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New HomelandsHindu Communities in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa, Fiji, and East Africa$
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Paul Younger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391640.001.0001

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Trinidad: Ethnic Religion

Trinidad: Ethnic Religion

(p.95) Story Three Trinidad: Ethnic Religion
New Homelands

Paul Younger

Oxford University Press

Trinidad had a long history of indigenous and European settlement even before African slaves were brought in. When the Indians joined this complex island culture, they were quickly given their own village areas to live in. In 1868, the Canadian Presbyterian mission started a school system dedicated exclusively to the Indian community and educated Indians were soon moving out into society. In 1952, Bhadase Maraj disrupted the rural base of the Indian community further when he started an Indian political party and the Sanatana Dharma Maha Sabha with its own set of Hindu schools. By 1995, a widespread revival of Hindu religious practice was underway, and a new version of the Indian political party, called the United National Congress (UNC), had come to power. In this context the various cultural rivalries in the society were sharp, and Hinduism functioned as an ethnic religion for the Indians.

Keywords:   Trinidad, island culture, Canadian Presbyterian schools, Bhadase Maraj, Sanatana Dharma Maha Sabha, United National Congress (UNC), ethnic religion

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