Vasant Panchami celebrated in Caribbean

Updated on Feb 12, 2008 11:43 AM IST
Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago join their counterparts in celebrating the spring festival, which is also associated with the Hindu goddess of knowledge.
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IANS | ByParas Ramoutar, Port Of Spain

Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago joined their counterparts in the Caribbean in celebrating Vasant Panchami, the spring festival which is also associated with the Hindu goddess of knowledge.

Several Hindu organisations including the Hindu Prachar Kendra and Hindu temples marked the occasion Sunday, a day before it was celebrated in India, with the chanting of mantras and singing of bhajans dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning.

Vasant Panchami is also the first rite of Holikaa Aropanam.

Celebrations organised by the Kendra, led by India-trained Raviji, included a musical festival. Indian-born Ruby Malik, assistant professor at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) performed at the musical event.

Malik, who represents the Agra style of Hindustani music, has been appointed to direct several India-centric courses at the Academy for the Performing Arts.

Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago like their counterparts in neighbouring Guyana and Suriname continue to celebrate major festivals and religious observances.

The 500,000-strong Indian diaspora comprise 40 per cent of Trinidad and Tobago's population, while for Guyana and Suriname the figures are 51 per cent and 35 per cent.

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