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Celebrating Multiculturalism!

We are rich in so many ways as a people and sometimes due to human nature it is something we take for granted as individuals. What does it mean to “Celebrate Multiculturalism”? 

  •  According to Dictionary.com multiculturalism is,
“noun

1.

the state or condition of being multicultural.

2.

the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation.”
Look around us, in our country, don’t we see evidence of multiculturalism? Look at our buildings, our way of dressing, our food, and a basic thing as our calendar! It surrounds us and it is us! It is who we are as a people! As a people, we should be proud of it and we should celebrate it! Let’s celebrate it! Let me paint the picture and you enjoy looking at this story unfold!
Hindu Temple- Coromandel Shiv Mandir located in Coromandel Village Cedros
Hindu Temple- Coromandel Shiv Mandir located in Coromandel Village Cedros
Jhandis flying high following Puja (Hindu Prayer Ceremony)
Jhandis flying high following Puja (Hindu Prayer Ceremony)
The dome of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir, Coromandel Village, Cedros
The dome of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir, Coromandel Village, Cedros
Beautifully decorated bedi- Coromandel Shiv Mandir, Coromandel Village Cedros
Beautifully decorated bedi- Coromandel Shiv Mandir, Coromandel Village Cedros
A view of the stage of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir SDMS Branch 370
A view of the stage of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir SDMS Branch 370
Beautiful Lord Shiva Murti- Coromandel Shiv Mandir!
Beautiful Lord Shiva Murti- Coromandel Shiv Mandir!
20140816_170132
Mehindi!
85 foot Hanuman Murti at Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre, Orange Field Road, Carapichaima
85 foot Hanuman Murti at Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre, Orange Field Road, Carapichaima
Divali!
Divali!
Divali!
Divali!
Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, Tobago
Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, Tobago
Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, Tobago!
Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, Tobago!
Fullerton Village Cedros- Hosay 2009
Fullerton Village Cedros- Hosay 2009
Fullerton Village Cedros- Hosay 2011
Fullerton Village Cedros- Hosay 2011
Point Fortin Roman Catholic Church
Point Fortin Roman Catholic Church
Another view of Point Fortin Roman Catholic Church
Another view of Point Fortin Roman Catholic Church
Trinidad Mall Pic!
Trinidad Mall Pic!
Another Trini Mall pic! -Beautiful Santa's corner!
Another Trini Mall pic! -Beautiful Santa’s corner!
20141101_173322
First pics of Fullerton Hosay 2014- November 1, 2014
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My dad busy at work on final touches! Fullerton Hosay 2014!
Shiva got a pic with my uncle- Ramraj Thomas, President of Fullerton Hosay Camp
Shiva got a pic with my uncle- Ramraj Thomas, President of Fullerton Hosay Camp

Look at these links to paint a more vivid picture:

British Academy 2014 Carnival:   http://britishacademy.edu.tt/our-students/pictures/gallery/carnival-2014

British Academy 2014 Divali: http://britishacademy.edu.tt/our-students/pictures/gallery/divali-2014

Our Muslim culture can be seen by using this link: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trinidad+mosque&qpvt=trinidad+mosque&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=4D2146152F59CFFF4D0126A29271D460BA2C66C7&selectedIndex=45

The diversity of our food can be seen by using this link: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trinidad%20food&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=trinidad%20food&sc=8-13&sp=-1&sk=&ajf=10

Our high religious beliefs can be seen by visiting this link: http://www.trinoutdoors.com/pages/religous%20sites.htm
We shine as one people! As the voice of David Rudder sings out , sing along and celebrate our Multiculturalism.
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Celebrating Courage!

Are you having a bad day? Did you have to drag yourself out of bed this morning and is today just one of those days you can’t just wait to get through? Is it taking everything within you to just get through it? I’m no motivational speaker, and don’t endeavour to be one. I’m just a simple soul on this journey called life- a simple soul who believes in treating others as you would want to be treated. Our journey continues and so does our celebration! What is our focus? To celebrate!

To celebrate what? To celebrate your courage! What does ‘celebrating courage’ mean? Firstly, let’s look at what courage means!

“Courage”

  • a noun
  • according to Oxford Dictionaries it means “Having the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery” & having “Strength in the face of pain or grief”.

Courage= those you stand up for their rights

Courage= those who stand up for the rights of others

Courage=those who stand up for their beliefs

Courage= those who stand up for the beliefs of others

Courage =those who fight to survive

Courage=those who are resilient, unwavering, determined

Courage= our leaders (past and present); our ancestors; our parents;

Courage= You= “Finding strength in face of pain or grief” & doing stuff that frightens you but you know you need to do

Courage= Me=”Finding strength in face of pain or grief” & doing stuff that frightens me but I know I need to do.

