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Monday, January 09, 2006

Ode to Our Jihajees



Your hardship and your pain
Were for made for our gain
Your agony and your anguish
Made others admire and astonish
Your blood and sweat tilled the soil
From which others before did recoil
Your tears that irrigated the land
Produced bitter sugar sweet


Today lush fields of cane stand
Testimony to your soul and strength
And crops of rice golden and ready
Providing food in baskets full
In a lands otherwise basket cases
Your sons and daughters still striving
In the your vein of determination
For excellence in ways more than one

Now no one may honestly say
That your efforts were in vain
Your constant toil and lively cheer
Paved the way and blazed the trail
And in many ways did tip the scale
Opening wider path for us to tread

We who now in new lands live
Beyond the Caribbean Sea
In Canada and America fair
And in Europe and places far
Beyond the frontiers of kala pani
Now with pride we humbly offer
Our homage and our thanks

by Dr. Roop Misir

Poet's Note:

“Jihajees” is the term used by Peoples of Indian Origin in Caribbean countries for their ancestors who came in sailing ships (jahaj/jihaj) during the 19th and early 20th centuries to work in sugar plantations after the abolition of slavery.


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Posted by jebratt :: Monday, January 09, 2006 :: 1 comments

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