Remembering the early days- photo source: the Virtual Museum of T&T Angelo Bissessarsingh
On May 30th 1845, the Fath Al Razak docked in the Port of Spain harbour in Trinidad and Tobago with 225 adult passengers on board. The passengers were immigrants from India who had come to the British colony to work in the sugarcane plantations after the abolition of African slavery. They had spent 103 days on sea during the arduous and dangerous journey that spanned 14,000 miles (36,000 km). The immigrants were contracted for five to ten years to work in the sugarcane estates in a system that ended in 1917.
A total of 147,596 Indians came to Trinidad over a 70-year period. Although they were promised a free return passage back home, at least 75 percent of them stayed and settled in the New World colony. In many ways, they brought India to the Caribbean. They continued with their traditions of Hinduism and Islam, and eventually transformed Trinidad into a colourful cosmopolitan society with their introduction of new styles of dress, music, songs, dance, language, cuisine and customs.
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