On Saturday 28th February, 2010, the Mc Bean Ramleela and Cultural Group hosted the Phagwa celebrations at the Lower Mc Bean Recreational Ground in Couva. During the early morning preparations for the day’s event, Hindu Pundit Dr. Parasram Maharaj took time out from his busy schedule to share a bit of history and meaning of the Hindu festival of Phagwa from its origins in India to its colourful manifestations in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Hindu festival of Phagwa was celebrated throughout Trinidad as people journeyed to different venues to partake of this fun-filled, colourful festival on Sunday 28th February. Known also as Holi or the Festival of Colours, Phagwa is celebrated throughout many communities across Trinidad, where the throwing of coloured powder and coloured water on each other, forms a central part of the festival.
Mr. Mahase Seecharan is a Mc Bean resident who is active is his community. His grandparents were among the first settlers of Mc Bean village. In this interview with Triniview.com, he shares his thoughts on the community and Indian culture.
Kerrie Ramoutar is one of the young members of the Lower Mc Bean Ramleela and Cultural Group. She is considered to be a professional dancer with sixteen years of experience behind her. Kerrie has danced with most of the major dance teachers in Trinidad such as Krishna Persad, Michael Salickram and a few others. Having covered just about all of the Indian dance styles like Classical, Chutney, Folk and so on, Kerry feels confident that she is ready to have her own group called the Nritya Dance Company which she will manage from her home in Lower Mc Bean, Couva. Kerry and her parents Celia Nath and Sookram Ramoutar were eager to share some of their personal experiences with Triniview.com.
Pundit Ravi Maraj is a Mc Bean resident by birth and has been involved with the Ramleela celebrations for approximately 20 years, not only in narrating the entire play, but also helping various communities develop their Ramleela. A gifted and engaging storyteller, he sat down with Triniview.com to share his perspective on the Ramleela celebration.
The Ramleela celebration really has its genesis taken straight out from the Holy Scripture, the Ramayana. It is set in an age called Treta Yuga. Of course, in Hinduism… in the Hindu traditions we have four ages. We have the Satya Age which is the Golden Age, we have the Dwapara, we have Treta Yuga and we have Kali Yuga, in that order.
The Mc Bean Ramleela and Cultural Group successfully hosted their Ramleela Celebrations on the same compound of the Lower Mc Bean, Couva Hindu Mandir. The celebrations was held over a period of several nights and culminated on Saturday 3rd October, 2009 with an exciting finale that was well attended. The climax of the evening was the burning of the effigy of Ravana symbolizing the Hindu demon, King Ravan which stood 30 feet high off the ground at one end of the large open air space that was also adorned with other props that were used in the play.