Celebrating Courage is dedicated to celebrating your bravery and celebrating your strength, be it mental strength or physical strength. It is dedicated to celebrating your bravery in circumstance be it love, or adversity; loss or gain; as it applies to getting through today, that journey over the years to where you are now, bravery to fight the fiercest storms and weather the toughest battles.

Celebrate your courage in overcoming whatever battles have been in your way! Celebrate your courage in getting through today! Celebrate your courage to get through tomorrow and all the other ‘tomorrows’ that follow! Celebrate the courage of the people in your life too! Today I celebrate you and your courage whether you are a friend, family member, colleague,COMM 350 classmate or happy reader happy to visit my blog! Today I celebrate the courage of loved ones, family and friends, both yours and mine. Be strong and keep taking it one day at a time, one hour at a time and one minute at a time. If that’s too much take it one second at a time and know bit by bit it will be over and you will get through it, and you will be a better you because of it!

I am like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, who are you?

Listen to these words from The Wanted, enjoy the beat and celebrate your courage and the courage of your loved ones, your family and friends and those whose actions are courageous! Thank you for reading!

 
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Celebrating Life!

Celebrating Life! Yes, it’s a critical part of celebrating existence so let’s do it! Today is a new day and yes, it presented us with a new dawn! Let’s celebrate life individually and collectively!

Let’s not make the unfortunate blunder of putting off what we can do today when we know time waits on no man and very few of us know where we will be tomorrow or what we will be doing. Time is fleeting and uncertain! Do we and if we do, how often do we celebrate life? Or is it that we as humans wait for Birthdays and new born births to celebrate life? Or is it that we wait for death to celebrate life? Hopefully not as it would represent a sad state of affairs and a horrid mind set. Look around you- we are surrounded by life, not just by the people around us, but also via the animals and plants, whether we choose to accept it or not.

Remember that saying that the grass is always greener on the other side? They add variety, they add beauty, they add value and they sustain us! They rely on water and nourishment just as we do! My celebration of life is via the flora and fauna I have highlighted!

Life exists on land and in water!
Life exists on land and in water!
Life is represented in beautiful flowers
Life is represented in beautiful flowers
To survive all forms of life love and attention in addition to nourishment!
To survive all forms of life need love and attention in addition to nourishment!
It can be nearer the ground.
Forms of live exist as various flowers.
Simply Beautiful!
Simply Beautiful!
Our shelled friends need to be celebrated and taken care of. They harm no one and like you or me, they are also God's children!
Our shelled friends need to be celebrated and taken care of. They harm no one and like you or me, they are also God’s children!
Look at how peaceful it sits and how harmlessly! A celebration of life!
Look at how peaceful it sits and how harmlessly! A celebration of life!
Look at how freely our fishy friend swims!
Look at how freely our fishy friend swims!
Who is he harming? Nobody!
Who is he harming? Nobody!
Our caged friend too helps us enjoy life! Its existence is also a celebration of life!
Our caged friend too helps us enjoy life! Its existence is also a celebration of life!
And last but not least man's best friend, the dog is another of God's children!
And last but not least man’s best friend, the dog is another of God’s children!

What’s next? Sing and dance and thank God for today! Let’s celebrate life for all that it represents! The song dedicated to this post is Lord Pretender’s “Never Ever Ever Worry!”

Thank you YouTube, thank you Lord Pretender and thank you Brother Resistance!

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Celebrating Our Union- Window to my soul-11 October, 2002!

This is the song I dedicate to our relationship and love story:

Crazy? Maybe! A plain romantic! A bit spontaneous? Surely! Here I celebrate our union by sharing parts of a letter to my husband that was written so many years before meeting him as well as some songs that capture what we share! In short, it’s a dedication to our growing bond and growing romance as we build it chapter by chapter! I am nervous as this is sharing something I kept with me and to myself for years before actually sharing it with Shiva. I believed that there was someone for me to share my life with and I asked God as I continually do, to keep him safe. It’s a literal case of loving someone before meeting him. My relationship with him and what we share is proof that it was meant for him.

Date: 11 October, 2002

How are you? I hope that you’re fine, happy and in the absolute best of health. Look at the date on this thing will you? Anyway I shouldn’t be bothered because I imagine that by now you’ve grown accustomed to my occasional spark of spontaneity, crazy, sheer fun and need to be out of the ordinary and anticipated.  If you haven’t you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about. I guarantee you there was a spontaneous flare to Rachael Ann Thomas. Hence the reason you’re reading this now and hence the reason it is being written so long before it has any possible chance of being delivered. Truth be told, I’m not really sure but it feels like the right thing to do because to me, this is so partly, a moment of reflection, in terms of where I’ve come from and where I am as well as my mind set.

