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October 7, 2022
Indians celebrate Heritage Day today

INDIANS IN St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are today, October 7 marking Indian Heritage Day.

And as part of their package of activities will present the third set of interviews during this month, a release from the Indian Heritage Foundation states.

One interview per week done with Indians who reside abroad, will be released through November. The first six to be featured are: Dr Gideon Lewis, USA; Dr Rudi Bailey, USA; Shawn Bullock, Canada; Peter Moore, USA; Sydney Bacchus, U.K; and Elva Nanton, U.K.

Indian Heritage Day received recognition on March 26, 2007 on the recommendation of then Minister of Culture, Rene Baptiste and an Act of Parliament declaring June 1 Indian Arrival Day, and October 7 as Indian Heritage Day was passed in Parliament with full support.

Indians were brought to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as Indentured Labourers following the abolition of slavery in 1838.

Between 1861 and 1880, eight ships arrived from India bringing a total of 2,474 Indians who lived under inhospitable conditions on 23 estates in St Vincent which resulted in them staging strikes and protests.

“The SVG Indian Heritage Foundation recognizes the struggles, sacrifice, hard work and dedication of our ancestors.We cherish and preserve the legacy they have left us, their off springs, and we continue to build on the foundation they laid,” the release from the Foundation further states.

“The mandate of the SVG Indian Heritage Foundation is ‘to represent the interest of the East Indian community of SVG and those in the Diaspora. It aims to instil a greater sense of pride in our heritage and culture. It seeks to create opportunities for Indo-Vincentians to learn more about, and preserve their history, to create and strengthen relationships, and to improve all other aspects of the Indian community.”

The Foundation adds that work is being done to place the ships’ lists on its website so anyone with some information can check their ancestors’ records.

“We also encourage you to trace your ancestry through the various sites. You will be amazed and deeply touched by your findings,” the release concludes.

Copyright (c) 2022 Kingstown Searchlight, Edition 10/7/2022
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