The Indianization of Christmas Music in the Diaspora: Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Belize and South Africa. INVITATION TO ZOOM PUBLIC CONCERT THIS SUNDAY (BOXING DAY)
Scholars of the social sciences in the Caribbean use the term “creolization”, but never use “Indianization” at all. Creolization is the process through which new languages and cultures emerge when there is sustained contact among ethnic groups of relocated peoples in the diasporas. Sociologist Robin Cohen (2007) wrote that creolization occurs when people select particular elements of various inherited cultures and merge them to create a new variety.
There is a need to deconstruct and correct the meaning of the term “creolization” because it has a restrictive, exclusive bias in view of its Afro-centric use. The Martiniquan philosopher Edouard Glissant (1989) wrote that the colonial displacement experience has influenced everybody: “[I]ndeed, no people has been spared the cross-cultural process …”
In the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean and elsewhere, Indianization has arisen through intermixtures, fusions and hybridization of cultures to create new, local forms of identity in which elements of traditional Indian culture have become dominant. Like creolization, Indianization is used to describe the process and product of the cultural complexity in the New World, and the many diverse communities that exist in it. The result of Indianization is that the entire society becomes culturally enriched by this cross-fertilization created by the blending of dominating and dominated cultures.
Indianization has expressed itself in the popularity of curry, condiments and roti even in countries in which Indians are a numerical minority. The national street food sandwich in multi-ethnic Trinidad – “doubles” – is just one example of a unique creation of a cuisine forged by the crucible of history, colonization and adaptation.
Indianization has also displayed itself in music in Trinidad with the emergence of the popularity of soca (“sokah”), chutney and chutney parang, derived from the mixing of mainly between Indos and Afros in society. Every Christmas, these new genres of music are played and celebrated by all, at homes and public parties, as well as on national radio and television. Notable are Taxi”s “Indian Parang Chic”, Marcia Miranda’s “Chutney Christmas”, Scrunter’s “Chutkaipan”, David Ramoutar’s “Kuchie Lala”, Sharlene Boodram’s “Mamacita” and “Christmas Massala”, and the Guyanese Terry Gajraj with his “Drink Ah Ting”.
Please join us THIS SUNDAY for an ICC (Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre) ZOOM Public Concert on Sunday December 26, 2021 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), (Mon 12.05 a.m. India, ND), (Mon 7.00 a.m. Fiji).
TAXI (TRINIDAD) recorded – Parang singer best known for his song “Indian Parang Chick” (“Cuchi La La”) released in 2010 with more than half a million views on YouTube alone.
MARCIA MIRANDA (TRINIDAD) recorded – Experienced and versatile performer in various genres of music but best known for having won T&T Parang Soca Monarch in 2000
SCRUNTER (Irwin Reyes Johnson) (TRINIDAD) recorded – A multi-talented, living musical legend from Sangre Grande who is the undisputed uncrowned king of Parang Soca
DAVID RAMOUTAR (TRINIDAD) recorded – A young talent musical star who partnered with kings such as Rikki Jai (“Pack Up”, 2020) and Terry Gajraj to produce musical singles
SHARLENE BOODRAM (TRINIDAD) recorded – A songwriter and parandero success. Her mega hit “Mamacita” has been dedicated to her father, auto racing legend, Frankie Boodram
BADRU DEEN (TRINIDAD) live – Three generations of music-makers: Father Badru Deen on the harmonium, son Jeff Deen on the tabla, and granddaughter Gitanjali Deen as vocalist
TERRY GAJRAJ (GUYANA) recorded – Chutney and chutney soca artiste inspired by Trinidad’s Sundar Popo. His name is synonymous with his “Guyana Baboo” immortal classic
KRIES RAMKHELAWAN (SURINAME) live – composer, singer, actor, director, playwright and poet. In his father’s footsteps, he specializes in baithak gana, Bollywood music and qawwali
DR. ALBERT WILLIAMS (BELIZE) recorded – Of East Indian descent; an associate professor of finance and economics at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida, USA
PROFESSOR ‘CHATS’ DEVROOP (SOUTH AFRICA) live – Associate Professor in the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His performances span many genres.
LIJI YESHUDAS (SOUTH AFRICA) recorded – An inspirational singer with Shekinah, a Christian devotional singing group founded in 2011
Brief discussion after each item.
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