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 periods and superstition

It’s that wonderful time of the month again. Oh yes, menstruation. Here it is! Yep, this is gonna be a period post. You know, I’ve met some guys in my lifetime, who cannot stand talking about periods. I get it. It’s gross. But, not really. I mean it’s just a normal human bodily function, right? I’m currently around men who really don’t care. I could say the grossest things to them and they just say understanding, comforting things back. It’s just being an adult about it. Sometimes I really need to complain about these cramps, okay? And all I have to complain to, are my roommate (who’s a guy), and my boyfriend. So, let’s see. I’ve been having my period for 13 years now. I have had almost 155 periods now. Holy shit, what? This is insane. That’s a lot of periods to complain about. You’d think by now I’d be used to the pain right? Wrong. It’s still horrible. Every single time. It doesn’t matter how much you prepare, or how great you’ve gotten the hang of things. You just can’t account for the emotional roller-coaster, nausea, headaches, vomiting, and weird food cravings, that come with it. And the cramps, oh lord. It’s not all bad, though, you know? At least I know some part of me is working properly. At least I’m not pregnant. Haha. Still not good enough.

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Let’s talk about Mental Illness in Trinidad and Tobago

Something happened to me recently. I got angry. I followed the news. I listened to the Minister of Education speak. I did some research on mental health. I posted some questions on social media about primary and secondary school education. I got very angry.
Let me tell you a little about me. I am 25 years old. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for over 15 years. When I was younger, there was no one I could go to or confide in. When I finally moved out of my parents’ house at 21 years old, I started going to therapy and was diagnosed with 4 mental illnesses. I started medication and cognitive behavioural therapy.
I wish someone had told me as a child, that what I was feeling was okay and that I was not alone. I wish someone had spoken to me about depression and abuse. I wish someone had openly talked to me about self harm. I wish I could be the one to jump into a time machine and go back to little Julie and take care of her. But alas, I cannot. What I can do, however, is make sure no other kids and teens have to suffer in silence like I did for so long.

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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


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On Indian Arrival Day and Identity

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.  Continue reading