By Soca News
Trinidad & Tobago
Wednesday 30 May 2012 : 9:00 GMT
Trinidadians of East Indian descent will celebrate 167 years of their people’s presence on the island today, Wednesday 30 May.
Indian Arrival Day commemorates the arrival of the first indentured labourers from India aboard the Fatel Razack ship in May 1845.
Celebrations usually include re-enactments of the arrival of the ship staged at various beaches throughout Trinidad and Tobago. There is also music and dance, and outstanding members of the community are honoured for their contributions to society.
The centenary of East Indians’ arrival was celebrated in a major way on 30 May 1945 and was the first commemoration of arrival. But, the strength of commemorations dwindled thereafter and it was not until 1994 that it became an official public holiday called Arrival Day. The following year it was re-named Indian Arrival Day.
While the celebrations in Trinidad may be the best known, Guyana, Suriname and Mauritius also observe Indian Arrival Day on 5 May, 5 June and 2 November, respectively.