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Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell to open International conference on Indian Diaspora

Prime Minister Keith Mitchell

Grenada, April 15 (UITV)- At the end of this month, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell will formally open the international conference on the Indian diaspora in Grenada and the Wider Caribbean in another sign of the growing political and social profile of the Indian community settled in various parts of the world.

The conference is being organized by the Indo-Grenadian Heritage Foundation, Indian Cultural Organization Inc. and Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co. Ltd with support from Belmont Estate Group of Companies and the High Commission of India in Trinidad and Tobago.

According to report, the weekend conference from Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1 will commemorate the arrival of East Indians in Grenada in May 1, 1857. May 1 has been officially recognized by the government since 2009 as Indian Arrival Day. On that historic day, the Maidstone docked at Irwin’s Bay in St. Patrick’s with 287 passengers who were brought as indentured laborers to replace the emancipated African slaves.

In this African-dominated society, Indians now comprise 2% of the total population of Grenada. Indian cuisine has been retained in the form of roti, curried goat and various types of cooked vegetables. The Caribbean countries have small Indian origin populations but as a percentage of the total population their influence on the countries’ politics, culture, business and society is significant.

The Grenada conference aims to bring together academics, historians, teachers, tourism and other persons with an interest in the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean to discuss their research findings. There is now plan to organize one conference every year in various parts of the region.