus have been visiting this spiritual sanctuary for over a century now. Immigrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India, who came here to work on the sugar plantations between 1845 and 1917, have added Good Friday on their annual list of activities.
Their participation in this particular activity of Good Friday adds to the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago’s multi-cultural and multi-religious capacity. Hindu students and scholars make daily trips to the statue as they prepare for their exams in order to ensure success.
The devotees also give charity and distribute food and clothings to the needy.