Guest Info

With a wealth of experience as a Professor of Indian History, Dr Sherry-Ann Singh is a renowned lecturer at the University of the West Indies, making significant contributions to the community in Trinidad and Tobago.

About the Show

Is India necessary to define our sense of Indianness? Furthermore, how much of our identity is shaped by the countries we reside in, even within the context of Indianness? 

Rajan Nazran takes us on a journey to Trinidad & Tobago, where he engages in a thought-provoking discussion with Dr Sherry-Ann Singh, a distinguished Professor of Indian History at the University of the West Indies. 

Dr Sherry-Ann Singh provides invaluable insights, particularly about the position of religion, particularly Hinduism, in modern-day Trinidad & Tobago. She sheds light on the evolving interpretations of Sita from the epic Ramayan, illustrating how her portrayal has transitioned from being perceived as subservient to taking control of her destiny. Through these examples, Dr Singh illuminates the power of reinterpretation of religious scriptures and stories to reflect contemporary lifestyles and their profound social implications. 

Additionally, she discusses the manipulation of these texts by patriarchal societies. She highlights the stories of women who have risen but were later reinterpreted over time.

The conversation further explores the Indian diaspora, Indianness, and culture. Dr Sherry-Ann Singh emphasises that one’s origins shape identity as multiple identities emerge. She provides detailed insights into religious texts and the rituals and processes of yajnas performed by Brahmins. Ethnicity becomes a central topic as they delve into the importance of language and culture in preserving one’s identity. The discussion concludes with Dr Singh offering her unique perspective on identity.

Today, Indian-Trinidadians comprise the largest ethnic group in Trinidad & Tobago, accounting for approximately 40% of the population. Their influence can be witnessed across various aspects of the country, including cuisine, culture, and even music, leaving an indelible mark on the vibrant landscape.

Tune into this enlightening conversation now and gain a deeper understanding of the intricate dynamics between India, Indianness, and the influence of the countries we inhabit on shaping our sense of self and identity.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.
Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music: (credit:

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