Bavina Sookdeo, Editor, gieMAGAZINE
“Our first ever programme at the COSTAATT South Campus celebrating Indian Arrival Day was a remarkable and enjoyable success.” These were the words of Clinton Benjamin, Director of COSTAATT’s South Campus as he commented on the campus’ 1st Annual Indian Arrival Day celebration. The celebration took place at the Campus on June 1st and indeed, it was a success.
The celebration was organised by several staff members, notably Leela Hosein, Coordinator, Business Services and Sanjiv Ramcharan, Senior Lecturer. Hosein told gieMAGAZINE that “the event would not have been possible without the assistance of the students and the many staff members who participated.” “For this” she said, “we are extremely grateful.” The grand celebration started off with tassa drumming which blasted throughout the campus. The warm welcome address was then given by the Campus Director after which several students offered their prayers. Doing a Hindu prayer was Teneille Ramsuchit, Cindy Balgobin did an Islamic prayer while Andrew Sinanan did a Christian prayer.
The Master of Ceremonies, Jairaj Singh, then introduced student, Stephan Furlonge who gave his melodious rendition of the National Anthem. A Modern Film Dance was then performed by the Tri-Devi Dance Company. Patrons were quite engrossed at this point and this was just the start of things. Lecturer, Sanjiv Ramcharan, gave an informative, historical perspective of Indian Arrival here in Trinidad and Tobago. Harmonious, modern film songs were done by Ryan Rampersad and Ravi Babooram and these were then followed by several dance items and a poem. A skit, done by several COSTAATT students, had the audience in stitches as the students recounted the voyage their ancestors took from India to Trinidad. A Fashion show, however, was indeed the highlight of the event. More than 15 models – consisting of students and staff members – graced the stage dressed in brilliantly coloured clothing sponsored by ‘Colours of India’. The audience cheered as they experienced such beauty, elegance and colour. At the end of it all, only two models could have been crowned ‘Best Dressed Male’ and ‘Best Dressed Female’. Chief Judge, Mandisa Gordon, stated that the task of deciding who should take home the crown was indeed a difficult one and after much deliberation the crowd seemed to be pleased with the results. Lab Technician, Leann Dogan won the title ‘Best Dressed Female’ while Robin Ramlal, Math Lecturer, won the title ‘Best Dressed Male’.
The event culminated with tassa drumming and a vote of thanks done by staff member, Aaron Mohammed. The closing prayer was also done by another staff member, Franklyn Mondesir. Doubles and aloo pies, sponsored by Southern Supplies Limited, were then served to the guests. In an interview with gieMAGAZINE after the event, the Campus Director stated “A lot of hard work and time went into planning this programme, and it feels good to see that everything came off as planned. The programme sparked a lot of interest among the students, faculty and staff to participate, and the excitement levels at the South Campus were very high. We look forward to planning next year’s programme, as well as planning similar programmes celebrating other national milestones in the near future.” Students did confirm that they look forward to the 2nd Annual Indian Arrival Day celebrations. Congratulations to COSTAATT’s South Campus for putting on such a grand show!