Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2015 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 2, 2015
Applications will be accepted from ten (10) working days prior to the auction date. The
deadline for submission of tenders to the Domestic Market Operations Department of the
Central Bank is 12:00 noon on the auction date.
Central Bank of Trinidad
and Tobago and must accompany each tender. Cheque payments must be submitted no later
than three (3) working days prior to the auction date. Cashiers are open 8am to 12 noon
Monday to Thursday and 8am to 2:30pm on Friday.
Competitive tenders can be submitted for any amount up to the issue size and must state the
price the bidder is willing to pay for each $1,000 of the face value being applied for. Competitive
bids may be rejected if the face value of the entire issue is allocated at higher bid prices or if
made to a bid that is rejected.
bidder agrees to accept the weighted average price of the successful bids determined in the
For competitive tenders, payments must be in the amount of the total cost of the bills; for
non-competitive tenders, payments will be equivalent to the face value being applied for.
The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago invites tenders
from the public for the following issue:
TREASURY BILL AUCTION
Results of Tender for Treasury Bill number 1448:
www.central-bank.org.tt/content/treasury-bills or call
In Trinidad, Vasant Panchami
marks the beginning of the Chowtal
season/Phagwa season. Vasant
Panchami, celebrated on the fifth
day or "Panchami" of the bright
fortnight of the lunar month of
Magha (which falls during January
to February), is believed to be God-
dess Saraswati s birthday
(Saraswati Jayanti). She is the
Hindu goddess of knowledge, music
and the creative arts.
Vasant, explained Pandit Ramesh
Kissoon, Spiritual Leader of the La
Plaisance Road Hindu Mandir, La
Romaine, "comes from the word
spring and this festival marks the
beginning of the spring season."
Hindus around the globe celebrate
Vasant Panchami with great pomp.
On this day Saraswati puja is done
at temples, homes and schools. The
La Plaisance Road Hindu Mandir
saw several children performing puja
and getting their books and pens
blessed by the spiritual leader of the
Asked why this was done, Pandit
Kissoon explained, "Vasant Pancha-
mi is an auspicious day for many
since the goddess Saraswati is known
to bestow knowledge. It is said to
be a good day to begin one s foun-
dations of education and so, many
SEA and CXC students, writers and
those involved in the arts have come
to seek her blessings."
Also celebrating Vasant Panchami
was the Suchit Trace Ganesh Mandir
in Penal. Members of this mandir
marked the beginning of the Phag-
wa/Holi season -- a colourful festival
-- with Chowtal singing.
Chowtal is a fast-paced and high-
pitched folk song sung during the
Phagwa/Holi season. There are sev-
eral different styles of chowtal songs.
One of the elders of the Pandit
Chandrika Persad Jhaal Ramayan
and Chowtal Group, Ramlal (Raj)
Samaroo, told the T&T Guardian,
"During this season we are so booked
with most Hindu schools asking us
to come teach their students how
to sing. It is good to see young people
involved in chowtal and it is my wish
to see many more young ones
This chowtal group has been in
existence for longer than the group s
members can remember. They boast
of winning several prestigious com-
petitions including most hosted by
the National Phagwa Council, the
Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha and
Samaroo related how chowtal
came to Trinidad and what the fes-
tival of Phagwa is really about.
"When the Indians came to Trinidad
they brought with them the Chowtal
and they would sing in secluded
places because they didn t have the
liberty then, to do it in public."
The Indians improvised and used
pieces of metal to make music and
thus, the dhantal (a long steel rod
based percussion instrument) was
born. "When they finally had the
liberty," said the 64-year-old man,
"they would go house to house and
sing these folk songs." The knowl-
edgeable man then explained that
on Vasant Panchami day a Castor
Oil tree is planted. "This is what is
referred to as planting the Holika."
Chowtal is sung for 40 days.
"While singing is done, grass is
placed on that tree three times per
day by unmarried boys who are fast-
ing...that way they are building the
Holika," Samaroo said.
On the 40th day -- known as
Holika Dahan -- everyone will get
together and complete the process
by making up the Holika (adding
any grass or branches necessary to
burn it). Singing and puja are done
and at a specific time (given by a
pandit), the Holika is lit.
Holika was the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashyapu. She had a
boon that allowed her to enter a fire unscathed as long as she was
wearing a specially blessed shawl. The king who won over the earth
was rather egoistic and commanded that everyone in the kingdom
worship him instead of god. His son Prahlad refused to worship his
father as he was a devotee of Lord Naarayana. The angry father tried
in several ways to kill the son but Lord Vishnu always saved him
because he was an ardent devotee of the lord. Remembering Holika's
boon, the king asked her to enter the fire with his son on her lap. In the
end negativity can never prevail as long as God is on one's side; as a
result, Holika perished while Prahlad remained unharmed. He was
found playing in the ashes.
THE STORY OF HOLIKA
Thus, burning the Holika and singers rolling and playing in its ashes
after the fire is really a re-enactment of this event. After this is done,
participants shower and get dressed and are then smeared with abir
(colourful powder) as they celebrate remembering Prahlad and the
triumph of good over evil.
Phagwa celebrations usually last a week here in Trinidad. The
festival ends on a Tuesday known as Old Tuesday (Budhwa Mangal).
RE-ENACTMENT AND CELEBRATION
Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami and Phagwa
Members of the Pandit Chandrika
Persad Jhaal Ramayan and Chowtal
Group sing at the Suchit Trace
Ganesh Mandir. The group's lead
singer is Ajodha Bhagoutie and its
drummer is Narine Bhagoutie.
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