T&T’s Diversity is Our Light, Let it Shine

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‘Our uniqueness, passion and multi-culture that defines us as Trinbagonians is our light’


By Alicia Chamely

IN times of darkness, there is always a light. As tiny as it is, it is always there. A sign of hope, a reminder that all is not lost.

We are in a time of darkness. A quick glance through the newspapers, a drive through our nation’s cities, towns and villages all scream of a nation on the brink of collapse.

We are bombarded daily with senseless killings and government scandals. None of us, from the poorest to the richest, feel safe. There is an undeniable melancholy that surrounds us, swallowing our goodness and feeding our contempt.

But within this darkness, there is still so much light, so much beauty and it is one that cannot be extinguished.

‘We’ve let governments, community leaders, social preachers and others divide us’

Trinidad and Tobago is truly a remarkable land, a mountainous island rich in cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. Amerindian, African, Indian, European, Chinese, Middle Eastern and everything else in between, we are truly a phenomenal mix of people. And as time has passed, we have learned to love and enjoy each other’s cultures. We eat each other’s food, dance to each other’s music and celebrate each other’s achievements.


This is our light, us as a people. Our uniqueness, passion and multi-culture that defines us as Trinbagonians is our light.

But we’ve forgotten. We’ve let governments, community leaders, social preachers and others divide us. They have pitted us against each other to win our votes, our loyalty and our trust. They have fed off our insecurities and our desires for more. And blindly, we’ve made them fat.


What has this gotten us? Nothing, a divided nation bickering at one another, fighting the fights of our leaders while they get drunk on power and our homes burn to the ground.

We’ve lost sight of our beauty and light.

My six-year-old son came home from school on Thursday proudly displaying a deeya he painted. Beaming with pride he announced, “Mum did you know that Divali is about light over darkness! Good always mashes up evil and when we light this deeya all the bad will go away.” He then went looking for matches, which is a whole other bag of crazy.


But this child in his sweet naivety got it. He understood that the light always defeats the dark and all we must do is bring that light forward, let it shine.

It’s easy to get consumed by all the bad around us, in fact, it’s near impossible not to be weighed down by the state of our national affairs. So, we forget our greatness and it is our greatness that is our light.


As we gather to celebrate Divali, Hindus and non-Hindus alike, I implore you all to focus on the light in our lives, any moment that makes you smile, any tiny blessing, any glimmer of hope or goodness that exists around you.

We are the light, and only in understanding this can we defeat the darkness.

Shubh Divali to all in our beautiful T&T.



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