Written by Felicia Gopi
Religion can be intimidating. More and more you hear Gen Z and Millennial folks describe themselves as atheists, or as “spiritual but not religious”. Young adults and children in Indo-Caribbean households have mostly grown up Hindu, Muslim or Christian and while many have held onto their religious practices and traditions, there are some who would describe themselves as blank but not that religious. The term religion itself, for many folks - worldwide, signifies a system of rules or a structure to be followed; something Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X have a knack for challenging.
I found myself at these crossroads in 2020 when I had the unique opportunity to join the Gayatri Mandir on Sunday mornings via Zoom. Immediately, all my resistance and intimidation (largely based on a lack of information on the subject), came to a halt and I felt like I was presented with a very approachable and accessible way to learn more about Hinduism from leaders in my community that I had known my whole life alongside my extended family. Joining those Sunday Zooms made me feel closer to my cousins, aunts and uncles while I also learned from two respected figures in our community. ...Read More
Written by Rebecca Dass
Indo-Caribbean women have played a central role in narratives of survival throughout history. However, representations of Indo-Caribbean women’s resilience through time have been monotonous, and they have not often received the recognition they deserve.
On June 14th I had the pleasure of attending a panel session called Indo-Caribbean Women: Past and Present at the Gardiner Museum at the University of Toronto. Moderated by Alissa Trotz, the panel featured three speakers: Ramabai Espinet, Nalini Mohabir, and Joy Mahabir, who discussed Indo-Caribbean women’s lived experiences in the social, political, and cultural realms from the time of indentureship to present day. ...Read More
Written by Felicia Gopi & Rebecca Dass
As the Toronto Caribbean Carnival season approaches, it's time to get ready for the biggest party of the year! As one of the most important aspects of any carnival celebration is the music, we asked our followers for their favourite songs to create the ultimate carnival hype playlist. Here are some of the top picks for the upcoming Carnival season. ...Read More
Written by Rebecca Dass
“I think a lot of it is pushing people to consider the importance of civics and politics, participating in the things that will shape your life, regardless of whether you want them to.”
Alim Lila, 29, currently works as a Community Engagement Advisor for Metrolinx. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from McMaster University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from York University. He is also a fourth-year Ph.D. student at McMaster University in International Relations, which is on pause at the moment as he focuses on his volunteer work and pursuing professional opportunities.
For Alim, his interest in politics wasn’t necessarily hereditary. Born to an Indo-Guyanese mother and an Indo-Tanzanian father, he explains that his parents didn’t have much of an interest in encouraging politics as he grew up. “A little bit about my parents, when I was very young, they didn’t really emphasize civic or political engagement,” he says. “We would talk about the news sparingly. They weren’t all that interested, and they didn’t want to be. They just didn't care. So I think for a lot of my upbringing, I felt like politics and the government weren’t things I was supposed to be interested in.” ...Read More