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Cedros ripe for tourism

Saturday, June 2, 2018
Commemorating Arrival Day
Villagers portray the Jahajis (indentured labourers), arriving on the shores of Cedros. PICTURES SHASTRI BOODAN

The tiny community of Cedros came alive for Indian Arrival Day Celebrations on Wednesday. Scores of people, including Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, gathered at the venue of the old collapsed jetty to patiently await the arrival of villagers re-enacting the landing of the Jahajis (indentured labourers) to T&T.

It was after midday that three pirogues were spotted in the distance and the excitement brewed. The small fishing craft brought in both the young and the elderly dressed in ethnic Indian wear. They landed barefoot on the beach and were greeted by Persad-Bissessar and an entourage of villagers and visitors alike who threw coloured rice on them and garlanded the Jahajis with flowers. They then received the blessings of a pundit before being led off the beach.

The procession followed with the Jahajis boarding a decorated pirogue that was pulled by a tractor to the nearby Manmohansingh Park for a cultural programme.

Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said it was important to remember the immense contribution of the indentured Indians to the cultural and economic landscape of T&T. He added that one of the most important values that the Indentured immigrants had was a sense of family. He said the entire community was engaged in the upbringing of children. However, Ramadharsingh said this had changed over the decades as more single parent families have been emerging across T&T in all sectors of the society.

The regional corporation chairman said because of a lack of community support many youngsters have fallen prey to negative influences and may go down the wrong path unless timely intervention takes place.

Ramadharsingh said the festivals of Arrival Day and Hosay have the potential to boost domestic tourism content of the community and bring in much needed cash. He added that the Siparia Regional Corporation has done tremendous work in upgrading the public facilities at Manmohansingh Park and throughout the community. Ramadharsingh said social media would be used to market Cedros as a destination for local tourism.


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