As the Indian community in Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the 59th Republic Day of their country of origin with gaiety and enthusiasm, the Caribbean nation has recalled India's contributions towards enriching the island's culture and festivities.
The culture, festivals and cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago have been enriched by the influence of the Indian sub-continent, Foreign Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said on Saturday raising a toast to mark India's Republic Day.
"Trinidad and Tobago and India share more than a common historical background as our nations will always be fundamentally and inextricably linked through our people and their culture, encompassing similar colonial experiences, due to the arrival of settlers from India more than a century and a half ago," she said.
A large number of people, including diplomats and prominent personalities, attended the celebrations during which Indian High Commissioner Jagjt Singh Sapra unfurled the national flag at the India House here.
Former prime minister and president of Trinidad and Tobago ANR Robinson were among the special invitees to the function.
The minister said India stands as a model to many developing countries, having made great achievements in science and technology.
She pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Trinidad and Tobago and India in 1962, a high level of collaboration and cooperation has always characterised relations between the two.
"Numerous bilateral agreements to encourage, promote and facilitate economic, technical and cultural cooperation in various fields reflect this," she noted.
Additionally, students from India have been enrolling in our respective tertiary level institutions under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Award and Fellowship Plan.
"Both Trinidad and Tobago and India have successfully carved a niche for themselves in the international community in various fields. By building on our strengths and through mutual support in international arena, we can ensure that the benefits of these efforts go into the well-being of the peoples of both countries," the minister added.