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Hindu Rites

From 1854 to 1889, 42,326 Indians left INDIA for Guadeloupe. Despite the difficulties of all kinds with which they were confronted, they persisted year after year in marking the important events of their daily life by means of the Hindu rites which they carried within them.

 

The descendants of these immigrants continue some of these civilizational traits of their ancestors. In this they are part of a cultural continuity that makes them Indo-Guadeloupeans.

 

Birth and marriage have been Europeanized and creolized.

Faced with the offensive of Catholicism and the demands of the plantation, the Indians very quickly  gave up the attempt to practice cremation and accepted to bury their dead.

 

They still manage to maintain some practices, for example:

          Le Semblanni (la fête deaths).

         Le pal télital

         La coupe des cheveux

         Le percement d'oreilles

         …………

 

This heritage is today one of the most salient elements of Guadeloupean culture.

Guadeloupeans of Indian origin have for some time asserted their origins, their traditions and their religion.

The samblanni:
 Find out more Click on Samblanni

-   Is a ceremony in honor of the ancestors, generally celebrated on the day of the anniversary of the day of their death, (in the Hindu religion).

-  The dead are presented with dishes that they enjoyed during their lifetime.

 

-    Is a Hindu ceremony originating in South India which occurs at the same time as   All Saints Day

 

-    Has as its main purpose a meal prepared according to the rites of Patchel, takes place at the parents of the deceased and consists of seven sauces and variousdishes loved by the deceased.

Le Valsè:         Find out more Click on Valsè

(Gift offered to the master of ceremonies)

Following the essentially religious part of a  "Indian ceremony" and before the meal, it is customary to offer gifts to the master of ceremonies.

THE KALMADRON:
 
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It is in fact on the fortieth day following the day of death that Guadeloupeans of Indian origin observe Kalmandon.

 

The term Kalmandon comes from the term Karoumadi and designates the ceremony marking the end of mourning. By freeing  the soul of the dead by allowing him

to rise, by relieving it of its earthly burdens, it allows the family to fulfill an essential part of its duties vis-à-vis the deceased.

 

At least five days previously, the family must resume the abandoned mourning at the end of the ninth-day semblani. For this ritual, the presence of the pousari and his orchestra is essential. Also, the officiants are warned in advance of the fixed date.

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