Mageeras, dhantals, and drums accompanied chowtal singers featured in the Phagwa celebration on March 7 at the Consulate headquarters in New York.
The Phagwa or Holi festival, which celebrates the advent of Spring and the destruction of the demoness Holika, coincided with a welcome rise in temperatures in New York.
Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam exhorted the audience to beware of “bringing up a child without culture and religion as this was an opportunity to create rogues” and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Rodney Charles praised nationals for their love of culture and passion, which he described as unique in the world.
Pundit T. Samaroo Ramayan & Chowtaal Group of New York, Shiva Mandir and Shiva Mandir Affiliates Chowtaal group with singers of all ages gave exuberant performances while U.S. #1 tassa band had members of the audience on their feet “dancing the tassa.” Vegetarian fare provided by Trinidad Golden Palace, Nio’s West Indian Restaurant and Ali’s Trinidad Roti shop were enjoyed by all.
While the city landscape still wears the grey of winter, the Consulate headquarters, draped in colourful fabric and the sarees and shalwars of the attending ladies were evocative of the abeer, which were thrown on participants on Sunday, March 11 when the festival was celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago and New York. Celebrations in New York traverse Liberty Avenue, a hub of the Indo-Trinidadian Diaspora, and culminate in festivities in Smokey Park in Queens, NY.
The Phagwa celebration is the second in a series of events co-organised by the Interfaith committee comprising spiritual leaders of different faith under the auspices of the Consulate.
Upcoming events include Shouter Baptist Day, which will be celebrated on March 29 and an Interfaith and Thanksgiving Service to commence the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on April 14 at York College, Performing Arts Center, Jamaica, N.Y.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.