- 30 MAY 2018
MESSAGE TO THE NATION FROM DR THE HONOURABLE KEITH ROWLEY PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ON THE OCCASION OF INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY 2018
On behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and my family, I wish to extend sincere greetings to the national community on the occasion of Indian Arrival Day.
The histories of all nations contain significant junctures which point to a reshaping and a transformation of society. In Trinidad and Tobago, the arrival of the Fatel Razack 173 years ago can be considered as one such juncture.
For varying reasons, men and women left the familiarity of their homes in India in the pursuit of the promise of a better future. Their arrival brought new traditions, a new language and new ways of thinking. The preservation of these customs enabled those pioneers to cope with the arduous journey across the seas and the daily rigours associated with the harsh realities of life on the estates.
These challenging conditions were met with great persistence and a determination to succeed. The outcome of these efforts is evident today and has been woven into the fabric of the identity of Trinidad and Tobago.
In this regard, as families and communities come together today to celebrate in various ways, I encourage us all to value the bonds that unite us as a nation. We share a history of having all been brought to this place one way or another.
Our citizens of East Indian decent arrived 173 years ago and have indeed made, and continue to make, an indelible mark in our national development.
This country has always benefitted from the rich heritage and the diversity of the experiences of its people. Those very experiences enable us to transcend societal and economic differences to foster a relationship with the country of India today.
It is fascinating to note that so many years after the arrival of the last ship in 1917, the desire for the exchange of ideas and economic cooperation persists. It is my hope that the cultural ties that this nation shares with India will facilitate a deeper understanding and collaboration at the global level.
My recent meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, demonstrated this and it is my hope that we would continue to work together toward mutual benefits and closer ties.
It is in consideration of all of these things that today’s celebrations have taken on a renewed and more potent significance. Let us continue to be encouraged by the sacrifice and bravery of the people who helped to shape this nation.
I join with all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to extend best wishes for a safe and happy Indian Arrival Day.