The Island Alien

On Indian Arrival Day and Identity

Leave a comment

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. 

View original post 1,013 more words

Advertisements

This gallery contains 3 photos


3 Comments

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.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

You’re a witch, Julie.

Hey guys! So if you’re wondering where I’ve been this past week, and why I haven’t been posting, here’s the answer.

I’ve been working on something. Something big. Something that isn’t really that important. Something huge. Something….magical.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

On weddings and tradition

“You can’t date till you’re an adult! No boyfriends allowed!”

*sneaks around*

“You can’t do that in my house! Not under my roof!”

*“Okay, well I’m 21 now, I wanna get my own place!”*

“Move out?? Why do you want to leave??? Do you hate me????”

*finally leaves home at 24 after finishing school, etc*

“You’re 25. Why aren’t you married yet??? When will I get grandkids?”

Do these scenarios sound familiar? If it’s something you’ve experienced, I empathize. I am Indian. From the Caribbean. Specifically, I’m West Indian with East Indian roots. These are my parents. Overprotective, overbearing, strict, traditional, conservative. I have a question for them that I could never ask them. “If I literally just started dating because I was raised so strict, how am I supposed to get married now and have kids?” Now that’s considered being rude. But honestly, what do you expect from me?
Now, this isn’t exactly my situation, and it might only be an exaggerated version of most Caribbean young adults’ actual life and relationship with parents. But why is it someone can look at this and laugh along? What is with parent’s strictness, then overbearing expectations on their children, especially their daughters?

Continue reading


Leave a comment

On Pride and Bisexual Erasure

It is June and that means… PRIDE MONTH! Happy Pride everyone! I Am ONE TnT is hosting its second annual Pride Arts Festival this month, and let me tell you, boy, am I excited. These events so far, are the only LGBTQ+ Pride Month festivities we have in this country. I am very proud and pleased to see the turn outs we’ve been having. So far, I’ve been to 4 of the events, and they have been amazing and inclusive. It’s great to see all this attention and support! Continue reading


2 Comments

“island-life”

You know, I truly believe this is a beautiful country I live in. I really do appreciate how lovely our flora and fauna is. We have beautiful beaches, forests, waterfalls, rivers, and other wonderful natural sights. I wish I could say that that’s enough to make me love this place. What ruins it for me, is the people. The government, the entire society, and what has become the modern culture.  Rampant murder, corruption, sexism, racism, homophobia, stigma and discrimination of mental health and its related issues, (to name a few things). I’m not saying that every other country is perfect. I’m just saying there’s nothing to be patriotic about. I wish I could enjoy our beaches and waterfalls, but everything is always covered in disgusting litter. I wish the citizens would help each other, but the segregation is ridiculous. Continue reading