The 5th of May 2011 is a special day for a number of reasons;
1. Its Indian Arrival day,
2. There’s International Cricket at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence between the West Indies and Pakistan teams,
3. It’s National Day of Prayer, and
4. It’s Cinco de Mayo
Did I miss anything?
CINCO DE MAYO
To address the last first, Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday celebrated in the United States of America (US) and Mexico. It is observed in the US as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
National Day of Prayer (NDP) is celebrated annually on the 1st Thursday in May. The NDP was established by an act of Congress which encourages Americans to pray for our nation, its leaders and the other inhabitants. Its Task Force concentrates on the need to pray for those in leadership on all levels and areas of influence.
It is a surprise that the words Cricket, Guyana, and brilliant sunshine can be used in the same sentence. Pakistan faces the West Indies in their final One Day International Cricket match of the Digicel series at the Guyana National Stadium Providence. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat and lead the five match series 3-1. Guyanese leg spinner Devendra Bishoo, 25, has been the highlight of the series for West Indies thus far. It is so nice that he will finish the one-day aspect of the series on his home ground. Good luck to the Guys!!!! I trust that they salvage some pride and win this one to end the series 3-2.
INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY
Lastly and most significant from a Guyanese and a Caribbean perspective is the Indian Arrival Day. On May 5, 1838 the first group of Indian indentured immigrants disembarked from the British ship, the Whitby in Georgetown, then known as British Guiana. They were brought to the country to work on the sugar plantations as indentured laborers. In 2003 the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) called on President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Government to declare May 5th a national holiday to be called “Indian Arrival Day”. The request was granted and since 2004 this day was officially made a National Holiday in Guyana.
Indian descendants comprise the majority of Guyana’s population which is approximately 770,000.
Since 1838 several ships have arrived in the Caribbean at various times until the end of indentureship in 1917. Below is a list of the Islands’, the year, and the number of immigrants who arrived on those ships. This is a reminder of the manner in which persons of East Indian decent became part of the Caribbean population.
Period: 1838 to 1917
Country Amount Year
British Guiana (Guyana) 238,909 – 1838
Belize 3,000 - 1857
French Guiana 8,500 – 1855
Grenada 3,200 – 1857
Guadeloupe 42,326 – 1854
Jamaica 37,027 - 1845
Martinique 25,509 – 1853
St. Croix 321 - 1862
St. Kitts 337 - 1861
St. Lucia 4,354 - 1859
St. Vincent 2,472 – 1861
Suriname 34,304 - 1873
Trinidad 143,939 - 1845
No Indentured immigrants (East Indians) went to Barbados although it was owned by the British and had a large sugar plantation. However, today Barbados has over 3,500 East Indians and Hinduism is becoming a growing religion.
HAPPY INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY!!!! to all Guyanese.
HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO / FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!!!!
Have you offered a prayer for the US today? Hmmm, I wonder what those West Indies cricketers are going to do in today’s match??