The combination of Sada roti and baigan choka is a simple culinary delight taken for granted nowadays and the dish is, in fact, extinct in many homes.
Partly the problem is that there are so few “firesides” left. To “swell” the roti, it is put in microwave ovens instead of the mouth of a fireside.
The Guyana Hindhu Dharmic Sabha thought that it was important to display the “traditional” way roti was made in the old days, and so it was served up with a variety of chokas, Baigan of course, being the favourite.
However, this was not the only delicacy that went on sale at the Indian Arrival celebrations held over the weekend at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence. There was the ever-popular seven curry, hot potato balls, pakoras and samosas and the richly sweet jalebee, peras and gulab jamuns.
This week, the treat continues at other events to celebrate Indian arrival. Last evening the Indian Commemoration Trust hosted Pushpanjali and today the Indian Cultural and Religious Association on the West Demerara will hold its celebrations.
At the stadium over the weekend, a 120-foot replica of the Whitby, one of the ships that brought the first set of Indians to Guyana under the system of indentureship, was on display. Inside was a poster exhibition of the life of the early immigrants.
The replica was put together by Andrew Arts and featured pictures of two of earliest indentured workers who came to what was then British Guiana in pursuit of a better life, but found instead a system akin to slavery.
A replica of a logie was also added for good flair, but unlike last year, the logie didn’t create an actual feel of what it was like for the East Indian immigrants who lived in them.
Among the other highlights of the event was the creation of a Hindu temple.
The theme for the Sabha’s arrival celebrations is “See it, Experience it, Live it.”
In the stadium proper, set against a breathtaking backdrop, there was be an elaborate stage programme featuring a variety of dances by the Dharmic Nritya Sangh and West Berbice Praant, songs and music by an extensive list of Guyana’s best artistes, traditional singing and drumming, fashion display and highlights from the recently held Ramlila production.
Patrons to the event had the opportunity to enjoy short dramatic presentations in an outdoor theatre, and shop or sightsee in the various streets or galis created especially for the occasion.
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