Bavita Gopaulchan

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It is an Indian Arrival day like no other.

Not only have celebrations been muted by COVID-19 restrictions but this is the first year the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha will not be able to embrace the physical presence of cultural giant Satnarine Maharaj.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, president general of the SDMS Pundit Krishna Rambally said Indian Arrival Day was one of Maharaj’s favorite events.

He said, “He loved the children’s participation and the gatherings where people will get together and reflect on the memories that Indian Arrival day brought and he will even go back into his childhood days.”

May 30th commemorates 175 years since the first group of indentured laborers from India came to T&T onboard the Fatel Razack, hoping for economic opportunities and bringing with them cultural enhancement.

Singing, dancing and a re-enactment of the arrival of the Fatel Razack are the main events that mark the day throughout the country.

Sat Maharaj passed away last November, leaving behind a rich cultural legacy in T&T.

As secretary general of the SDMS, Maharaj was instrumental in having Indian Arrival Day stamped on T&T’s calendar as a holiday.

Though this year is quiet affair, Rambally signals a call to all citizens to use the time to reflect.

“Our fore fathers have strong ties when it comes to family life,”Rambally said.

He added, “They were not educated in the English language but they spent a lot of time and they did ensure their children were.”

Guardian Media was told the organisation will celebrate the day by performing charity across the country and display cultural performances on its broadcast network.

In the 1990s the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha dubbed May as “Indian Heritage Month which culminates on Indian Arrival Day.

Each year hundreds of SDMS followers will gather at the Parvati Girls’ Hindu College in Debe where they will be entertained with a variety of performances in anticipation of Maharaj’s speech which usually addresses key issues facing the country.