Indian Arrival Day Exhibits Launched around the country

IMG_0780Indian Arrival Day, celebrated annually in May,  has been proclaimed a public holiday since 1995 in Trinidad and Tobago. In this, the 20th year of commemoration, the Heritage Preservation and Cultural Research Unit of the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism with the assistance of the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago has launched a series of simultaneous Indian Arrival Day 2015 Exhibitions at different public locations across Trinidad and Tobago.

On May 30th 1845…the Fatel Rozack docked in the Port of Spain harbour in Trinidad with 225 adult passengers on board. The passengers were immigrants from India who had come to the British colony to work in the sugarcane plantations after the abolition of African slavery…contracted for five to ten years to work in the sugarcane estates in a system that ended in 1917…

A total of 147,596 Indians came to Trinidad over this 70-year period. Although they were promised a free return passage back home, at least 75 percent of them stayed and settled in the New World colony…

Descendants of [these] Indian immigrants, who now comprise about half the multi-ethnic society of the island (1.3 million), commemorate the arrival of their ancestors to these [Trinidad] shores annually…

Excerpts from  Forging Links with the Past:East Indian Indentureship 1845-1917

The exhibits provide historical information paired with archival photographs and are on display between May 18 and June 5, 2015 at the following locations:

  • Atrium, Piarco International Airport  (*This particular exhibit contains displays of traditional clothing, instruments, household utensils and a replica of the original registry of indentured labourers)
  • Lobby, Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (Port of Spain)
  • City Gate, Port of Spain