The Language of Chutney Music: Bhojpuri

Trinidad Bhojpuri Poster

In celebration of Indian Heritage month, the University of the West Indies in collaboration with Caribbean Hindustani is presenting a talk on Trinidad Bhojpuri, the language of our famous Chutney Music.

Trinidad Bhojpuri has been shrouded in mystery since the language was lost in speech among the descendants of the indentured laborers in Trinidad and Tobago. Its remnant vocabulary remains as footprints of its existence present in our Trinidad English Creole (Bhimull 2019). Let’s discover the “Trinidad Bhojpuri DNA in our identity.”
Trinidad Bhojpuri, Sarnami (Surinamese Bhojpuri) and Guyanese Bhojpuri all forms vernaculars of Caribbean Hindustani the identity language of the descendants of the Indian indentured laborers.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Visham Bhimull is a medical practitioner and post-graduate student in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), UWI, St. Augustine. He holds an M.B.B.S (UWI) and Dip. Family Medicine (UWI). He is a language enthusiast and has done extensive research on the Trinidad Bhojpuri language, in addition to its wider Caribbean Hindustani perspective. He has presented at cultural conferences in the Caribbean and the Netherlands on Trinidad Bhojpuri. He conducts interviews with the last remaining speakers of Bhojpuri in the country in order to document the language so that it may be preserved for posterity.

The public is invited to attend this event as it relates to our cultural identity in Trinidad and Tobago, especially where the song traditions of the descendants of the Indian indentured laborers are concerned.

Click the link for further info about the event:

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The Difference Between Bhojpuri And Hindi

The Indo-Caribbean experience: The difference between Bhojpuri and Hindi It’s Hindi Divas or Hindi Day today. The Hindi language is often the language that many…

Is Caribbean Hindustani a corrupted form of Hindi

Caribbean Hindustani and its variants; like Trinidad Bhojpuri, Sarnami and Guyanese Bhojpuri, have too often been a subject of much scrutiny. After indentureship and the independence of India. Khari Boli or Modern Standard Hindi (MSH) slowly replaced the older standards of Braj Bhasha and Awadhi. This all Hindustani was compared to this new standard.
Because Caribbean Hindustani was more a spoken Hindustani  it was deemed inferior to MSH. Further, because of the high degree of lexical similarities between the two languages in contrast with their grammatical differences, Caribbean Hindustani was seen as a “broken” or “corrupted” variety of MSH. However, Bhojpuri, which formed the critical mass of Caribbean Hindustani, is of much greater antiquity than MSH. Even the famous poet Kabirdas of the 15th century composed in Baranasi Boli, a variety of Bhojpuri.
Here is an example of a Caribbean Hindustani word that is quite popularly used in the Caribbean. “Tāwā” (a flat metal griddle used to make roti) is the word known by most of the descendants of the Indian indentured laborers’ descendants. However, when they attend Hindi classes and learn the MSH cognate, “tawā”, the impression is that the Indo-Caribbean version is a corrupted form.
Reference: Mohan, Peggy Ramesar; Trinidad Bhojpuri a Morphological Study; 1978


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