Hundreds of Trinidadians arrived at the Arya Spiritual Center Inc. Ground in Queens on Saturday, June 2 to participate in the first Trinidad and Tobago Indian Arrival Day Mela 2012 in New York organized by the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and faith-based and community representatives.
The program began with invocations by members of the major faith-based organizations in the community. Master of Ceremonies was Rose Hyder.
A lve band and Trinidad and Tobago performers including the Boodosingh Tassa Group, the David Ali Dance Academy Nachale Sitare Dancers, Lalchan Rafi Singh, Laura Chatoor, Rahamut Sultan and Tyroon Mohammed, Robbie Dalip, Roopchan Rambharat, Sasha Parmasad and Satyanand Maharaj entertained the crowd for seven hours.
The children of the Arya Spiritual Community also performed an acroustic using the words Indian Arrival Day.
The consulate general, hosted a booth and offered immigration and consular services with the assistance of immigration lawyer Alicia Mohammed. Other booths included those manned by the NYPD’s new Immigrant Outreach Unit, Vinda Lalchan’s Decorations, Citibank, Arya Spiritual Center, East India Music School, Ms Bhagwatie Dwarika who displayed East Indian artifacts, Shiva Mandir, Sudama Mandir and Shri Ganapati Bhavan.
East Indian delicacies were available for sale, which the crowd sampled with delight. A Trinidad&Tobago East Indian Arrival Queen, Roshnie Rakal was selected from 11 finalists, while Khailash Moonilalsingh won a return trip to Trinidad and Tobago, courtesy Easyjet and Spotlight Television.
Two elders over 80 years of age from the community: Dulles Rakal and Sarjudai Ram, were honored. Ryan Ramlal donated the banner, and Star Party Rentals assisted with the infrastructure for the event.
Consul General Mrs. Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam, escorted onstage by Caribbean Originals Tassa Group, addressed the audience, emphasising the importance of Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago and the contribution of the East Indians to forming a valuable national identity.
The consulate general hopes to make this an annual event.