When did this movement occur and what factors influenced it?
When the slaves were emancipated in the British Caribbean in 1838, the planters looked for alternative supplies of docile and servile labor that could replace the labor of the former slaves.
Trinidadians often use the local West Indian dish "callaloo" as a metaphor for the nation.
This stew, made from the leaves of the dasheen bush and flavored with okra and coconut milk, serves as a fitting image for their nation because it conveys both native origins (in the New World) and the containment of diverse elements within a single unit.
Planters claimed that emancipation caused a labor shortage in many of the British Caribbean colonies such as Trinidad.
However, I, along with a host of other scholars, argue that it was not that labor was in short supply but that former slaves were no longer willing to labor under the terms offered by planters.
They argued that since the ingredients making up the "callaloo" are boiled down to an indistinguishable mush, the original ingredients lose their respective identities and blend into one homogeneous taste.
India plays a large role in the Indo-Trinidadian imagination.
While Indo-Trinidadians insist on their commitment and loyalty to the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, they also express pride in their Indian ancestry.
How and when were differences between South Asian immigrants such as caste, sect, region, language, and religion collapsed into a singular “Indo-Trinidadian” identity? While the common perception is that Indian immigrants constituted a homogenous group because the vast majority who settled in Trinidad came from the densely populated central plain of the Ganges in northeast India (the United Provinces, Oudh, Bihar and Orissa), they were in fact a very diverse group characterized by religious, caste, linguistic and regional differences.
While it is hard to pinpoint a date for the attenuation of these distinctions, once in Trinidad this originally diverse population of Indians developed into a relatively homogeneous group with the emergence of a common language, Bhojpuri, the standardization of Hinduism, the attenuation of the caste system whereby only certain distinctions now carried valence, and changes in the family structure in which certain features of the joint-family structure still persisted, but in modified form.
Therefore, planters had to look for a controllable (as opposed to "free") labor force to work in the sugar plantations.