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Beating the Odds: Travis Marcellino Becomes a Military Leader

Life places some of us in challenges circumstances sometimes. But in these difficult times, we must…

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Guyanese Born Sharon Maas is an International Best Selling Author

Sharon Maas is a Guyanese born international bestselling author who presently resides in Ireland. Many of…

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Meet the Guyanese Woman Whose Passion is Caring for God’s Creatures

Guyanese born Anna Maria Esther Roth (full name: Anna Maria Esther Roth Dias), presently residing in…

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Farouk “De Fyrishman” Aims to Promote Love and Unity through Chutney Music

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First Published: 7th of May, 2022

Last updated: July 25, 2022 at 21:29 pm

Chutney music is a fusion of several genres of music including Indian Folk Music, Bollywood Music, soca music, and Caribbean calypso. It emerged against the backdrop of indentureship in several British colonies, including Guyana and Trinidad and is most popular amongst people of East Indian descent in Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname, and Jamaica.

The indentured servants arriving from India, having been forced to forego their language and culture and assume new ones, found a creative way to merge their roots with their emerging identity. And so was born Chutney music – a genre of music which fuses East Indian instrumentals with Creolese and English lyrics.

Famous chutney artists include: Sundar Popo, Ravi B, Terry Gajraj, Chris Garcia, Tauseef Baksh, and now…introducing…Farouk “De Fyrishman.”

Farouk De Fyrishman was born, as the name suggests, in the village of Fyrish on the Corentyne Coast of Region 6, Guyana, South America. Although he has migrated to the United States – he took his roots and culture, and chutney music with him. As he so humorously put it, ” you can take me out of Fryish, but you can’t take the Fyrishman thinking out of me.”

You can take me out of Fyrish, but you can’t take the Fyrishman thinking out of me.

Farouk de fyrishman

And on this note, Farouk De Fyrishman is busy in New York. Aside from holding a steady, full-time job, he spends most of his free time, entertaining, recording, writing songs, and promoting chutney music. To this end, he has created his own Facebook Group where he promotes all things Fyrish, and all things chutney. You can join the Farouk De Fyrishman Group by clicking here.

Not About Money

Farouk De Fyrishman relates that he is fueled not by the desire to become rich or famous, but to promote love and unity through chutney music, because, as he says, “that’s what chutney music is about, promoting love and unity amongst Guyanese people.”

Farouk has won several singing competitions, and has sung alongside internationally recognized chutney stars such as Raymond Ramnarine and Terry Gajraj. And just in time for mother’s day, he would like to bless your hearts with his latest release, a mother’s day song entitled, “Love Your Mother.”

Chutney music is about culture, happiness, and bringing people together, because music is about love.

farouk de fyrishman

Singing for Charity

Farouk de Fyrishman often performs at concerts and donates parts of the revenues to persons in need such as those living in poverty or needing costly medical attention.

Love Your Mother

Click Here to Listen to Farouk De Fyrishman’s Latest Production, “Love Your Mother,” On YouTube.

Love Your Mother by Farouk De Fyrishman. Click here to Listen on Youtube

Humdum Mere

In July, 2022, Farouk the Fyrishman released another hit single, “Hundum Mere.” Watch it on Facebook.

Meet Stephanie – the Economics Student Pursuing Her Passion for Singing

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First Published: 14th of March, 2022 by Patrick Carpen

Last updated: July 2, 2022 at 23:27 pm

Stephanie’s says her parents don’t believe in her dream of becoming a professional singer, and they don’t encourage her to pursue it. She says that’s OK with her, but she wants to prove them wrong, and as such, the determined young woman is pursuing her dreams of being a professional singer full speed ahead. Fueled by her passion and a deep-rooted confidence in her own abilities, Stephanie believes that all she truly needs to succeed in the music industry is her unquenchable passion to do so.

After spending years learning to sing, I decided it was time to put my music out as my own. I hope to inspire everyone especially my Guyanese people to believe in yourself and work hard. Anything is possible if you have a plan.

Stephanie brassington – march 14, 2022

Stephanie Kyrstal Brassington was born on the 25th of May, 1996 in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. She is the second of 3 siblings – 1 boy and 2 girls. Her father, Winston Brassington, is a well known economist, and her mom, Alana, was an English Lecturer (now retired) at the University of Guyana – Turkeyen Campus.

Stephanie attended the Marian’s Academy Nursery, the Marian Academy Primary School, and then the School of the Nations Secondary School. By the time she was 19, she had migrated to the USA and licensed in Insurance. She then started running Allstate Insurance Agency which turned out to be a very successful enterprise for her – pulling in six figures. At 22, Stephanie started studying economics at Florida International University.