I’m confident of where I am as an individual, where we are and where we may be in years to come. It’s symbolic of my faith, determination and my courage to persevere regardless of what troubled waters, or even brewing storms may lie ahead. I’m not going to be a “Runaway Bride” or chicken out when the going gets tough. Hey I may not need to let you know this because you probably know it already! Anyway, on with the letter right?

That’s right, I was just getting into letting you know that by the time you read this I’m confident in who I am as an individual, my place in society, my role in your life and who we are as a pair. This may sound totally crazy, but hey, I’m only just beginning. For as long as I’ve remembered, I’ve been meeting people and learning from them and about them. Added to that I conjured up a picture of what my life would be like in years to come. That picture continued changing as I grew older and I think I can owe all of that to a combination of maturity, reality and circumstances in terms of my health which has played a dominant role in my life and my experiences I’ve had as well as the challenges. They have been numerous but one thing which has been apparent is that I don’t give up easily. This letter is a testimony to that because though I’ve had quite my share of the ‘bad and ugly’ or felt I hit rock  bottom a part of me knew someday things would get better.

My ‘Dreamguy’ if I can call him that has always been a realistic figure and not some  Prince Charming that comes out of Cinderella and goes in search of a fair maiden who has lost her glass slipper or a Prince who wakes Sleeping Beauty up. Of course, I can choose to borrow the phrase “Prince Charming” because this is what I see my Dream Guy as being. That is how I see him and this is what he is to me in every sense of the word. Or better yet, let me rephrase that, I can borrow “Prince Charming” to describe you because of the way I see you and because of what having you in my life means. Let me see- he ought to be someone who:

  1. respects me
  2. trusts me
  3. supports me
  4. listens to me
  5. someone that I can talk to freely and comfortably and in addition to this,
  6. he ought to be able to make me laugh
  7. make me happy
  8. make me feel safe and secure
  9. be generally wonderful and pleasant to be around
  10. believe in me
  11. be honest to me
  12. comfort me when I need to be comforted
  13.  tell me the truth even if I don’t want to hear it
  14.  accept the challenges my health has imposed on me
  15. a shoulder that I can lean on.

Even though I would feel rather privileged to find all of these in my dreamguy my greatest joy would be in being able to do the same for him regardless of what eventuality may present itself. The fact that you are reading this is proof that you exist and I found you.

In short my “Dreamguy” is someone who can be at my side in spite of the circumstances and can rest assured I will readily do the same for him. That may be easier said than done for some  but even if you underestimate or doubt me, time will tell. Obstacles and challenges are inevitable but we will deal with them as they come.

Imagine loving someone before you meet them, loving them all the more when you actually meet and loving them more with each passing day. I’m glad we found each other and you prove me right. I’m not giving up on you and I never will. I’m grateful to have you in my life and I’m excited about the stage that we are in our relationship when you read this. As we write the pages of this new chapter of our lives, I am ready and willing to accept all that is yet to come, as I am sure you are. Let’s make the most of it and let us continue to make memories that will stay in our hearts and the hearts of our loved ones for years to come.

I can see you, I can hear you, I can feel you and enjoy being with you because of the blessings showered on me from above. ¡Yo te quiero! ¡Te amo y hasta luego!

All my love, hugs and kisses…. With all my heart,

                        Rachael

our rings
Our union! 17 August 2014
Mr. & Mrs. Shiva Jeremiah
The start of a new chapter in our lives as Mr. & Mrs. Shiva Jeremiah.

 

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Celebrating our Union!

Celebrating the marriage of Shiva Jeremiah (son of Mrs. Rajkumarie Jeremiah and the late Mr. Paul Jeremiah) and Rachael Ann Thomas (daughter of Mr.Ranjit Thomas and Mrs. Doris Thomas)

Wedding Ceremony: 17 August 2014

Venue: Coromandel Shiv Mandir, Coromandel Village, Cedros
Yes folks, I’m celebrating our union that began on August 17, 2014 when our families came together to witness our marriage ceremony at the Coromandel Shiv Mandir. The Coromandel Shiv Mandir is on the main road in the village I grew up in and lived all my life, up until my marriage in, Coromandel Village Cedros, and Coromandel Village Cedros is on the main road on the way to the rest of Cedros. Though just a few days short of our 2 month wedding anniversary this post celebrates the day when our bond was sealed and Shiva Jeremiah made me, Rachael Ann Thomas, his wife and a new chapter began in both our lives.
It’s a day we were looking forward to for a little less than the time we have known each other. On that day everything was in place and everyone was in place. The pictures I add to this post will show exactly what I mean. His journey to Cedros was approximately two (2) hours and though it was a long journey for my groom he was on time.

