Monday, May 15, 2006

FEED BACKS FROM WESTINDIES REGARDING SIKHS

These are feed backs from carribean regarding the topic. There could be certain things which need further clarifications and related to mistaken identity of other SINGHS for amritdharis. I will consider all of these when I prepare the final report

This is what my firend Lloyd Harradan writes from Trinidad

"There is only one family that I know of, that is the Hardit Singhs inTunapuna. They are famous for making... Turban Brand curry powder.Some of the grandsons were at Hillview in the 60's, one was in my class.Their Sikhism must have been very low-keyed. I for one never knew about it.Years later we got this information from one of the grandsons, Kenrick.He told us the Gurudwara is on the Eastern Main Road in Tunapuna, not far from the curry factory. I passed it a few thousand times and never noticed."

As reported in my friend Jean's website , TURBAN brand curry powders were very popular among Trinidadians including Afro Trinidadians. According to the web note, he was one of the very few sikhs to protect his religious identity in Carribean.

This piece of information sent to me by Lloyd is also quite interesting
Namaskaar.A warm welcome to Dr. Vijay Singh.
There is at least one GURUDWARA in Trinidad - in Tunapuna, just before El Dorado. Jahajee SIKHS blended into the main Hindu community. Generally speaking, in the Caribbean diaspora the indentured immigrants fused into a generic Indian lifestyle - predominantly mainstream Hindu. There were, and still are, different sects and castes, e.g maharaj brahmins ( many are 'boat' brahmins, changing their surnames to maharaj in the new land; it is a well-known secret that many prominent maharajs in caribbean society adopted their surname .... ), then there are the so-called lower castes : oghar and chamar etc. In the main, Jahajee SIKHS 'lost' their religious and cultural identities. I know many 'SINGHS' - including several cousins, in Trinidad and the US. All are mainstream Hindus, but they, and all Punjabis, are not hesitant to refer to the fierce and brave military and physical prowess of their ancestors. Ganga Singh is an MP in Trinidad, feisty chap. Robin Singh played cricket for Trinidad then migrated to India, made the Indian Test and ODI teams and coached a national squad ( not Test ).I have seen many SIKHS in Trinidad, of course much more in New York, New Jersey, California and the rest of the US; ate at a few SIKH restaurants in Queens and the city, and in California. Not all SIKHS in Trinidad wear the turban but they maintain their traditions, I have read of many SIKH events in the newspapers, there are several prominent SIKH businessmen. Generally, Indians from India (there are several thousands here in Trinidad - doctors, engineers, academia) keep a low profile. In this tense racially-divided nation one would not be surprised if many SIKHS leave the turban at home. Like many other Indians, SIKHS and Punjabis go about their business in a discreet manner, out of the limelight, as much as one can when wearing a turban. Except maybe at cricket: they will be out in fill force at the upcoming India vs West Indies Tests and ODIs, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean next year. Someone came up with the brilliant idea for Trinidad - with over 40% Indian population - to host the preliminary matches with India.... we expect Indians from the whole world, particularly the US and Canada to be in Trinidad to support the team. Opposition parties wouldn't mind if a few thousands extended their stay and participate in the elections scheduled for late 2007.
This from the NET:Gurdwara Name: Gurdwara sabib of Trinidad and Tobago Street Address: Tunapuna Country: Trinidad and Tobago Phone: 6635892 E-mail #1: reetubsingh@hotmail.com
"....World reaction to Singh’s appointment as Prime Minister was swift and positive, even here in T&T where an estimated 100 Sikhs live. “We’re all very delighted,” said Jasbir Bhogal, the Indian-born Sikh wife of architect Jaspal Singh Bhogal, who designed the Sikhs’ gurdwara in Tunapuna. “It shows democracy in action. Our President is a Muslim, our Prime Minister is a Sikh and the power behind it all is a Catholic, Sonia Gandhi......” NOTE: 100 SIKHS? No way, there are many more ....~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sikh Temple Groundbreaking, May/June, 2001 Construction of the new $300,000 gurdwara saheb of Trinidad and Tobago commenced with an official groundbreaking ceremony on November 12, 2000, in the town of Tunapuna, Trinidad. The date of the grand event coincided with the 531st birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, according to a report from Paras Ramoutar. To mark the occasion, the Saheb elected an interim committee to facilitate its incorporation as a legal body in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Devendra Singh Duggal, president of that committee explained that the new gurdwara (temple/cultural center) was much needed in Trinidad to accommodate the expanding Sikh community there. Completion is expected by December 200

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting website with a lot of resources and detailed explanations.
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19 May, 2006 18:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 18:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it.
»

19 May, 2006 18:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 23:19  

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