The Shaping of a Culture

by Satnarine Balkaransingh

Book Info

Author Satnarine Balkaransingh
Year 2016

Book Description

Trinidad & Tobago reflects the dynamic rhythm of a cosmopolitan mix of cultures where the Indo-Trinidadian contribution is significant. This has its genesis in the Indian Indentureship period, when Indian indentured immigrants brought their religions, languages, rituals, festivals, cultural practices and other performative traditions and planted them in its fertile soil.
The narrative uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the changes being simultaneously experienced within these rituals and festivals in Trinidad and their counterparts in India. It also analyses the Indo-Trinidadians’ influence on other festivals which they encountered in the local landscape.

The Shaping Of A Culture: Rituals and Festivals in Trinidad compared with selected counterparts in India, 1990 – 2014, delves into the festivals of Carnival, Shivaratri, Phagwa (Holi), Ramleela, Muharram (Hosay), Divali and Christmas. as well as the Jhandi (or prayer flag) in its many manifestations and meanings.

This book identifies aspects of cultural persistence, assimilations, internal innovations and syncretisms taking place within these cultures. It presents for the first time in a consolidated, integrated framework, multiple layers of fascinating images as they contribute to the cultural diversity of Trinbago. It is a guide to understanding the ethos and collective consciousness of the Trinbagonian lifestyle and the Indo-Caribbean diaspora, now scattered across the globe.

Satnarine Balkaransingh

Author Bio

Satnarine Balkaransingh, a former senior Public Servant in the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, lectures and advises in areas of policy, and programme planning. A published author, Balkaransingh studied at Delhi University, University of Bradford, UK, and The University of Trinidad & Tobago.

He holds a BA Econ.; MSc and PhD.

Balkaransingh is a performing artiste, having studied Dance & Music at Kathak Kala Kendra in Delhi. He teaches and is the Artistic Director of the Kathak Kala Sangam, Trinidad and Tobago

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