• 27 Mar, 2023

Portrayals of Indo-Trinidadians in Calypso Songs

Portrayals of Indo-Trinidadians in Calypso Songs

Portrayals of Indo-Trinidadians in Calypso Songs

“Dimanche Gras's nature (as expressed in the calypso) seems to emblematise the ideative core of the Carnival (which is separate from the mas, the concerts and fetes, which are almost separate satellites, orbiting the giant sphere of government money [US $21 million in 2023]). Its characteristics are: ● It is a PNM [party] product, and hostilely and violently so; ● It has a strong, noxious racial tinge to its worldview which materializes in lyrics and sentiments …; ● It is entirely dependent on the state for its sustenance. In effect, the state is keeping hate alive.

“The questions that arise from this are: (1) Why would the state fund this? And don't the million dollar prizes encourage whatever talent there is out there to aim for this rotten centre, while starving other arts institutions of new talent and state funding? (2). Million-dollar institutions exist, at both universities and independently, which are devoted to "Carnival studies". What exactly do these institutions do, if not study the economics, history, and social psychology of what is ostensibly the "national" festival? (3). What exactly are the criteria of calypso judging and do they include a mandate to exclude racism and hate-mongering? These questions are not new, and I just ask them again since repetition seems to be key in getting Trinis' attention. But we all know what the answers are.” – Dr Raymond Ramcharitar, T&T Guardian. Feb 24, 2015.

Please join us THIS SUNDAY for the 141st weekly ICC ZOOM Public Meeting, February 12th, 2023 at (1.00 p.m. Belize), (2.00 p.m. New York/Eastern time), (3.00 p.m. Trinidad/Atlantic time), (3.00 p.m. Guyana), (4.00 p.m. Suriname), (7.00 p.m. England), (9.00 p.m. South Africa), (Sun 12 midnight, India, ND), (Mon 7.00 a.m. Fiji).


Portrayals of Indo-Trinidadians in Calypso Songs


SENATOR ANIL ROBERTS - Former Member of Parliament in Trinidad and Tobago, and former Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs; now an Opposition Senator in the UNC. Swimming coach.

PROF. JOHNNY COOMANSINGH - A geography professor, focusing on cultural geography and rural economic development as well as tourism and festivals. Author of six books and publisher of a literary magazine.

RAMDATH JAGESSAR - A long-time advocate for Indian civil rights in Trinidad. In Canada, Secretary of the Indian Arrival and Heritage Month Committee which later became South Asian Heritage Month.

SHARLENE MAHARAJ - Former airline, aviation, tourism and marketing industry expert; now Principal of a consumer research company that helps businesses identify new consumer opportunities.

Followed by Q&A

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