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Indian musicians celebrate Independence with SVG

Indian musicians celebrate Independence with SVG


Over the weekend, a visiting band of Indian musicians joined in the line-up of activities that took place to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Independence here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The group, led by Indira Naik, arrived in the state on Friday, October 24, and was hosted and welcomed by the Indian Heritage Foundation.{{more}}

At a press conference last Friday, interim president of the organization Junior Bacchus said: “They are here… to participate in some of our cultural activities.”

The five-member band performed at the Youlou Pan Movement’s independence concert on Saturday, at various events in Calliaqua, Calder and Richland Park on Sunday, and were in attendance at the National Independence Rally at Victoria Park on Monday.

Naik explained that she and her fellow musicians have been performing as a group for over 10 years, and between them, they play traditional Indian music (sung in Hindi), utilising instruments such as the violin, guitar, tabla drums and the keyboard.

“It is a wonderful feeling to be part of [your] celebrations… We hope to entertain you all… regale you all with our performances,” she enthused.

The group has been on a three-week tour of the Caribbean, and visited Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados before coming to SVG. They left yesterday evening and are currently in Guyana.

Naik said that although she and her group sing in Hindi during performances, she explains beforehand to the audience what each song is about. She further explained that sometimes, the explanation isn’t necessary because the feel of the music conveys certain emotions.

“The language of music is universal!” she asserted.

Dr Arnold Thomas, a member of the organizing committee of the Indian Heritage Foundation, said that bringing the musicians here was part of the organization’s attempts to reconnect with the culture and traditions of their forefathers.

“We are trying to honour our heritage here… these are things we think should be revived and kept alive,” he explained.

Bacchus said that the arrival of Indian indentured labourers here is a part of Vincentian history and not just exclusive to those of Indian descent.

“We have been involved in promoting the Indian culture while not being racial,” he pointed out. “This body [Indian Heritage Foundation] is open to everyone!”(JSV)