My parents emigrated from Guyana. My mom’s great-grandparents were indentured servants from India. My dad’s grandparents were also indentured servants and they brought with them the belief in Hinduism that my family carries on to this day. These are Hindu idols that are used for worship. In the bottom left corner, there is Hanuman, who represents devotion and transcendence. In the top right, there is Mother Lakshmi, who represents wealth, both materially and spiritually. We’ve had these statues since I can remember and I have a lot of memories with them. I remember some Sunday mornings, my family and I would pray together. There was a certain amount of ceremony that went along with this. You couldn’t eat before you prayed and you had to shower before you offered prayer. That day you couldn’t eat fish or meat, which I, personally, found to be a sort of nuisance. I remember my grandma telling me the stories of all the gods and goddesses, while my brother and I listened from our bunk bed. Days when it was snowing, my brother and I would pray that we could have the day off. These idols were prevalent throughout my life and even though I do not necessarily carry the same belief that I did as a child, I can say, the effect that these ideas had on me were overall profound and positive. The idols represent a constant in my life, and they are a link to the past and the present.
– Anil Ramsoomye