Tastes Like Home

Hi Everyone, Back in March, at the onset of Phagwah, (Hindu festival that celebrates Spring), I wrote about how living in a multicultural society provides an opportunity to learn the customs and traditions of my fellow country-people, and that being bi-racial provides me with a front-row seat to the cultural heritage of my parents. Well at times like these when we have recently celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr (marking the end of Ramadan), Diwali (festival of lights) in this week and next month, when we have Eid-ul-Adha (commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son) to look forward to, I feel so blessed to come from such a diverse country and family.

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago are home to the largest populations of Hindus and Muslims in the Caribbean, and Hindu and Muslim religious holidays are, therefore, national holidays. Thus everyone in those countries celebrates in their own way. Those who are not Hindu or Muslim spend part, if not the entire day, with family and friends who observe the religious occasion.

Growing up I was predominantly surrounded by my mother’s family, especially my aunt, Betty who was Hindu (she’s since converted to Catholicism) and her family. And it was from Auntie Betty that I learnt a lot about festival foods. I would watch her and my cousin, Shanti and the other relatives who would come to visit for the holidays, prepping and cooking all day. The house would be full of delicious smells and chattering as the women caught up on what was happening in each other’s lives and discussing what their children were up to. As for the men, well

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