Shiva and his family-his mom Mrs Rajkumarie Jeremiah, his brother Ugesh Jeremiah, his sister Vidya Jeremiah-Pettersson and his brother-in-law Kenneth Pettersson
My groom before as he was leaving home on the morning of our wedding!

We both had the love and support of our family and loved ones and that is always been something we have been happy about. From day one I have described Shiva as my blessing. Those who may hear me say it may wonder what I am talking about and if I really aware of what I say but this is exactly it- Shiva is indeed my blessing.

Believe it or not years before I met my husband I wrote a letter to my future husband, and trust me, though it may sound crazy it is true. Initially I planned on giving it to him just before our wedding but I was able to share it with him after our wedding.

Here I was putting on my wedding bangles!
Putting on other bridal accessories!
My other bridal accessories!
Me- ready for the wedding- with the expertise of Jagdeo Rampersad, Linda Nazira Mohammed and Suresh Seepersad for my hair, make-up etc! Jagdeo’s Beauty Saloon 1st Floor, Cathay House, Carlton Centre 652-9203
My beautiful mom-Mrs. Doris Thomas and me!
My beautiful mom-Mrs. Doris Thomas and me!
Happy pic with my mom!
Happy pic with my mom!
My mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas and I!
My mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas and I!
Bridal bouquet in hand!
My Beautiful Mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas meets my handsome Groom, Mr. Shiva Jeremiah
My Beautiful Mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas meets my handsome Groom, Mr. Shiva Jeremiah
Our guests present at the very beautiful Coromandel Shiv Mandir!
Our guests present at the very beautiful Coromandel Shiv Mandir!
My arrival for the commencement of the ceremony!
My arrival for the commencement of the ceremony!
We are ready for the start of our wedding ceremony!
We are ready for the start of our wedding ceremony!
We pray!
We pray!
The first offering is made under the guidance of officiating Pundit, Pundit Ramnarine Basdeo of Rousillac.
We make our first offering on the beautifully decorated bedi!
A view of the marrow and the wedding ceremony in progress!
A view of the marrow and the wedding ceremony in progress!
Happy for an opportunity to do Aarti for my Mom and Dad!
Happy for an opportunity to do Aarti for My Mataji and My Pitaji! “Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava” Meaning: Mother and father are the primary Gods
Thankful for an opportunity to bow at the feet of my parents, My Mataji and My Pitaji!
Thankful for an opportunity to bow at the feet of my parents, My Mataji and My Pitaji! “Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava” Meaning: Mother and father are the primary Gods
Thankful for an opportunity to embrace my Mataji and my Pitaji!
Thankful for an opportunity to embrace my Mataji and my Pitaji! “Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava” Meaning: Mother and father are the primary Gods)
walking around the sacred fire!
Our walking around the sacred fire starts!
walking around the fire!
Our walk around the sacred fire continues!
garlanding of the groom!
I garland my groom!
garlanding of the bride!
My groom garlands me!
A view of the stage of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir SDMS Branch 370, Coromandel Village Cedros
A view of the stage of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir SDMS Branch 370, Coromandel Village Cedros
A cross section of our guests, at the front sister of the groom, Vidya Jeremiah Pettersson and cousin of the groom, Rishi Singh
A cross section of our guests, at the front sister of the groom, Vidya Jeremiah Pettersson and cousin of the groom, Rishi Singh
Registration of our marriage!
Registration of our marriage! The legalization of our union begins!
Witness signing continues!
Witness signing continues with our 2nd witness!
Sindoor Dhan
Sindoor Dhan Ceremony!
Putting on Shiva's ring!
I have the pleasure of placing Shiva’s ring on his finger!
Shiva putting my ring on!
Shiva places my ring on my finger!
Mr. & Mrs. Shiva Jeremiah
Mr & Mrs Shiva Jeremiah! Our union is official!
A pic of us with my grandparents, Mr Ramlal Dookie and Mrs Celia Dookie and my aunt, Mrs Mary Bheem and my uncle Uncle James Bheem
A pic of us with my grandparents, Mr Ramlal Dookie and Mrs Celia Dookie and my aunt, Mrs Mary Bheem and my uncle Uncle James Bheem
The wedding car!
The wedding car!
IMG_1901
A picturesque view of the Coromandel Shiv Mandir, SDMS Branch 370 with the presence of our family!
Some members of Shiva's family at the front! Some members of my family are seated at the back!
Some members of Shiva’s family at the front! Some members of my family are seated at the back!
Our family!
Our Datta family!
Dear friend, Estervia with us!
My dear friend, Estervia sitting with us!
Datta family- Akash and Amanda
We were honoured to have some members of our Datta family with us, Mr Akash Ramdial and Mrs Amanda Ramdial.
Datta family-Mukesh, Nadine, & Datta!
We were honoured to have our other Datta family at our wedding, Mukesh, Nadine and their son, Kaartaveerya Datta

A memorable day- yes most certainly!

