At a very young age, no more than a wee 12 years old, I learned a valuable lesson that would sustain me for the rest of my life, so far. Almost at every station in the journey of life, you will meet some bad people.
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The conventional Arrival Day message seeks to glorify the East Indians’ arrival in Guyana and to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the East Indians in and towards Guyana. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But under the peaceful waters of cultural pride rages a deadly current of racism that few like to acknowledge. It is this unseen aspect of racial pride – the disunity created by unity – that Dr. Josh Kanhai seeks to address in his non-conventional Arrival Day Message.
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?
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