The Island Alien

On Indian Arrival Day and Identity

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Once again, this time of the year comes around.
And once again, I have my thoughts on it.

Indian Arrival Day always fills me with bittersweet thoughts and a sense of loss.

We commemorate and celebrate the arrival of a large percentage of our current population. Our history would be so different if the East Indian indentured labourers had never come. Trinidad and Tobago would be a different place entirely.

And yet, this day just makes me think about my confusing feelings of identity. I don’t know my ancestors’ names. I know that my mother’s grandmother came here as a child on one of the boats. But which one? What was her name? What about my mother’s father’s grandparents? What about my entire father’s side of the family? I don’t know what I am, and though that might not seem important to some, it is something I struggle with often.

I think about how history is written and recorded. How it is twisted and changed. I think about all the labourers who were denied passage back to their homes. The ones who were bribed and lied to. I think about what it would’ve been like for them, living on barely enough rations, with only enough money left over to buy rum. Where do you think the association between Indians and rum comes from? In a time where depression, homesickness and loneliness were rampant, how else would they ‘heal’ the pain?

I think about the effects of colonization. The pain that still remains. How the white men told the Indian workers that they were ‘better’ than the African slaves,who were dirty and stupid, and how the Indians believed them because at least they were getting ‘paid’. How the white men tried their very best to keep the two races separated, instilling hatred and fear in their minds. I think about how that racist mentality still runs rampant through this country.

This day needs to become more than just a day to eat curry and dress up in pretty outfits.
This day needs to be a day of healing. A day when we can acknowledge and heal from colonization. A day where we hold workshops on dealing with pain and mental illness. A day where we can work towards undoing the racism between Indians and Africans that only exist because of white men.
When will these things ever happen?

So here I am, stuck in the middle of people celebrating all around me. Wondering if I’m having too many thoughts, or too little. Wondering who my ancestors were. Wonder how I can pay my respects to them properly on this day. Wondering if T&T will ever be able to get to a healing start.

The Island Alien

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the last showing of “Takdir: the greatest true love story of Indian Arrival”, a play written and directed by Victor Edwards and researched by Shamshu Deen. It was a wonderful experience. The play itself was beautifully written and directed, the actors were brilliant, the set design was amazing, and the music was breathtaking. 

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On Being Compassionate at Work

Hey everyone. This post is dedicated to those who find it hard to remain compassionate to others when there is a lot of tension at work. If you’ve found yourself thinking about others as being very distant from you, or if you’ve been feeling cold toward your coworkers and even your loved ones, this is the post for you!

Personally, in times of struggle, what I try to do is focus and let go of my anger. I think that’s a normal thing people deal with. I want to make sure I can keep myself in check during those moments where too much is being asked of me and I feel like I’m about to snap.

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Why I’m a feminist

What feminism is:

What feminism isn’t:

  • Hating men.
    That’s called misandry, and that’s definitely NOT what we’re about.
  • Hating women who want to stick to traditional feminine roles.
    Essentially, what we want is for women to be free to do what they like. If they want to be feminine, no problem. If they want to be involved in activities that are not usually considered feminine, no problem. This is about giving women the choice to be their true selves and not be deemed inferior to anyone else.
  • Ignoring the struggles faced by men.
    Hey guys, the patriarchy and toxic masculinity hurts you too.

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life update & toxicity

Oh man. I’ve been thinking a lot about too many things, recently. I feel like that is a thing I say too often. I can never calm this mind. There’s always a thought brewing here, an idea fermenting there, and several dreams and desires frolicking around somewhere. My brain can’t be still. I don’t know what the art of focusing means. The art of avoidance, though? Well, I’ve perfected it. I am the master of distracting myself. I do it so well, that recently, I started learning French instead of facing the things I have to face. Yes folks, I am just straight up learning to speak a new language. And that isn’t something easy, especially for me. I am terrible at learning languages. But here you can see the lengths I will go to, to avoid thinking about something that hurts.

I feel like my thoughts are all over the place. It’s just one of those things about me. Hi, I’m Julie and I’m a completely disorganized, disastrous mess of a person. I do online courses for fun, I start and forget countless DIY projects, I can barely finish anything I write, and I try literally anything to distract myself from real life.

So what’s been bugging me so badly that I’m currently on a quest to become bilingual? Toxic people.

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Professional learner.

When I was 3 years old, I started singing and dancing. I was obsessed with music and Indian culture. I was told by many people that I had a ‘natural talent’ for singing. I spent the next 12 years singing in competitions, appearing on television, and starting writing my own songs and thinking about the type of music I wanted to create. Eventually, I was told that these things were “hobbies”, and I needed to focus on a more realistic goal.

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