11-year-old Sameer Matthew assists Randy Bhagwandeen and Lutchmi Duncan in decorating Lyle Lane Street in honor of Jankie Persad. Photo: Azlan Mohammed
By Azlan Mohammed
THE village of Felicity is synonymous with pomp and festivities when one speaks of Divali in Trinidad and Tobago.
Located west of Chaguanas with a population of more than 12,000, residents use an array of decorations every year to celebrate the Hindu festival of lights.
On Divali night streets and homes are covered with thousands of lit deyas and coloured bulbs to welcome the Hindu goddess Mother Lakshmi.
In the past, tassa drums and orchestras added to the ambience as bhajans were heard on almost every street.
This atmosphere usually attracts hundreds of visitors from all parts of the country.
This year will be different.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a damper on the hype with ministry of health officials advising people to stay at home to avoid the spread of the virus.
The Lower Lyle Lane Street Divali committee led by Navin Heeraman told AZPNews.com his team has made an extra effort to have the streets decorated in honour of Jankie Persad who passed on earlier this year.
Heeraman said Persad lit the streets with flambeaux and deeyas attached to bamboo for more than 20 years and his traditions will be honoured though with less pomp than previous years.
The Central Felicity Organisation is also having a smaller celebration this year.
Member Hudson Mahabir said they were only having two arches with lights strung over the road.
He said only about 1,800 feet will be decorated as opposed to many more in years gone by.