May 20, 2012

The History of Indian Indentureship in the Caribbean

May is Indian Arrival Month in Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica. This is a good opportunity to learn more about Indentureship fostered by the British in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries.
Name transformation

Festival in Jamaica 1 2 3

Guadeloupe and Martinique

In Memory of the Jahagis
Legacy of Our Ancestors

Indian Arrival Day
Hindus in Jamaica
Early East Indians of the Caribbean
How Britain re-invented Slavery


JMD said...

Hello, this is incredible and so informative. Thanks for that. I think every Guyanese of Indian decent should know this information. lot to learn.

Norman Datt said...



As stated before when

I opened the coolie door

There wouldn’t

Have been any Guyana

Without any coolies

Our darma’s the best in the world

Helped made us what we are are

Very damn proud Coolies

Our forefathers had a rough time

From Brahmins to Musahars

Chatris and Madrassies

They left all their baggage

When they boarded the ships

But thank the Lord they did

They have passed on

Their robust genes

To their children’s children

We’d good broughtupsy

Some call it discipline

We call it broad leather

Slap, knock heads

Bramble licks

Also known as cut rass

At home and at school

We didn’t need anyone

To teach us about the truth

About respect for elders

For other people’s property

We went to school to learn

Listen to our teachers

Not to yap on the phone

Play video games

Disrupt classes

We knew from birth

About personal hygiene

To use clean underwear

Brush our teeth

Wash our hands before

Be mannerly

Take your hat before entering

Take your shoes off

Never wear them to bed

Cover your mouth

When you cough

It was a way of life

And talk about being thrift

You never ever spend

What you don’t have

If you can’t buy it for cash

Then wait until you can

We build our houses

Then we built our homes

Sometimes we make do

Living with parents

We never owe the banks

Later on we say thanks

To our coolie parents

And so we’re not be caught

In any financial quagmire

We’ve become the best

Having the coolies

Spending their last cent

To educate their children

We’ve built villages and cities

Which stand out from the rest

We became linguists

Learning English, Hindi

Urdhu and Patwa

We still sing our old time songs

Play the harmonium and dhantal

Dance when the tassa drums call

Belt out our chatneys

At social gatherings

And live our life to suit us

As others making fuss

We belong to various faiths

Hindus, Muslims, Christians

We celebrate all holidays

We pray for Eid

Get ready for Christmas

And can’t wait for Phagwah

The Hindu temple

Sits near the Mosque

Overlooking the Church

The coolies around the world

Can show other nations

How to live in peace