PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINADAD/TOBAGO, March 1, 2014 (Free Press Journal): Away from fetes, dancing and merry-making as Trinidad and Tobago, the oil-rich Caribbean republic observes its annual carnival, devout Hindus went to temples and other public places to observe the annual Sivaratri here February 27.
Thousands of Hindus spent Thursday night in over 400 temples across the land, offering special jhalls (a mixture of milk, dhai, flowers, sugar-cane, sweets) to Lord Siva. Scores of temples hosted special Lord Siva Yagnas, all of which were carried live on several radio stations. Satnarayan Maharaj led Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, which controls approximately 80 primary, secondary and pre-schools, were given the day off from classes.
The observance of Sivaratri was brought by the indentured Indian labourers who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917. Out of a population of 1.3 million people, some 25 percent people are devout Hindus.