While watching the following video, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a scene from rural India.
Instead, you will see the typical home and activities of a family who either took the brave and maybe desperate decision to uproot their lives to the far distant island of Trinidad, in the Caribbean Sea, to work as indentured labourers on the plantations or who are descendants of such people.
And, as the narrator of the video describes, they transplanted their culture and way of life to this island and lived very much as they would have had they never left India.
Thus, you will see them in their simple, white cotton clothing – dhotis for the males, skirts and tops for the females and a head covering (orhni) for the older female – living in their mud-walled, leaf-roofed house and utilising simple yet effective implements such as the mortar and pestle, the grinding stone (sil and lorha) and a foot-powered rice mill to create their meals.
All these items are facsimiles of those that were – and still are in many places – used in India. And many of the ingredients used in cooking that you will see the lady and her daughter working to pound and mill were grown from seeds that the Indian immigrants brought with them to their new home.
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