A fund-raising Bhajan Mala was hosted by Rukminee Holass Beepath on behalf of the Tobago Hindu Society. The cultural event, held on Saturday 17 September 2022 at the Beepath Ranch on Carr Road, Caparo, attracted singers including Ramraji Prabhu, Nisha Ramkissoon and Rukminee Beepath. Added attractions included a wide range of Indian delicacies and foods on sale. Despite the heavy showers, many turned out to give their support and enjoy an afternoon of bhajans. I was happy to be present to cover this story and share it with you.
The Tobago Hindu Society, guided by Pandit Ramdath Mahase, is working assiduously to have this project completed. “The foundation is completed, and we are waiting on good weather to erect the beams,” said Pulwaty Beepath, President of the Tobago Hindu Society.
The mandir is expected to cost $2.5 million when completed and the President expressed joy and happiness with the support the Hindu society is getting both locally and abroad. The Tobago Hindu Society has had numerous challenges, but the members have persevered to reach this far.
Not having a physical structure has not deterred the Hindu Society from celebrating all the major Hindu festivals. Earlier this year Indian Arrival Day, May 30, was celebrated under the patronage of the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly. Also present for the celebration were several artistes and cultural enthusiasts from Trinidad.
Plans are also afoot for the celebration of Divali at the Gulf City Mall on October 15 with the Mahatma Gandhi Institute and the Shiv Jyothi Mandir of Las Lomas led by Pandit Ramdath Mahase scheduled to provide entertainment. Several devotees from Trinidad plan to make the trip to experience Divali in Tobago. “Tobagonians are also invited to join in the celebrations and enjoy the delicious meals served along with Indian sweets,” said Pulwaty.
Rukminee Holas Beepath continues to be an ambassador of Hindu dharma in Trinidad. A retired teacher, Ms Beepath has constructed a cultural center on a 5-acre parcel of family land at Car Road, Caparo which she uses as a center to teach various aspects of Indian culture – tying of dhoti and saree, folk singing, mehndi arts, hosting of wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc.
The Holass family, originating in Chatham, south Trinidad, comprised of seven siblings. Rukminee recalled that “our father and mother were our gurus who took time to teach their seven children” the various aspects of the Hindu traditions including folk songs and music. Rukminee has gone a step further to document the many songs that are appropriate for the different sankaras- births, wedding, pilgrimage, death etc. “I did the research for these books during my vacations and always consulted with a few pandits to ensure I was on the right path,” said Rukminee.
The construction of the first mandir in Tobago is no small task and the Tobago Hindu Society is persevering it its mission and welcomes your support to bring this mandir to fruition.
For further info you can contact the following: Pulwaty – 291-9863; Pandit Ramdath Mahase – 752-0870 and Rukminee Beepath- 724-9221.