In the year 2017, while Stephanie was in New York at the recording studio of her friend, Poonam Singh, her childhood flame started to flicker anew.

I developed my passion for writing first at 11. I’d just find words that were deep and try to rhyme and write a poem. I went to guitar and piano classes at 12 with my sister, and that’s when I developed a passion for writing songs…but I never wanted to sing them myself because I believed I couldn’t sing.

Watching the creative work of the woman whom Stephanie describes as her “best friend,” the internationally acclaimed Guyanese artiste, Poonam Singh, rekindled her childhood flame of becoming a singer. But this time, she had already built up the confidence to let her voice out to the world.

Stephanie says she is inspired by her best friend, Poonam Singh

Stephanie returned to Miami the following month and started training with professionals, learning the basics of singing, and fitting songs to tracks. She started doing demos and sending them to artists she had through studios and networking events. Through extensive research, she connected to A&R label managers who connected her with other writers and vocalists looking for samples.

So far, Stephanie has written and recorded about 79 songs. She sold 30 song lyrics and the rest are in her archives. She has worked with professional artistes on collaborative projects.

But that’s not all. Stephanie recently released her first song, “Been Through” which was actually recorded 2 years ago. She’s super excited to share new music and showcase the level of production and work she’s done over the last two years.

Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3kfhPkDIlMN6l3gH1GRKYw?si=0AWmJ32DT06E9h89agYYPw

Join us in cheering Stephanie to the top of the ladder of success in the music industry. Follow her on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephanie_brassington

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.k.brassington

Website: www.stephaniebrassington.com

Click Here to Listen to “Been Through” on YouTube

Read More: People in Focus

South Rupununi Woman Tells Heartwarming Story of Pet Tapir

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First Published: 3rd of February, 2022 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: June 24, 2022 at 15:37 pm

Berlinda Francis, of Katoonarib Village in the South Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana, South America is a farmer, cook, and small scale rancher. She also has a strong and inherent love for animals. And in this context, she shares her story of adopting a pet tapir since it was only a few months old.

Berlinda relates that, in the month of June, 2020, the tapir was brought to her by a friend who had transported it from Mararanau Village in the deep south Rupununi, and unable to care for it any longer, entrusted the tapir into the hands of Berlinda. At that time, the tapir was of the size slightly bigger than a cat.

He called me and told me that he would like to leave the tapir with me because he could not care for it any longer, and he knew that I have a love for animals. I didn’t go searching for the tapir, it fell into my hands, so I took care of it. When it was a baby, I used to bathe it and stuff, but now I can longer do that since it is very big.

Berlinda said she didn’t know what a baby tapir looked like at that time, and at first thought it was a labba. At that time, Berlinda was taking care of a calf whose mother was not around by feeding it with a nursing bottle, and so she did the same thing with the tapir, and the calf and the tapir became good friends. Later, the calf got bigger and went away with the other cows, but the tapir stayed with Berlinda.

After it passed the bottle feeding stage, Berlinda relates that she fed the tapir with watermelon, bread, papaya, banana, and porridge. The tapir would go out in the evenings and return home late in the night or the next morning. And when Berlinda is away from home, the tapir would be gone for several days before returning home.

Berlinda wants the tapir to be free and safe, and to return to the wild in due time. In this context, she fears that someone might be tempted to harm the tapir since people are not used to seeing a tapir so close to the village. Further, someone might want to kill the tapir for its meat.

Although tapirs are herbivores, they have been known to attack humans, although such attacks are very rare. If you see Duane the tapir near to Katoonarib Villlage in the South Rupununi, please treat it with care since it is has been conditioned to humans and even less likely to attack humans. Even so, due caution should be taken, especially with children.

This is Duane the tapir. He lives in Katoonarib and roams around the Dadanawa, Sawariwau, area sometimes. He has lived with me since he was a baby and is accustomed to being around humans. I am just asking every one in the surrounding areas that if you see him….please do not harm him…just let him be.

Berlinda francis

Read More: People in Focus

National Athlete, Kemmely Chapman, Blazes the Trail of Higher Education

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24th of January, 2022. Region 9, Guyana, South America

Last updated: January 27, 2022 at 5:22 am

21-year old Kemmely Alexia Chapman is a daughter of the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana, South America. Although she was born in neighboring Brazil, her parents, Karina and Daniel Chapman, are both Guyanese citizens and proud residents of Region 9. As a result, Kemmely is one of those rear gems of Guyana who can speak both English and Portuguese fluently – making her an even greater asset to her country which shares strong and ever-growing diplomatic and economic ties with its southern neighbor.

