Music of the Indian Diaspora in Trinidad (with CD)
by Laxmi G. Tewari
Being born in India and educated in the British education system, I never heard of Trinidad and Tobago and the indentured laborers scheme of the British India government. Needless to say, I learned about Shakespeare, Shelly, Yeats and the world history as it related to the British Colonial Empire. Coming to America was an eye opener as the world of Indian diaspora began to unfold. First it was the “RAG HEADS” in Canada and California and thereafter the Indian indentured laborers which were shipped to various parts of the world. During one of my field research trips to India, I met a few music students from Trinidad who had come to the Banaras Hindu University to study Indian classical music. I heard from them for the first time, in their Trinidadian BHOJPURI language, stories of their grandparents and parents shipped to Trinidad as an indentured laborers. They talked about celebrating PHAGUA, DIWALI, eating DOUBLES, BUSS UP SHUT, COKHA and PHULAURI and singing the RAMAYANA, BORAHA, and BHAJANs. All this information made me curious to go to Trinidad and see for myself. The result is this present book.
The South Asian Diaspora has always interested the academic world. This book takes one more step in that direction. Migration of the poor, agricultural-based rural population has been overlooked in mainstream India Studies scholarship. This book points out British India’s history of human abuse. The Indian rural population placed great emphasis on folk songs which were to be performed during specific ceremonies. Passing down these oral traditions was important to maintaining local rural philosophy and values. This book is a chronicle of life-cycle ceremonies and the songs that were sung. It also documents the festivals that are observed and music that accompanies these activities.
288pp., sofcover with b & w photos and CD, 6 x 9 inches.
Cat. #: CSP5661
ISBN #: 9781584326472