Why is Guyana Hindu?
The most Popular greeting in Guyana is ‘Sita Ram!’. Has it been India you will not be surprised but thousands and thousands of miles away finding this Hindu culture is certainly a delight. Guyana has large Hindu Population.
Smt. Vindhya Vasini Prasad, is a Member of Parliament in Guyana. Guyana is part of Caribbean.
Indians arrived in Guayana 108 years back. They still cerebrate 5th May as their arrival day in Guyana.
They faced persecution and we not repressed . They could not follow their own religion. Ramayana and Gita are the two text books which kept the spirit alive for them. Guyanese Hindus, also keep on performing Yajna, which was a means of social gathering and gave the hope and strength to fight the oppression. They survived the prolonged of oppression and still carry on their culture.
Ramayana has been the core strength of their characters.
They are Guyanese as any other native but still they held their Hindu roots. While many of African slaves lost their original identity and took over the surname name of their owners, Like One working for Smith took over the name of Smith etc. Africans and Indian slaves faced the same oppression. However the Hindus prevailed their religion. Much because of their open mindedness and faith i values of Ramayana.
Among Indian origins immigrants of Caribbean, Mauritius and Fiji still speak and celebrate Bhojpuri, Awadhi languages and have music bands etc… But in India its made fun of and considered second grade dialects.
Guyana is only English speaking country in South America. It is interesting to note that in Guyana Indians use English while in neighboring Surinam they still speak Hindi .
I remember some 14 years back I was working in an MNC at Mumbai. We had an inter from Guyana. He was a Hindu Guyanese. He carried a traditional Hindu ‘Shikha – also called Choti’ and was very devout about Ramayana. My Hindu office colleagues were taken a aback with his Hindu leanings and tried to convince him how these things were deemed backwards in India. He once confessed to me, how surprised he felt on their reaction. He said for they still revere Ramayan in India and mark of Hindu traditions were a matter a pride for them. They thought they will have more of Hindu fervor back in India even today, but was greatly surprised on the attitude of current Indian Hindus.
Please remember it is not easy to remain Hindus when your land up as a slave/ contract labour in foreign country. Some of them are not fortunate enough. See the below screenshot of comment on this video only.
Hindus in Guyana became a cohesive unit because of the oppression and challenges they faced their. Ramayana and Mahabharata gave them solace and strength to not only to fight the oppression . Imagine the strength and values our holy ‘Dharmgranthas’ possess. Hindus in India should learn something for them and refrain from belittling our culture and heritage they way do it in the name of secularism..
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