Growing up in the Rupununi, Kemmely attended the St. Ignatius Nursery School, the St. Ignatius Primary School, and then the St. Ignatius Secondary school where she wrote and excelled in the CSEC exams. Because of her outstanding academic performance, she was immediately selected for a full scholarship to study Communications at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus.

In high school, the young girl was an outstanding athlete competing fiercely in the track & field 400, 200, and 100 meters sprints where she emerged a champion and was named Best Sports Woman at the St. Ignatius Secondary School. She also represented her Region at the National level where she won a gold medal, and in Brazil where she brought home three golds.

In the year 2022, Kemmely completed her two-year programme achieving her Diploma in Communications at the University of Guyana. Kemmely says that her next move is to pursue a degree in Business at the University of Guyana which she will be starting this year (September, 2022).

Join us in cheering Kemmely all the way to the top of the ladder of success as she makes her parents, region, and country proud.

Aye Dil – A Poem for my Dad

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Aye Dil – A Poem for my Dad

by Shazeena Watts Bacchus

Night befalls.

I am still wide awake.

Who am I waiting for!

Who is it that my EYES are tearing up for!

Who are they that my eyelid keeps rising up wanting to see!

Aye dil,how long will you wait!

For as many lifetimes it takes my eyes smiles!..

Its strikes 12 and here I am.. Still waiting…

Was that your voice! Your footsteps coming!

your love calling me!

I ran… My heart can’t take this happiness..

You finally came!

Oh how I miss you!

love you!

waited for you!

secretly, heartachely!

I was, I am, and I will always be yours!

Finally it’s what I wanted to hear!

Aye dil,no one has ever returned from that place!

Whispers say to me – Aye dil, you carry around a lifetime of love!

Make that suffice until there is more to gain!

Aye dil,my heart can’t take this much pain…

Night befalls! Yet my eye lids are still rising to see you!

Alas,my eyes lowered!

There you were! I found you!

You live in my heart! my eyes!

Hamesha I will hide you there! Continue soaring! Smiling!

I promise I will! For you!!!!!!!

Miss you papa! buddy!😭💔😭💔😭💔😭💔

Author’s Note: Eye Dil means “O Heart.”

Do you have a piece of Guyanese literature to share with the Guyana, South America publication? If so, please email us at contact@guyanasouthamerica.gy or message us via our Facebook Page.

A Trip into the Mountains

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First Published: 11th of December, 2021

Last updated: December 11, 2021 at 20:33 pm

Here is a beautiful story I found on a Bolivian Tourism site and decided to adapt it and publish it here because the story shares many similarities with the country of Guyana. Even though the story most likely did not originate in Guyana, it is very applicable to the people of Guyana and contains many important life lessons relevant to all Guyanese.

Dad, What is it Like to be Poor?

A businessman, wanting his son to know what “being poor,” felt like, took him to spend a couple of days in the mountain with a peasant family. They spent three days and two nights in their modest home.

In the car, returning, the father asked his son, “What did you think of the experience?”

“Good,” replied the son staring into the distance.

“And… What did you learn?” the father insisted

The son replied:

1. – That we have a dog, and they have four.

2. – We have a hot tub.. and they have an endless river, of crystal clear water, where there are little fish.

3. – That we have reflectors to light up our garden, while they rise with the stars and the moon.

4. – Our yard reaches the fence, and theirs reaches the horizon.

5. – That we buy our food; they sow and reap theirs.

6. – We hear CD’s… They hear a perpetual symphony of swallows, frogs, sheep, cues, and other little animals.

7. – We cook in microwave ovens… Them, everything they eat has that wood stove flavor.

8. – To protect ourselves, we live surrounded by a wall, with alarms. They live with their doors open, protected by the friendship of their neighbors.

9. – We live connected to smartphone, Facebook, TV. They instead are “connected” to life, to heaven, to sun, to water, to green mountains, to animals, to their seeds, to their family.

The father was shocked by the depth of his son, and then the son ended, “Thank you dad, for teaching me how poor we are and how rich they are.”

Let’s not forget the timeless truth: the best things in life are free. If this story blessed your heart, please share it to bless the heart of someone.

Source: Bolivia 360

The “Coolies” of Guyana, South America

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First Published: 6th of October, 2018

Last updated: July 5, 2022 at 13:09 pm

If you lived for any amount of time in Guyana, South America, you might have heard the expression “coolie man,” “coolie boy,” “coolie woman,” “coolie people,” etc in local dialect. In Guyana, the expression “coolie” is used colloquially to refer to someone of East Indian ancestry. But what is the etymology of this word? And what exactly does it mean?

In American culture, a “cool” person is someone whom others admire and who has a great personality. But the word “coolie” in Guyana, interestingly, has nothing to do with being cool!

After the abolition of slavery, East Indians were hired to work as indentured laborers on the plantations of Guyana. They were noted to be the most durable plantation workers of all other races or nationalities, and were most able to endure the hard physical labor, heat, and harsh working conditions of the sugar plantations

Common knowledge suggests that the expression “coolie” was used to brand East Indians indentured laborers by British plantation owners. Although the linguistic etymology of the word is unclear, it apparently means a person of East Indian descent who does unskilled labor. In the context of Guyana, this word, which was perhaps originally used to describe a type of laborer, was transformed into a colloquial and somewhat derogatory nomenclature for an entire race of ethnic group of people in Guyana, the Caribbean, and perhaps other parts of the world as well.

The term “coolie” as applied to East Indian Guyanese carries a mildly to moderately offensive connotation. It is almost on par with the derogatory word “nigger” given to slaves of African descent by both American and British slave drivers.

The Hill Coolies

The following excerpt is taken from a Research Paper published by the University of Leeds, UK, which states that the term, “coolie” was used by British Plantation owners to refer to low-income indentured laborers after the abolition of slavery.

Abolitionists in Britain protested indignantly about abuses being perpetrated against ignorant and helpless Indian ‘hill coolies.’ The term ‘hill coolies’ has become synonymous with indenture. In the early nineteenth century it was applied, with little ethnographic precision, to various ‘tribal’
groups from the uplands of what is now Jharkhand in eastern India. These groups made up a
significant portion of the earliest indentured migrants and were presented as the most backward
and vulnerable of all the inhabitants of India by those who sought to oppose their exploitation
in the overseas labour market. Yet who the so-called ‘hill coolies’ actually were, how they
related to the rest of the mobile Indian labour market, and why they were deemed suitable
candidates for indenture remained vaguely and imprecisely articulated in most abolitionist
accounts.

Source

Baggage Carrier or Low-Wage Laborer

The above cover of a Hindi Film is perhaps evidence that the word “coolie” was used to describe a baggage carrier perhaps fetching the luggage of rich foreigners who come to the country for a small fee.

Some accounts suggest that the word “coolie” has its root in India where the word was once used to describe baggage carriers who were paid a low wage at market places, train stations, and various ports in India. Possibly, when Europeans travelled to India, they thought all unskilled, low-wage workers were called coolies and adapted the word to brand all imported indentured laborers from India.

It was reported that the Indian government reportedly banned the use of the word “coolie” in India because of its derogatory nature, and luggage carriers in India are now called “helpers.”

Possibly Originated from “Kuli”

The word “coolie” which was used to describe low-wage laborers, especially baggage cariers, in India, possibly originated from the word “kuli” which is found in the Tamil, Urdu, and Begali languages where it means, “daily hire” or “short term hire.” In Urdu, it may also mean slave.

The “Coolies” of Guyana, South America

People of East Indian descent in Guyana regularly refer to themselves and each others as “coolie” without any offence intended or construed. People of other races sometimes speak to and of East Indians using the reference term “coolie” with hardly anyone taking offence to it.

East Indians who were contracted, lured, or coerced from India to work as indentured servants on the sugar plantations of Guyana reportedly came from very poor environments with little opportunities for upward social and economic mobility. The infamous East Indian Caste system had cast them into the mold of poverty in India. On the other hand, the offspring of those who came to work in Guyana were given ample opportunities to upgrade themselves financially and educationally. The idea that Guyana was an upgrade to India in this context, however, is debatable and highly contested, and perhaps can be settled by comparing the present conditions of life of the people of those geographic regions in India from where the East Indian indentured laborers were taken.

As a result of the British Education system, a large fraction of East Indian Guyanese scaled the ladder of success to become teachers, doctors, businessmen, bankers, engineers, lawyers, politicians, etc. Further, living in Guyana provided a much greater opportunity to migrate to First World countries such as the United States, Canada, and even the motherland England. This is partly because English became the official language of Guyana and was taught in school. Generally speaking, East Indian Guyanese are consistently reported to be diligent and dedicated workers when they migrate overseas.

Depending on the setting and context, the term “coolie” as a racial slur may carry a sting of offensiveness, but it is not considered as offensive as the term “nigger” which was used to brand African slaves.

Read More: People, History, and Culture of Guyana