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Indian Arrival Day

By

Ins & Outs of Trinidad & Tobago

May 30, 2022


On Indian Arrival Day, May 30th, we recognize and celebrate the arrival to these shores of the indentured labourers from India who migrated to the islands in the mid-19th century. The first group arrived from India on the Fatel  Razack or, in English, Victory of Allah the Provider, which was misspelt by a careless British customs officer who noted the arrival of the “Futtle Razack.” This group of two hundred and twenty-five East Indian indentured labourers would have just completed a perilous three-month journey across the kala pani, or ‘black waters’ that lay between India and the Caribbean, in order to begin a new life in Trinidad, working on sugarcane and cocoa plantations across the island.

The British, who looked to India as a source of cheap labour after emancipation, would continue to bring close to one hundred thousand labourers from India to the colonies. These labourers, who came to replace the freed African slaves who left the plantations in droves after emancipation, have left an indelible mark on the culture of Trinidad and Tobago - the religion, food, music, and traditions that they brought with them have played a major role in shaping the multicultural landscape of the country.