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Trinidad and Tobago: Population and culture

Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago of Indian or other South Asian ancestry.

Contrary to the assumption of the term Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians, it is somewhat inaccurate considering the racial/ethnic diversity of the group. There were two major migrations of people from India. Following the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, indentured servants were transported to Trinidad from India on May 30, 1845
(Indian Arrival Day)

The first group of Indian indentured servants quickly integrated into the Trinidadian and Tobagonian populace This is believed to have happened because the conditions of slaves and indentured servants were almost identical, this created a similar social/economical class. This first group mixed into the Trinidadian populace which was already a mixture of people: Amerindians, West Africans, Spaniards, French, Catalans, Creoles, Chinese, Germans, Swiss, Portuguese, Scottish, British, Irish, Italian, Mexican, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Arab, Lebanese, African American, other Caribbean islands, and Venezuelans. This first group combined their Indian culture with the pre-existing Creole/African/European culture. Some of the most notable cultural influences are Roti, the use of curry, Paratha and numerous other Indian foods, as well as musical and linguistic influences.

The second group arrived after the abolition of indentured servitude in 1917. Most arrivals were skilled workers, Doctors, Businessmen, and other professions. Most of this "new" group of Indians maintained their original culture. Like many Indo-Caribbeans, many have roots from all over the Indian subcontinent, as the present-day states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were all part of the British Raj. Indo-Trinidadians are a plurality of the population of Trinidad and Tobago (40.3%). An additional 18.4% of the population describe themselves as being of mixed race; many of them are also of Indian descent. Many Indian customs have been lost such as arranged marriages, which are very rare in Trinidad. Indo-Trinidadians also dress in western fashions and participate in carnival and other non Indian festivals.

Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian as a term seems to acknowledge the just demands of the descendants of indentured plantation laborers brought over from India under a colonial system [1] This local term was overlooked and substituted with ethnic categories by the best-known texts of Caribbean history, and especially by anthropologists and other foreign social scientists. People of Indian descent who emphasized their Trinidad roots and contributions began writing letters to newspapers in the 1880s already, suggesting alternate terms such as "Indo-Trinidadian."Most Indo-Trinidadians however have no knowledge of India having being separated from the continent for so many generations. Most Indo-Trinidadians also only speak the local creole English.

Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians has now become interchangeable with Indians or East Indians. Settlers brought over by Britain from colonial India were called "Coolies", an insulting term.

Trinidad and Tobago culture is known for its carnival, steel band and calypso music are famous throughout the world. The carnival was first introduced in Trinidad and Tobago. The Trinidad and Tobago language is a mixture of African dialects besides coining some words from other languages.

Trinidad and Tobago culture also encompasses Trinidad and Tobago language, art, food, society, religion. Trinidad and Tobago language is a mixture of various languages. The Trinidad and Tobago language has words spoken among the Kwa and Akan dialects of African origin. There are some loan words borrowed from Spanish, French, Amerindian and East Indian Languages. Hindi words are also very much a part of the Trinidad and Tobago language.

The Trinidad and Tobago carnival shows the creativity of the trinbagonians. Carnival had its birth in the streets of Trinidad and Tobago. Kite flying is another part of Trinidad and Tobago culture. Moreover the calypso and the steel band is famous worldwide and is also a part of the Trinidad and Tobago culture.

There are various museums and art galleries, which speak of the art and culture of these Caribbean people. Epixdesigns, Cari-Culture, Aquarela Galleries, Indian Caribbean Museum, horizon Art Gallery are some of the museums unfolding the excellence of Trinidad and Tobago art.

Regarding food Trinidad and Tobago food differs slightly. Tobago food is mainly exotic sea food dishes. Trinidad food comprises of the modern day delicacies.

The beauty of the Trinidad and Tobago is sure to unfold.