The start of a new chapter. The start of a new journey.

Come what may, we will take it one day at a time, one lesson at a time and celebrate each moment that comes our way!

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Celebrating Today!

Some people can spend all their lives complaining but I can’t. I’m not angry about that. I accept that that’s what makes us diverse and true enough “Celebrating Today!” might be easier for some than it is for others. Additionally people may celebrate today in different ways. Those who know me and I mean really know me would know what some days can be for me. I prefer to be positive and realistic rather than negative and unrealistic.

Of course, I am human so yes, sometimes I may be bogged down, tired and drained, but generally I prefer to be unmoved and press on. I do what needs to be done and make a positive out of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”. If you cannot remember it, listen to this:

I can celebrate today because:

  1. I am writing this blog now- today-(Oct. 12, 2014, a day which is here today but gone forever tomorrow).
  2. I got up to see a new day. Some people did not.
  3. I can make my COMM350 classmates smile.
  4. Visitors to my blog are happy. The comments are proof of this and the fact that we have reason to celebrate.
  5. I was able to see the successes of students of the British Academy for the Academic Year 2013-2014 (this is where I teach-The British Academy, Alexandra St, St. Clair). The successes of these students were recognized at the Prize Giving Ceremony held on Wednesday 10, 2014. (If you are interested in finding out what I am talking about, you can visit, http://britishacademy.edu.tt/our-students/pictures/gallery/prizegiving-2014 and you can also visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-British-Academy/491941737535309.
  6. I completed Course 1: Foundations for Learning 1: Introduction that I did as part of my professional development with the Commonwealth Education Trust ( If you are interested in finding out more about them, please visit, https://class.coursera.org/)
  7.  My grandparents got to do Puja today. (My grandfather is 80 and just a month short of 81 and my grandma is in her 70’s- that in itself is reason to celebrate).
  8. I was able to touch base with family and friends and let them know that though I am busy, I enjoy being able to keep in touch and appreciating them.
  9. I was able to get through with some outstanding stuff.
  10. I was able to keep up my pace (life and studies).

12 Oct. 2014= Productive + Positive + Enlightening + Enjoyable= A Definite Reason to Celebrate Today!

Generally my lines are:

  1. God does not give us more than we can handle.
  2. Look for a positive from every negative.
  3. God looks after His children and I am a child of God. Similarly as a child of God, God will look after you.
  4. Everything happens for a reason.
  5. Every experience is a lesson- either we learn from them or we do not.
  6.  I am like the phoenix- I rise from the ashes.

For years these words were on my desk at work when I needed that extra “push” and that “pick me up”. For quite some time it was my ringtone. My modus operandi is getting stuff that resonates with me and that reflect my mood and my personality. Thank you Nickelback and thank you YouTube. The words I refer to are Nickelback’s “If Today was your last day”. Here is the link:

From one friend to another, from a blogger to her audience, I urge you, Let’s Celebrate Today!

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Celebrating My COMM 350 Classmates-Part 2

This post continues the second part of my celebration of others. In my last post, I dedicated it to COMM 350 classmates. As you saw these blogs are individualistic, even though the fact remains that in some cases, topics were the same. Similarly, I dedicate this particular post to the other bloggers in the class, COMM 350- Communication via Social Networking with Mr. Kayode James.

Indeed I take time to reiterate that for some of us it is harder while for some of us it is easier, for some of us it is fun and enjoyable and hopefully more of us are having fun with it as the weeks go by. As the posts add on, I hope that as we persevere it is less of a project but more of an avenue for expression of our respective topics and of ourselves- the topics we are passionate about and what we would love to share with our respective audiences. Nonetheless, at this stage we are all making progress and we are sorting and adding to our respective pieces. Our topics overall are many and they are topics which are varied. Whether it’s art, health, nutrition, learning a new language or another interesting topic, each of our topics adds to the diversity of the class and the ideas which we brought forth. Today I celebrate this group of individuals and I take time to mention your particular blogs.
Here goes:

I dedicate this to all my classmates with the help of Kool and the Gang: