Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feature: T&T Independence celebrations in South Africa

High Commissioner Harry Partap with some of the performers
Steelband music, tassa drumming, Indian dances and costumed carnival revellers ushered in the diplomatic reception hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in South Africa to mark the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

The reception brought to a close a week of celebrations which included an inter-faith Service at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, Lynnwood; a four-day FilmFestival; a football tournament among schools in association with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean diplomats; and a performance by Ken "Professor" Philmore at the prestigious Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Concert.

At the reception,attended by diplomats and nationals of Trinidad and Tobago resident in South Africa, High Commissioner Harry Partap spoke of the achievements of Trinidad and Tobago since independence 5O years ago. He noted that Trinidad and Tobago is a stable, democratic country which held twelve General Elections in its 5O-year history and peacefully changed governments four times.

Pointing to Trinidad and Tobago's 100 years of experience in oil and natural gas production,he noted that the country is a world leader in the production ofmethanol, area and ammonia. He said the unemployment rate is at 5.6 percent with inflation hovering around 10 percent.

Partap said:"We are not only famous for our ever-replenishing lake of asphalt,but for producing the world's best thrower of the javelin in Keshorn Walcott."Partap told the crowd that Walcott would have been honoured by the Government with the nation's highest national award,the Order of Trinidad andTobago (OTT).

Partap read the Golden Jubilee address from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in which she said that nationals abroad "working in your newcommunities, as members of cultural organisations or through our Embassies and High Commissions,have an opportunity to share in and realise the collectivevision for our country". 

Persad-Bissessar urged overseas nationals to "share and keep alive the traditions and cultures of Trinidad and Tobago". She urgedthem to "promote the attributes of our country as a business and recreational destination".

Trinidad and Tobago composer and vocalist, Sheldon Blackman gave a performance, along with the Bela Bela African drummers and dancers. The Soweto Marimba Youth League steelband entertained the crowd as well as the Pretoria University choir; the Nritya Rupam Academy of Indian Dance and the Ashish Joshi tassa drummers.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai