Walter Rodney Archives pays tribute to Indian indentured labourers
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, October 30, 2017
A country or nation without its past is like a ship without a sail. Recognising this, the Walter Rodney Archives is paying tribute to the Indian indentured labourers who played an integral role in the development of Guyana.
This is being done through a week-long exhibition in commemoration of the centenary anniversary for the abolition of East Indian indentureship, at the Walter Rodney Archives on Homestretch Avenue. The exhibition is being hosted under the theme, “Documentary Heritage of Indian Indentured Labours, History and Genealogical Research using the National Archives of Guyana.”
Director of Culture (ag) Tamika Boatswain said that the exhibition is timely, as it showcases the tremendous contribution of East Indians to Guyanese culture, through dance, food, clothing and music among others.
Boatswain said that she was excited about the exhibition because it will give those visiting an “East Indian experience” on their arrival and days that followed. The show is also deemed one of a kind by the culture director because not many persons can trace their heritage and recreate the experience, their fore parents would have endured.
“It is hope that through this exhibition, which is a collection of banners, newspapers, artifacts and other relevant pieces, that Guyanese will be sensitised about the East Indian experience during indentureship and the many contributions they would have made to Guyana, as we know it today”, Boatswain stated.
Senior Assistant Archivist, Karen Budram is encouraging persons to visit the archives and trace their ancestral background. During her presentation, Budram detailed how she utilised the materials in the archives to track her ancestors. Within months of research, she managed retrieve information on almost all her ancestors who arrived in 1838 and afterwards.
The exhibition is open daily to everyone. Schools are especially being encouraged by the Walter Rodney Archives to visit the exhibition and to utilize the materials within.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite