Disconnecting to buy local for sustainable living

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Anyone know of a local alternative to #Microsoft and some other #software and #hardware technologies and upgrades?
Does sustaining local enterprise mean disconnecting from global technologies?
Those who know me know I do not like shopping and am an advocate to #BuyLocal so I would appreciate info so as to avoid that new #7%Tax in addition to the other taxes already … see more www.kris-rampersad.blogspot.com
for even more:
#knowledge products  #industry #sustainable alternatives, contact lolleaves@gmail.com @krisamp @lolleaves @glocalpot #GlocalKnowledgePot #Worldwewantpeople #SustainableDevelopment #SDG #SustainableLiving

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Nourishing odyssey

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Dear Lizzie,

Back from odyssey thru d ancient Americas, found source of luck of d Irish. Knowledge of 1000s of varieties of corn n potatoes, developed by Incas, and millennia-old methods of use n prep devised by Mayans r now stored on my hips – intangible heritage evolved into tangible proportions. Letters To Lizzie back on track. 2 b released soon. Order now! More …

Use Memory of the World resource to transform education curriculum

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Remarks, Dr Kris Rampersad,
Chair, Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO at the Opening of UNESCO Pan-Caribbean Consultative Workshop on Memory of the World
Port of Spain, Trinidad, 25-27 September 2013
On behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO welcome to this Pan Caribbean consultative workshop on UNESCO Memory of the World initiative. While we are a national commission with essentially a national mandate, we also take very seriously our role as a member of the Caribbean community and the wider UNESCO region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
As we mark this year the 21st anniversary of the Memory of the World programme and 13th anniversary of the Memory of the World Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, it is perhaps timely for us to reflect on where we have reached with the programme.
In the short 13 years since, eight countries from the Commonwealth Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, St Kitts, Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, Barbados, and the Bahamas) have inscribed 21 collections of documentary heritage on the International Memory of the World Register and twenty five collections on the Regional Register.
We tend to think of the University of the West Indies and Cricket as two main elements I am sure you will agree that this has offered us an opportunity to collaborate as a region in the 13 joint nominations submitted among several of our countries – and these by four national committees in Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and certainly I want to particularly recognise the work of the Trinidad and Tobago National Memory of the World Committee under the stewardship of Mrs Joan Osborne.
But much work still to be done in public engagement and to draw out private collectors and archivists to present their work for consideration so we can have broad representation of the diversity of cultures, languages and heritage.
Last year’s meeting underscored the need for greater involvement by countries in the Caribbean, and to support each other. Through the work of the Trinidad and Tobago national memory of the world committee we have enlisted:
—  The Derek Walcott Collection
—  The Eric Williams Collection
—  The C.L.R. James Collection
—  Registry of Slaves of the British Caribbean
—  Records of Indian Indentured Labourersof Trinidad and Tobago
—  The Constantine Collection
—  The Donald ‘Jackie’ Hinkson Collection
—  The Carlisle Chang Collection
—  The Digital Pan Archive
—  Records of Indian Indentured Labourers of Trinidad and Tobago 1845-1917
—  The Samuel Selvon Collection
At the MOWLAC meeting in Port of Spain 2012 the concern was raised of the involvement of countries in the region in the programme and how to encourage the creation of national committees and the number of nominations coming from the region. It was found that there was greater need for collaboration since in some countries the MOW programme was not visible and professionals and owners of collections did not know how to complete the nomination forms.
We should also recognise that much of the critical documentary heritage reside not only within the region but also in internationally-based institutions.
We hope this workshop will meet with similar success of preceding workshops in which nine inscriptions followed the 2009 workshop in Barbados, for example.
We note among the objectives of this is to strengthen the memory of the world programme through greater awareness, to increase nominations at the national, regional and international levels; and to develop an action agenda and a CARICOM MOW action plan for 2013- 2015.
I suggest that among the latter you also take a look at the current draft CARICOM-UNESCO memorandum of agreement and suggest any alternations you may need to make to the text relevant to accommodate the region’s outlook for the memory of the world programme within that MOU to be signed between Caricom and UNESCO at the General Assembly in November.
We know there are many, many areas in which we need to focus the heritage and I’d like to also stir attention away from the printed heritage which we all know limits us to the last few hundred years to other elements of record also recognised by the memory of the world register – to also consider other forms of documentation – items on stone, craft, recordings, visuals.
As we know, UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 from a growing awareness of the poor state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world – looting and dispersal, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate housing and funding have all played a part. Much has vanished forever; much is endangered. So a core element is to raise public awareness and mobilise communities to capture and preserve and promote respect and understanding.
In the region, we need to move quickly to secure our endangered archives – and I draw attention to the invaluable collections of the military history museum in Chaguaramas that contains information on the connections between our islands and South America, unrecorded elsewhere, and which can further expand  the recent inscriptions by Cuba of the  Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara, and Columbia’s of Francisco De Miranda and Simon Bolivar and it may be useful to supplement that with the archives of Mr Gaylord Kelshall of the Military History Museum who has researched and written extensively about this period which though recent, has still not been injected into teachings on our history and as the Minister of Education is here with us I’d like to recommend that we look at this immense UNESCO resource and work to revising the materials in the school curriculum – in history, social studies, civics, visual and performing arts, among others. This presents us with an opportunity to revise our textbooks using new research and information s there is need to establish critical synergies between archiving and education soWebiste is not just fossilised – and consider utilising this model of engagement between ministry of education, archive and library and the school system.
I’d also like to suggest that you consider how we may establish a facility to resource and fund acquisition and maintenance of public and private collections: like those of the Chaguaramas Military History Museum, and dozens of others in private collections and establish linkages with these.

And we also need to place some emphasis on capture yet undocumented heritage and utilise digitisation and engage the enthusiasm of our young people to collate data from disappearing knowledge holders.

Monumental legacy in the Chaguaramas Military History Museum

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The news of the pending eviction of the Chaguaramas Military History Museum by the Chaguaramas Development Authority is a mere reflection of the continued mindless approach to heritage and development. Is there any interest in integrated development, and to understand that one needs not be done at  the expense of the other and each can rather enhance benefits to all concern? Without a national vision for heritage that are integrated into development plans we will continue to have this kind of idiocy cropping up.
The Military History Museum is a national treasure and represent the invaluable work of an individual and his supporters and that that individual no longer has the energy to fight for it does not mean it should be raised. It is one of the few real substantial heritage institutions that exists in its own right in T&T, struggling and succeeding where better resourced national museums are dismally deficient. They can well take a page out of the kind of commitment it takes to sustaining an institution like this.The Chaguramas Development Authority will do well to note that its current location makes it ideal for inttegrating it into its upgrade plans for the district, apart form the fact of the historic-on-several fronts district of Chaguaramas which speak to our existence from prehistory, through colonialism, independence and beyond, is iconic as part of marine, underwater, built, natural, political, social and historical evolution, and really, a boardwalk (!!??, and the Chaguaramas Development Authority’s development (!!??)  plans??? And where does that coincide or depart from “national” development plans?
Gaylord Kelshall is a decorated national hero, who even wthout the decorations, and his history in the navy has through his work at the museum, the model club, outdoor war game activities and others has been an inspiration to many young and old. The hobby club actively gave participants an outlet for any trigger-happiness in a craetive, constructive and safe manner that the millions misdirected funding in being poured into short sighted projects in South East POS could do well to learn from on how to effectively empower young people into constructive activties.
I sat at Kelshall’s feet many times as a young reporter, initiating the Discover Trinidad and Tobago series which later also inspired AVM Television’s winning series Cross Country and my writigns of this series, as he filled the blanks in my knowledge of local history and connections that neither primary, nor secondary not tertiary level education provided then, nor now.
In editing and writing the introduction to his book, The Gateway To South America (http://openlibrary.org/books/OL23185567M/The_gateway_to_South_America), how humbled I felt, and priviliged to be so close to knowledge of the pivotal role Trinidad played in the revolutionar movements towards Independence of so many of the countries of Latin America and how the South American heroes as Simon Bolivar and others were as much ours as theirs – an element that is glarngly absense in our education system. It was knowledge that, categorically, no one else holds! CDA should be looking to capture that rather than start a new war.
As his health fails, the knowledge Kelshall has projected and transferred into the museum is an irreplaceable legacy. The CDA should  see the Chaguaramas Military History Museum as a monument to this exemplary citizen as well as the story of not only the Trinidad and Tobago and the region, not try to tuck it out of site.
see https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal
CDA moves to evict Military Museum: Founders want $25m to move | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper

Lagahoo Tribute: To Independent Spirits. RIP LPP

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Louis Homer met me at the gate to the church where his funeral service was in progress against the backdrop of the island’s oldest natural monument – Naparima Hill.
“Whey you doing out here, Louis?” I was about to ask, “shouldn’t you be in there?”
He wore his normal cheeky twinkle, as if to say, ‘You were always somewhere else when I did my field visits, but I knew you would come today. I have to go back inside now. Over to you.’
An immediate rebutt was already on my lips: ‘Whey yuh chain?’ He would understand that I meant the paraphernalia folkloric lagahoos are reputed to drag in the afterlife, since he had now migrated to the other side. Picong was always part of our discourse.
Inside the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church on Harris Promenade, San Fernando, a bouquet of red roses draped a coffin in which Louis’ body was being prepared for send off. Eulogists were recalling his life, his incessant energy, his annoying persistence, his long list of interests and skills, his relentless spirit, his passion for history and heritage.
The usher to his funeral service at the church door invited me to sign the condolence book which had one dotted line for memories of Louis. Louis and I were colleagues in two areas: journalism and heritage, and then some. Journalists may not be the most liked of persons; chroniclers of history are perhaps more appreciated especially by the direct communities they touch. Our society finds a way to isolate each sentiment and express its love or dis-love accordingly. The not-too-packed church reflected this ambivalence.
I looked around for the man who met me at the gate but he was nowhere in sight. It couldn’t have been Louis. Louis would never allow me, nor anyone else, the last word. On the Tourism Heritage Committee, everyone else had to compete with Louis for air time. His last words to me were: “is now you and Eintou (Springer).” It took me a while to realise he was referring to our contributions on the committee – we were two of the most vocal and he annoyingly unceremoniously cut into anything one was trying to say. That was at the meeting that preceded the most recent one which was the day when his heart failed.
It brought back another heart failure two years earlier, and the sound of the dull thud as the body fell from the chair to the floor, her words echoing with the thud, ‘I am tired. I have no more words.’
Pat Bishop’s heart gave up at the emotive meeting of the Expert Committee on Culture and Heritage met at the Twin Towers. Two days earlier she had echoed similar sentiments when she, along with Peter Minshall, Jackie Hinkson, Hans Hanomansingh and a couple others met in lagahoo session with me at the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO. Our blue print for propelling culture and heritage into viable creative industries, drawn from demonstrated successes and knowledge and understanding of the sector, were being stymied by myopic interpretations. They wanted to brainstorm a strategy for the meeting carded two days away that would transform the thinking of those charged as change agents but still steeped in old outlooks and older bad habits.
A Highway to Nowhere
I had grown up in South Trinidad, I told Peter Harris, in our last conversation. I fully lived the daily frustrations of waiting for hours for a taxi, or any vehicle for the matter out of my village because vehicles refused to come through the unkempt, potholed roads.
As a cub reporter just cutting my journalistic tooth in South Trinidad, my duties were the vague ‘covering the South’ – which the deskbound north editors saw as a dot on the map so I still have the first freelancer’s monthly pay check of TT$120 (no, there is no missing zeros there!) which my mom and sister, to their horror, had to supplement for several mre months, despite the fact that I was out of school and now a ‘working woman’ as it didn’t even cover even travel expenses, much less any other expenses.
Covering the South meant traversing the entire southern peninsula, for the most parts inaccessible. Drivers just would not risk the damages to their vehicles to enter a district in flood prone Penal/Barrackpore, the precarious pitch-growing paths of La Brea districts or dirt tracks of other districts in San Francique, Siparia. No one can deny what new transit networks could do to lift access and opportunities to the South.
But does it have to be done by razing of the assets that present the most potential for any success at diversification we may have if we were to break through into the new golden economies – culture, heritage, tourism, agriculture – the renewable industries that would endure long after the oil dried up? What a golden opportunity we have to demonstrated how the some 200 years of industrial 

Image from: http://www.discovertnt.com/userfiles/image/maps/Trinidad/south_09.jpg

development of the district could coincide with exploration in other dimensions – to help us complete the story of our civilisation. How could the planners even fathom the potential when the bases of their planning were still steeped in economics of convenience – tourism seen as cruise shipping; heritage as flag waving; a highway to who knows where.
It was a long conversation. Peter and I discussed some of the many options that were available – that would allow the rural south to have its access routes and the communities to have the assets by which they could grow localised self-initiated, self-supported endeavours that spring from their own talents, and skills and fill the development that the oil and gas and other industries in the area have never been able to.
But as in every other area as we have been witnessing in national life, it is an inconvenient truth that even the greatest advocates of change are nervous of shifting hardened stances. That inflexibility does not only exist in the public service. It is part of our culture. Changing the mindset, transforming orientation and outlooks, should form a substantive part of national budgets if such budgets envisioned change.
As much as the need for diversification is recognised, the baby steps taken to move in that direction becomes only rhetoric to the potential of these unrecognised assets that could ricochet diversification beyond expectations in productive activities that will allow individuals and communities to draw on their own resourcefulness, talents and skills with fulfilling self-sustained livelihoods which exist among us in abundance. Some still cling to the antiquated vision of our grandsires for their children to be doctors and lawyers (as if we really need more lawyers, though perhaps I would haveto eat those words by the end of this article!)
As Keshorn and more recently Jehue have articulated, our young are not as dazzled with escaping to foreign as previous generations were, especially, too, as opportunities abroad are already experiencing global warming, as they are, and drying up. Most youths around me give no thought to migrating and several abroad I know want to return; many would like to be able to stay here and build their lives with opportunities that can fulfil their intelligence and qualifications, not in hyped up exaggerated employment figures that mask underemployment that leave many in the population with a restless, unfulfilled, nervousness. As with Keshorn and Jehue, when they succeed we expect them to embrace heaps of accolades and goodies that they could have done better with in their years of struggle to success.
It is easy to tout change; it is more difficult to effect change, particularly as it requires changes in one’s own outlook in the first instance.
Planners dazzled by the flames of production of petroleum and its by products as the key drivers of economy, tout diversification, while pursuing actions that could destroying the very bases by which we may be able to achieve such diversification – invaluable, irreplaceable natural and cultural assets of the South Trinidad. Naparima Hill stands a living testimony to that.
The bulldozers of the road pavers could in seconds destroy millennia of valuable evidence of our prehistory the potential livelihoods of communities and leave them even more impoverished if these areas so rich in natural and cultural ecosystems were to be destroyed. We would essentially then have a highway to nowhere.
Balanced development
Finding the balance between development and conservation has always been a challenge for planners, but balance, it has been proven already in many areas, is attainable. It takes imagination – of which we have plenty unused, as Pat and Louis might say – and will – which might be in short supply. It is a matter of not just thinking, but acting too, outside the accustomed paths to progress – even the IMF and the World Bank recognise that now!
In that last conversation Peter and I discussed some of the many best practice compromises the plans for a highway could draw on, fulfilling the need for access to remote areas and at the same time protecting a fragile and super-sensitive cultural and natural landscapes which are already in their own right a world heritage – though we would not take the time to put the nuts and bolts in place that would facilitate formal recognition as such. A marriage of the unique industrial heritage and industries in the area with the communities for the model kind of sustainable development that is on everyone’s lips. is not a pipe dream.
I shared with Peter my unfolding research and jaw dropping body of evidence I was accumulating, supported by visits to sites in South America and elsewhere and in comparison with others across the globe, that suggest the broader significance of not just Peter’s pet site, but the entire district of that southern peninsula that stretches from La Brea and Cedros on the Caribbean Sea coast and its connections to South America, to the Atlantic Ocean. As with diversification, national budgets over the last decade have been delivering rhetoric about a knowledge driven economy, and diversification through culture, heritage, tourism and agriculture, but fall short of the actions to effect the shifts that will allow for such development, while at the same time offer and allow us to hold up a more wholesome vision of ourselves that overshadows the trials of the middle passage and extend to, be comparable to, and connect with the antiquity of other civilisations. We have been content to accept it as the district Raleigh discovered – so far from the truth – and apart from a few individual piecemeal efforts, not much of significance had been done to expand our knowledge and understanding of the district in the context of all the new research and activities that is being done elsewhere.
‘You still a baby in this. I have seen this many times over. I am too old now. Is over to you now child. I am too tired,’ Pat had said. Shortly after her death, Peter Minshall called me expressing similar distress, hoplessness, frustration, and despondence, and exhaustion too! more recently, along smilar lines, Hanomansingh. It is a cross no one wants to bear.
And then there’s Peter, the other Peter. A few months before his heart gave up, earlier this year, archaeologist Peter Harris called seeking support in a desperate bid to save his life’s work – the Banwari site – presumably the oldest known human skeletal remains in this hemisphere which he had discovered forty-odd years ago, though not many were any wiser.
We exchanged knowledge. I told him of sites I had visited – the area where Indonesia’s Java man was discovered was an expansive protected landscape, with museum and research institute; here all we were seeing was a grave site, not the bigger picture – of a time that was still challenging scientists trying to reconstruct and reconnect the missing links. He was preparing a report and wanted to consult with me on the accepted international standards for protection. That was Peter – quiet, soft spoken diplomacy to the end despite his extreme agitation of possibly having to watch his life’s work erased. The proposed highway to Point Fortin would pass dangerously close to the site, and the construction activity threatened to overwhelm whatever additional evidence may still be present, not to mention the quarter acre the myopic planners saw as ‘the site’.
At last visit to Banwari Site with deceased archeologist Peter Harris
Current custodians are happy to just focus on the few square feet of the skeletal site itself with no consideration given to its larger contexts and the surrounding districts. Industry – oil, gas, asphalt – shy away like the quick-fix politicians – from any substantive actions on how the rich harvests of the district 

could also help support exploration of new initiatives that could only add value to the area, and give the span of communities there a different view of themselves, of their place in the scheme of things, while directly opening them up to a whole host of new economic self generated individual-driven cultural and heritage employment opportunities and activities that function complementary to the technical skills of the district’s traditional industries that if at all, only indirectly filter down to them. Planning for the area, or lack thereof, has given no thought to these significant dimensions that could springboard the long neglected districts into 21st century relevance.
Louis, Peter and Pat – three heritage soldiers whose life stories and interests might be different, but whose focus were very similar to each other. They summoned their creative energies to negate the similar frustrations: dinosaur institutions, individuals touting change, but unwilling to take the necessary actions to effect them, then falling into their comfort zone only to replicate bad habits.
Louis, Peter and Pat – three lagahoos – sleepless, tireless explorers and proponents of heritage as essential to endowing the next generation with a sense of place and identity, but also sustainable sources of livelihood from the self initiative, innovation and creativity that spring so naturally from our communities.
Peter was a discoverer, of heritage. He tried to lodge his findings with institutions which reduced their significance to the narrow confines of the myopic limitations these institutions impose on themselves – post independence notwithstanding.
Louis was a hoarder of heritage. His anxiety that they would be lost to the ignorant, or the marauding development bulldozers, meant he was often only-too-willingness to cut, sometime dangerous, corners, as I had pointed out to him in relation to the Ganteaume tombstones in Mayaro which we subsequently found out were in his museum and several other issues that arose on the committee.
Pat Bishop was a creator of heritage.
‘T&T is a place that if you wanted to listen to a concert, you have to create one,’ she would say, and she created concert after concert. Louis wanted a place where our history and heritage could be preserved so he created a museum. I got the message: if I wanted people to read my books, to read local authors, I should create my own literacy and literary movement – and that means, in the absence of accessible systems to do so, inspire literary appreciation, educate, research, write, publish, market, distribute, promote, cajole, lobby, etc; that, and expect potential heart failure.
That is our social culture. It is a cultural norm that we do not acknowledge. In not acknowledging it we cannot address it. The story of inertia in the heritage, culture and tourism sectors – still largely viewed as cruise ships and flag waving – while our frustrated youths, seeing the unfulfilled potential around them, take up arms. It is not much different for any of our other sectors and the systems in the functions and attitudes that govern them.
That is also in our political culture: if you want changes in governance, create a political party. If that party falls short, you create another one. It is the same dynamics that have generated the mushrooming of more than 7000 civil society organisations across the country – a CSO/NGO each for less than three quarters of a square kilometre if one wants to get statistical, each championing a cause seen more relevant to the several others it may be duplicating.
Inflexibility and the absence of commitment to transform, change, and evolve; the lack of proper mechanisms, infrastructure and facilities for national assets that will ensure adequate protection of our national assets, including heritage assets encourage citizens to take actions in our own hands.
That void is adequate breeding ground for vigilantes.
When state systems fall down civic-minded citizens are left to take up the slack, until even the state begins to support corner-cutting, because it fulfils its agenda for politically expedient quick fixes, while the preparation of the substantive mechanisms and infrastructures are put on hold. By whatever name one wants to call it, it is vigilante action, fostered because the existing institutions charged with those responsibilities show little interest, understanding or willingness to take the necessary actions to transform themselves to become more relevant to evolving and dynamic social changes and expectations. The vigilantes become heroes. That’s what happens on this side of the fence, of those like Louis, Pat and Peter, who worked to protect, secure, build a future in villages and communities for other generations.
It is not rocket science, if we connect the dots. It is no different and just as much the cultural norm of what happens on the other side of the fence: those other community leaders, gang leaders, those propagating another kind of laga-hoodlumism, the other kind of vigilante justice…
The race is on and the bets may be already fixed on who’s going to win the war; and who will die trying!
If only we knew ourselves…
R.I.P. Louis. Peter. Pat. Happy Independence! From those of us independent, but still dragging lagahoo shackles on this side!

LetterstoLizzie #RoyalBaby, Princes Will & Harry My Jahajis Bhai

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Dear Lizzie,
Found missing DNA link to my blue blood Jahaji Bhai #Prince Harry and William and Bahin Kate. Complete ClandestineConfessions in #LetterstoLizzie: Scandalous liaisons, concocted birth certificates and fabricated blood ties in our bloodline when our ancestors came west through Amenia from India via #EastIndiaCompany, a perilous and fatal journey for Jahaji Bahin, #Princess Diana, and Bahut Aajis great gran mamas Eliza Kewart and Katherine Scott…In Letters to Lizzie coming soon…

Welcome to the family #RoyalPrince:
Photo and story from Clarence House Website. This site claims no copyrights

Clan-destine confessions

I am a bastard. The name I carry is not the one I was born with. And I do not refer only to the truncated byline that accompanies this article.  See also:

Hunt on for Prince William’s distant cousins in Surat


  (That was the Guardian’s doing. Days into what would turn out to be a career, not many moons ago, a dashing sub-editor faced me with the ultimatum of truncating my name or run the risk of not being credited for my articles. My given name would take up an entire paragraph, and space was a valuable newspaper asset, he argued, rather convincingly. I acquiesced. It reincarnated into Kris, his option over Krissy – that one had come in the late years of primary school, so christened by a teacher from “town,” fresh out of Training College.) For years I harboured clandestine thoughts that I was a bastard. In times when I wanted to disown my family, I convinced myself I was orphaned; on better days I savoured my secret – that I was a love child. While I combed her hair, made wavy from decades of plaiting, or massaged her back, I would smilingly indulge in this little secret I shared with my ma. She groaned approvingly every time I massaged an ache out. I dread to think what her real reaction would have been had I voiced my thoughts…But it was not just my imagination running wild. My bastardisation was the doing of the State. It began when I discovered my birth certificate a few weeks before sitting the Common Entrance examination. Under the column “Father’s name” there was a dash. Nothing else. A dash, then blank. Everyone assumed I was Rampersad because my many, many brothers and sisters carried one of my father’s names, and when you’re number 10 on the list you can’t really choose your name, or so they thought. I’d disprove it trice. Though all my official records made me his, his name was not on the birth certificate. Instead, that carefully rolled, still crisp but yellowing piece of paper ma kept in her secret place stated I was a Sookraj. Even when Rampersad went to the Red House in Port-of-Spain to swear I was his, I reserved the option of being Sookraj when I wanted. Really, I should be Kris (blank) or Kris — (dash). Three years ago, I again saw Sookraj named on paper. One then long-unknown cousin, Nelson Ramdeen, was tracing his maternal ancestors and it led him to my mother. He jotted down all our names, and the names of the children of my siblings, and the names of ma’s siblings, and their children, and her mother’s name, and her father’s name: Sookraj, a grandpa I had never known. Her unregistered Hindu marriage to my father not being recognised by law, not even 10 children later, I was stuck with her father’s name, her maiden name, hence her love child, and my romanticised bastard status. So Rampersad is the name that defines my place in a place that didn’t recognise my parents’ cultural relationships – an oral culture – but placed emphasis on things written. Writing made things real. In that way too, Moneah became real. From Ramdeen’s research, she popped to life. He traced my mother’s lineage to this faceless woman, who, for whatever reason, at age 22, from Dinapore village in Patna, India, packed her husband, Ramchurn, and her Jahaji bundle; boarded the Hougoumont on October 13, 1870; braved four months of treacherous, unfamiliar kala pani, to arrive in Trinidad four months, two days later – on February 15, 1871, one day after what would come to be known as Valentine’s Day. Thus began her love affair with Trinidad, which would outlive two husbands, spawn 10 (known) children, some 50 grandchildren (and counting, some blanks still exist); each of those had on average 40 grandchildren; each of those some 30 grands. Five generations later, I need a better capacity for math than I now possess to calculate Moneah’s contribution to Trinidad and Tobago’s voting and working population and to the Trinidad diaspora in North America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Caribbean, which a rough estimate places beyond 5,000 human souls in various professions. (All except politics, the family jokes, and on the agenda is a motion to disown from Moneah’s lineage any who enters that profession at the next clan gathering – the first was three years ago, 130 years after Moneah’s arrival, so the next might not be until another century or so.) Moneah now lives: In the faces and the mannerisms and quirks of character of the some 3,000 women who can trace a bloodline to her. From what I know of some of those women in her lineage, I could see her, on Ramchurn’s death two and a half years after their landing, pulling her widowed orhini over her head and shrugging off considerations of becoming Suti and dying with her husband, saying, “Sati who? Mere nam, Moneah” (Meh name’s Moneah). She would mourn him properly in the traditionally defined ways, and two years later consort with our grandsire, Shewpersad, who said farewell to his cows and his village Semaie in Boodha, Gorukhpur, boarded the Brechin Castle (ship) on December 26, 1874, to Trinidad and 25 years of Moneah. Those two would seed Trinidad soil with cane and cabbages, pumpkins and pawpaws, and offspring like peas. Though only one of her sons, one great grandaughter, and two great, great grandsons would demonstrably exceed her level of fertility, the average offspring of each of the descendants over five generations stands around six. Several have inherited her genes of outliving husbands. They include beef-eating Hindus, pork-eating Muslims, bhajan-singing Christians; through their veins have flowed T&T’s coconut water and Carib, French wine, Scottish whisky, Japanese sake, India’s lassi, and whatever other beverages rage in the places they have settled and spawned their own dynasties – in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and India. A solid bridge now stretches seven generations – each step boldly labelled – towards Moneah. Because we know her name.


Hunt on for Prince William’s distant cousins in Surat


LONDON: Scientists have launched a hunt for possible distant cousins of Britain’s Prince William after it emerged he shared Indian ancestry. A day after DNA results revealed that the young royal carried an Indian gene, scientists said they are now looking to find his distant relatives in Surat in Gujarat.
“It’s a great thing to unite people across the distances … It shows commonality,” said Dr Jim Wilson, a geneticist at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at Britains DNA.
Dr Wilson said Eliza Kewark – Prince William’s great, great, great, great, great grandmother- gave birth to two children. Katherine Scott Forbes, born in 1812, was Prince William’s great-great-great-great grand mother. The second child, Alexander, was born two years later. “Alexander went back to India and did not die early,” said Dr Wilson. “He may have descendants there today.” Katherine later married James Crombie, a member of the coat-making family.
On Friday, scientists announced that the future king of England has Indian blood in him and is a direct descendent of part-Indian Eliza Kewark, who was a house keeper for his great-great-great-great-great grandfather Theodore Forbes, a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat.
New genetic evidence has found that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge – second in line to the British throne after his father Prince Charles– is the direct descendant of an Indian woman and that he carries her mitochondrial DNA. The same DNA lineage has also been found in Prince Harry.
The scientists said it’s through an unbroken maternal line to late Princess Diana from Kewark’s daughter, Katherine, that Prince William and his brother Prince Harry inherited the Indian DNA.
Born in 1790, Eliza lived in India when it was governed by the East India Company, and is thought to have had Armenian blood because of her surname.
Using birth, marriage and death records, the researchers traced two of Eliza’s living direct descendants, who are both third cousins of Princess Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, and tested samples of their saliva.
Dr Wilson said, “This was independent evidence that there was Indian ancestry. For me, it corroborated the findings from the mtDNA. We’ve got two different kinds of genetic evidence that are independent from one another and they both corroborate the story. So it really seems that our future king has a little bit of Indian blood”.
Mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA is a small piece of DNA, inherited mostly unchanged from a mother to her children. Men inherit it but do not pass it on. Princes William and Harry carry Kewark’s markers but will not pass this Indian mtDNA onto their children.
The scientists said, “Through genealogy, we traced two living direct descendants and by reading the sequence of their mtDNA, we showed not only that they matched, but also that it belongs to a haplogroup called R30b, thus determining Eliza Kewark’s haplogroup. Comparison to database from over 65,000 individuals from around the world showed that only 14 examples have been reported, 13 of whom were Indian and one Nepalese”.
R30b is rare even in India, where roughly 0.3% of people carry this lineage. And Eliza’s lineage is rarer still. Within haplogroup R30b, an exact match to her sequence is yet to be found. Eliza Kewark’s two descendants are estimated to be about 0.3% and 0.8% South Asian, with three blocks of South Asian DNA in each of their genomes. All the rest is of European origin.

The East india Company: http://www.britainsdna.com/royal-revelation
The East India Company was a phenomenon, a huge business enterprise that in effect ruled a subcontinent from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It raised private armies, employed generals, fought pitched battles against other European colonists, founded towns and made vast fortunes for those involved. For young men hoping to make their way in the world of the burgeoning British Empire, it was one of the most exciting, dynamic and promising avenues to success. The Company traded in silk, cotton, opium, indigo dye, saltpetre and tea, and after its famous general, Robert Clive, defeated the French at Plassey in 1757, it ran India as a virtual monopoly. When Henry Dundas became President of the Board of Control in 1784, he began to appoint Scotsmen to key positions, so much so that by the end of the 18th century, they dominated the activities of the East India Company, their connections reaching back to Scotland.
The estate of Boyndlie lies about five miles south-west of Fraserburgh in the north-east corner of Aberdeenshire. As the third son of John Forbes, Theodore will have known from boyhood that his future probably did not lie in farming. Some time in the early 19th century, he found himself in the Port of Leith working in a merchant company. Trade with India was brisk and Scottish entrepreneurs had invested so heavily in the tea industry that production outstripped that of China. No doubt through contacts made in Leith, Theodore was promised a position with the East India Company and he boarded a ship bound for the Bombay Presidency. India had been divided into three presidencies or provinces and the others were centred on Calcutta and Madras.
In his early twenties, Theodore set up house, probably in Surat, a major port north of Bombay itself, and he employed a housekeeper. She was Eliza Kewark, an Indian woman probably only two years younger. Her Christian name was almost certainly an anglicised version of Aleeza or Aliza. Not uncommon in the north-west of the subcontinent, it can mean ‘Precious’, or more prosaically, ‘the daughter of Ali’. In 1812 Eliza and the 24 year-old Scotsman had a child, a girl named Katharine Scott Forbes after Theodore’s mother. The baby’s birth was registered at Surat. It seems that the couple’s relationship was stable and settled, a genuine marriage, for they went on to have more children and make a family. Two years after Katharine’s birth, Alexander Scott Forbes was born and given another family Christian name. And there appears to have been a third child although no details have been thus far unearthed. But it is believed that Eliza gave birth to another daughter.
Through their early childhood, Katharine, Alexander and their sibling were raised in the bustling port of Surat and almost certainly their mother taught them to speak and read Gujerati or another native language. There exists no record that Theodore and Eliza ever married. However, such liaisons were not unusual; one in three British men working in India in the late 18th and early 19th centuries married Indian women.

Boyndlie House
Boyndlie House, c1910
When Katharine was eight years old and Alexander six, their father boarded the SS Blenden Hall, a merchant ship bound for Britain. The reason for his voyage remains unknown but perhaps he planned to bring his family back to Scotland. But on 24th September 1820, Theodore Forbes died on board and was buried at sea. He was only 32 years old. Some time after news of this calamity reached both Scotland and Surat, a decision was made to bring Katharine and Alexander back to Aberdeenshire and the estate at Boyndlie. There must have been communication between the Forbes family and Eliza Kewark, for there exists no record of her third child going to Scotland. Only Katharine and Alexander made the long journey to Boyndlie, the home of grandparents and uncles and aunts they had never met. Their mother must have stayed behind in India and nothing more is known of Eliza Kewark – except for two details that brings alive the agonies of a mother being parted from her children, of seeing them board a ship to travel half a world away, probably never to be seen again.
Alexander became so homesick for Surat, his mother and his little sister that the Forbes family allowed and no doubt paid for him to return to India. Apparently this happened only a short time after the six year-old’s arrival in Aberdeenshire. The contrast between Surat and Boyndlie can only be imagined. Many years later a bundle of letters was found. Written not in English but probably in Gujerati, they had been sent by Eliza to the daughter she was destined never to see again. Perhaps they carried news to Scotland of Katharine’s brother and little sister. They also inherited the DNA of their mother, and if the third child was indeed a daughter, then it may have been passed down the generations in India. And in Britain, there is no doubt that shared mtDNA lived on in Katharine Forbes and her descendants.
In the early 19th century and on into the Victorian age, illegitimacy was perhaps less of a stigma in the fermtouns of Scotland than it might have been in the genteel drawing rooms of the cities. Much more of a problem would have been the taint of ‘coloured blood’. But since Katharine’s father had died and her mother remained thousands of miles away in India, it may be that Eliza Kewark’s ethnicity was not an immediate difficulty. Later, she was said to have been an Armenian, perhaps because Kewark could be parlayed into Kevork, an Armenian surname. Nevertheless, Eliza’s existence was not forgotten or expunged from the family tree. Perhaps that was Katharine’s doing, a stubborn unwillingness to deny her mother, the woman who had born and raised her for eight years in Surat. It is impossible to do more than guess at what was said and what was not.
In any event, Theodore and Eliza’s daughter, by this time known as Kitty, married James Crombie in Aberdeen. She was 25 years old. Her family may have remained pillars of the Scottish middle classes had Katharine’s great-granddaughter, Ruth, not married into the aristocracy. Her husband was Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, an Irish peer. Ruth became a longstanding member of the household of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. In 1954 her daughter, Frances, married Edward, Viscount Althorp (later Earl Spencer) and in 1961 gave birth to a daughter, Diana Spencer. A year after her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, she in turn gave birth to a son, Prince William. In the direct female line, Eliza Kewark’s mitochondrial DNA had been passed down to the heir second in line to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Prince William’s mitochondrial DNA inheritance
How is it possible to be certain of this? Mitochondrial DNA is passed down the motherline to all children. Two living direct descendants of Eliza Kewark have been found and by reading the sequence of their mtDNA, our geneticists discovered not only that it matched but that it also belonged to a haplogroup called R30b. Further research confirmed unequivocally that this is Eliza Kewark’s haplogroup. A comparison run through databases of the DNA of more than 65,000 individuals from around the world showed that R30b is very rare and very Indian. Only 14 examples have been reported and 13 of these were Indian, with one in Nepal. To add to this research, it is important to note that the other related branches of R30b, that is R30a and R30, are also entirely South Asian in origin. This confirms beyond doubt that the mtDNA of Eliza Kewark was of Indian heritage.
R30b is rare even in India where only approximately 0.3% of people carry the lineage. And what Eliza passed down to Princess Diana, her other living descendants and to Prince William is even rarer. Within the haplogroup of R30b, an exact match to her sequence has yet to be found outside of her descendants. But Prince William, and Prince Harry, who also carries it, will not be able to pass on their extremely rare Indian mtDNA to their children. They will in turn inherit whatever their mothers’ mtDNA happens to be.
For yet more corroboration, scientists used an independent type of genetic evidence. By reading over 700,000 markers scattered across the genome of Princess Diana’s matrilineal cousins, and comparing findings to a global database of samples, it is possible to estimate the proportions of continental-level ancestry for an individual. For example, someone with a father from Ireland and a mother from Nigeria would be 50% sub-Saharan African and 50% European, or someone with three English grandparents and one from China would be approximately 20% to 30% East Asian. The proportions inherited from ancestors who lived longer ago are lower and also variable. Eliza Kewark’s two descendants are estimated to be about 0.3% and 0.8% South Asian, with three blocks of South Asian DNA in each of their genomes. All of the rest is of European origin.
It is therefore very likely that in addition to his mtDNA, Prince William has not only inherited a small proportion of Indian DNA from Eliza Kewark but that his heirs will also carry it.

Prince William Found to Have Indian DNA Linked to Princess Diana’s Ancestors



Prince William, second in line to the British throne, will be first British king with proven Indian ancestry, DNA analysis has revealed.
The DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from the Duke of Cambridge’s relatives have established a direct lineage between the 30-year-old prince and an Indian housekeeper on his mother Princess Diana’s side.
It is his only non-European DNA and means he will become the first head of the Commonwealth with a clear genetic link to its most populous nation, India.
William is now likely to be encouraged to make his debut mission to India soon after the birth of his baby next month.
Researchers have uncovered the details of his lineage via a doomed relationship of William’s Indian great-great-great-great-great grandmother.
Eliza Kewark was housekeeper to Prince William’s great grandfather Theodore Forbes (1788-1820), a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in the port town of Surat in Gujarat.
Eliza’s mt DNA was passed on by her daughters and granddaughters directly in an unbroken line to Princess Diana and then on to Prince William and Prince Harry.
Eliza is claimed to have been Armenian, possibly because her surname is rather like the Armenian name Kevork and letters from her to Forbes have been found to contain Armenian script. This, in turn, suggests a degree of Armenian cultural heritage and the possibility that her father may have been of Armenian descent.
“But we believe that all the evidence we have gathered shows that her genetic heritage through her motherline is Indian,” BritainsDNA, a DNA ancestry testing company, said in a release.
“Princes William and Harry carry Eliza Kewark’s markers but will not pass this Indian mtDNA onto their children, as mtDNA is only passed from mother to child,” it added.
Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and BritainsDNA who carried out the tests, said that Eliza’s descendants had an incredibly rare type of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), inherited only from a mother. It has so far been recorded in only 14 other people, 13 Indian and one Nepalese. The revelation explains why the Scottish father of Eliza’s children suddenly deserted her and sent their daughter, Katherine, to Britain at the age of six.
Researchers have discovered letters from Eliza to Forbes pleading for her to be allowed to see him. When Forbes died on a ship back to Britain in 1820 his will referred to Eliza as his “housekeeper” and the mother of his “reputed natural daughter” Katherine.
“Knowing something about your DNA and its origins in prehistory definitely changes your sense of yourself, and one way that it does that is to make you feel part of a world community,” said Alistair Moffat, the founder of BritainsDNA.
The researchers also used another type of genetic evidence, autosomal markers, scattered across the genomes of Princess Diana’s two matrilineal cousins and compared them to a global database of samples.
“I always assumed that I was part-Armenian so I am delighted that I also have an Indian background,” said Mary Roach, Princess Diana’s maternal aunt who was one of two relatives who provided the DNA samples.

  • Princess Diana’s Hidden Ancestral Secret Revealed 


    The father of her child referred to her as the “housekeeper” and the “purported mother” of their daughter, Katharine.
    Katharine was sent off without her mother to England, and that’s where this story might have ended. But Katherine gave birth to Jane, who gave birth to Ruth, who had another Ruth, who had Frances, who had Diana.
    As in Princess Diana.
    Which means that Great Britain will, one day, have a monarch with Indian blood, and the Commonwealth will be led by a king with a clear genetic link to its most populous nation.
    Eliza Kewark is Prince William’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. She has long been described as Armenian, but Kewark was at least half-Indian, the genetic ancestry testing company BritainsDNA announced today.
    Will, Kate Celebrate Queen’s 60th Anniversary
    BritainsDNA says it is confident of Kewark’s lineage because it traced Williams’ mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, which is passed down from mother to child. BritainsDNA took saliva samples from two unnamed members of the royal family and traced it back seven generations to Kewark, who was born around 1790.
    Kewark’s mtDNA is so rare, BritainsDNA said, that it has only been found in 14 other people, all but one of whom was Indian (the other one was Nepali).
    “It is therefore likely that Prince William has not only inherited a small proportion of Indian DNA from Eliza Kewark but her heirs will also carry it,” BritainsDNA said today.
    How the Royal Baby Will Be Kept Safe
    According to the biography “The Real Diana,” by Lady Colin Campbell, Kewark’s background was known but kept quiet by a family that was full of Europeans descended from royalty.
    “Eliza Kewark was a dark-skinned native of Bombay who had lived, without benefit of matrimony, with her great-great-grandfather Theodore Forbes while he worked for the East India Company,” “The Real Diana” reads.
    “Unsavory as the taint of illegitimacy was, even at that distance in time, it was nothing compared with the stigma of what was then known as ‘colored blood.’ Had it been generally known that Ruth [Diana’s great-grandmother] and her children were part-Indian, they might never have made good marriages.
    “Eliza’s true race was therefore expunged from the family tree and she reemerged as an Armenian. This fiction was maintained even when Diana married the Prince of Wales.”
    But times have changed and, today, and the family of Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, celebrated their Indian heritage.
    Mary Roach, Princess Diana’s maternal-aunt, told The Times, “I always assumed that I was part-Armenian so I am delighted that I also have an Indian background.”

Prince William’s inherited Indian DNA from Princess Diana

Prince William and his brother inherited Indian genetic markers from their maternal line from their mother Princess Diana.
Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Harry pictured together in 1995.
Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Harry pictured together in 1995. Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment
The connection traces back just eight generations, with the woman, Eliza Kewark, who was housekeeper to his fifth great-grandfather Theodore Forbes, born in 1788, a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat, a port north of Bombay.
The DNA was passed down through Eliza’s daughters and granddaughters to Princess Diana.
Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Harry pictured at Niagara Falls in 1991.
Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Harry pictured at Niagara Falls in 1991. Credit: Martin Keene/PA.
Eliza, who was born around 1790 and lived in India when it was governed by the East India Company, is thought to have had Armenian blood because of her surname and the presence of Armenian script in letters from her to Theodore.
Dr Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at BritainsDNA, who carried out the scientific research said very little is known about her, including when she died.
He said: “Theodore described her as his housekeeper. It appears they weren’t married.
“Mixed blood is something we celebrate today but that was very much not the case in the past.”


DNA tests reveal Wills is actually part-Indian…

 but one distant cousin knew the family secret all along

  • Sarah Drury discovered she was related to Prince through Diana’s DNA
  • Genetic expert traced back heritage to Bombay proving Indian connnection
From Bombay to Buckingham Palace, from the Highlands to the Taj Mahal, there was only one way to describe the news.
Well… Goodness Gracious Me, Prince William is descended from Indian ancestors.
The genetic link emerged after painstaking research going back two centuries to the story of a Scottish merchant’s love for the Indian sweetheart who became his wife.
Their liaison began a DNA trail which eventually led to Princess Diana, and will ultimately produce Britain’s first part-Indian king when William ascends to the throne.
The revelation was greeted with delight in some circles in India yesterday – followed by calls for William to capitalise on his newly revealed heritage by paying his first royal visit to the former colony.
But 6,000 miles away, in a tiny village in Herefordshire, one woman already knew the secret. Sarah Drury was told decades ago she was related to royalty through Diana’s DNA chain – and never bothered to speak about it outside her family.

Her grandmother revealed the link to Lady Diana Spencer, as she then was, before she became a queen-in-waiting by marrying the Prince of Wales. ‘I was only young at the time and it didn’t mean a great deal to me,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘My grandmother explained that her mother had six daughters, and that one of those daughters was the great grandmother of Frances Shand Kydd, Diana’s mother. I didn’t really know who Frances Shand Kydd was at the time because I only heard the name when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married.’
In the know: Sarah Jane Drury shares an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales

In the know: Sarah Jane Drury shares an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales
Mrs Drury, a 66-year-old retired interior design company executive and her husband Charles, a former stockbroker, now run a B&B in Turnastone, near Hereford.
Late last year she was contacted by genetic expert Professor Jim Wilson, from Edinburgh University, to invite her to help track Prince William’s lineage. He believed Mrs Drury was a distant cousin of the Prince after investigating a line that led to Bombay, the western port city of Surat, and Eliza Kewark, whom he traced as the prince’s great, great, great, great, great grandmother.
The DNA type that revealed the link is passed on by females and provides ‘unassailable’  evidence, according to Prof Wilson.
‘I got an email out of the blue and he asked me if I would spit into a bottle for him,’ Mrs Drury said. ‘He came back and told me the link. Although I knew there was this connection with Princess Diana I didn’t know until then what the relationship was.’
History: Joan Heather Powell (1917-1994), mother of Sarah Jane Gofton-Salmond, now Sarah Jane Drury. They share an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales

History: Joan Heather Powell (1917-1994), mother of Sarah Jane Gofton-Salmond, now Sarah Jane Drury. They share an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales
She said she was pleased to unravel the precise link – and proud to discover her Indian heritage, although she has never visited. ‘It fits into place because my brother and I both had very black hair and we both tan very easily. We always made a bit of a joke about a mystery ancestor and where it all came from.’
She added: ‘I’m delighted to be associated with India … perhaps I should visit now.’
The clue in the family tree was in her grandmother’s name of Forbes. Some 204 years ago a 21-year-old East India Company merchant called Theodore Forbes arrived in Surat. There he met Eliza, an Indian of Armenian extraction, the sister-in-law of his agent there.
They fell in love and are believed to have married in 1812. The partnership produced a daughter, Katherine, known as Kitty, later that year. Their son Alexander was born two years later; a second son, Fraser, followed – but he died at the age of six months.
If some of the names are familiar now, incidentally, it is because generations later, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer would name two of his daughters Eliza and Kitty.
Theodore got a job through a relative with Forbes and Co, a trading company based in Bombay. The distance from Surat – plus changing social attitudes that frowned on relationships between white traders and local women – meant the couple led separate lives.
Eliza pleaded in a series of letters to be allowed to join her husband. A friend advised Theodore to despatch Kitty, then six, to the Forbes family home in Boyndlie, Aberdeenshire, which he did. But two years later, after Theodore decided to return to Britain, he died on the voyage.
Further evidence of the DNA link came from another cousin, 79-year-old retired journalist and TV scriptwriter Robin Dewhurst, from Petersfield,  in Hampshire.
The father-of-two said he too received an unexpected letter last year from Prof Wilson asking him to provide a saliva sample for testing, which he did. He then received a letter back informing him he was probably 1/64th Indian.
He added: ‘All this past has been revealed just by spitting into a test tube. It’s fascinating how through DNA you can recapture the past.’

Prince William’s Indian ancestry revealed by DNA analysis





Prince WilliamThe DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from the Duke of Cambridge’s relatives have established a direct lineage between the 30-year-old prince and an Indian housekeeper on his mother Princess Diana’s side. (Reuters)
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, will be first British king with proven Indian ancestry, DNA analysis has revealed.
The DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from the Duke of Cambridge’s relatives have established a direct lineage between the 30-year-old prince and an Indian housekeeper on his mother Princess Diana’s side.
It is his only non-European DNA and means he will become the first Head of the Commonwealth with a clear genetic link to its most populous nation, India.
William is now likely to be encouraged to make his debut mission to India soon after the birth of his baby next month.
Researchers have uncovered the details of his lineage via a doomed relationship of William’s Indian great-great-great-great-great grandmother.
Eliza Kewark was housekeeper to Prince William’s great grandfather Theodore Forbes (1788-1820), a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in the port town of Surat in Gujarat.
Eliza’s mt DNA was passed on by her daughters and granddaughters directly in an unbroken line to Princess Diana and then on to Prince William and Prince Harry.
Eliza is claimed to have been Armenian, possibly because her surname is rather like the Armenian name Kevork and letters from her to Forbes have been found which contain Armenian script.
This in turn suggests a degree of Armenian cultural heritage and the possibility that her father may have been of Armenian descent.
“But we believe that all the evidence we have gathered shows that her genetic heritage through her motherline is Indian,” BritainsDNA, a DNA ancestry testing company, said in a release.
“Princes William and Harry carry Eliza Kewark’s markers but will not pass this Indian mtDNA onto their children, as mtDNA is only passed from mother to child,” it added.
Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and BritainsDNA who carried out the tests, said that Eliza’s descendants had an incredibly rare type of

LiTTscapes’ literary odyssey goes to London

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LiTTribute to LondonTTown is the next stop in our literary odyssey  to recognise and underscore the global character and relevance of fiction, even those from small islands like Trinidad and Tobago.
It will take place on July 15, 2013 and will feature readings and presentations inspired by LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago.
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Garvin Nicholas said: “The Trinidad and Tobago High Commission looks forward to showcasing the work of one of our talented local authors. In ‘Littscapes’, Dr. Rampersad has brought to light Trinidad and Tobago’s rich literary tradition and unique heritage. This event will provide an important platform for highlighting the complex history and fascinating social landscape of Trinidad and Tobago to a British audience”.
As with other LiTTributes held earlier this year – to the Mainland in Guyana and to the Antilles in Antigua  – this will encourage  rethinking how we may better engage with and utilise the rich literary outpourings as represented in LiTTscapes to develop synergies with the international community for social and economic development in film, music, entertainment and education sectors.

Jean Ramjohn Richards, First Lady (former) and author Kris Rampersad at LiTTribute to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2012. It preceded LiTTribute to the Mainland held in Guyana and LiTTribute to the Antilles in Antigua earlier this year, part of a series of connecting the Caribbean heritage and creative sectors, through the literary arts, with the diaspora.   Photo courtesy Office of the President of Trinidad and Tobago (http://www.thepresident.tt/events_and_ceremonies.php?mid=189&eid=1002).

It is well established that the relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and Europe, particularly the British Empire, has been the primary axis from which all of our written literature has emerged. This is evident even in books that do not engage directly with the colonial condition in the effects and influences of the English language, literature, education, and political and social systems and institutions.
LiTTscapes represents this relationship from the earliest writings of Sir Walter Raleigh to the current day among the 100-plus works by more than 60 writers, including those who made London their home such as Naipaul, Selvon, Lakshmi Seetaram-Persaud and others.
LiTTscapes has been acclaimed as a groundbreaking pictoral yet encyclopaedic compendium of the lifestyles, landscapes, architecture, cultures, festivals and institutions in its full colour easy reading documentary/travelogue/biography representation of Trinidad and Tobago and its fiction as represented in more than 100 fictional works by some 60 writers.  It is available at bookshops or email lolleaves@gmail.com.
LiTTribute to LondonTTown follows on the recent LiTTribute to the Antilles staged in Antigua in March,  LiTTurgy to the Mainland in Guyana in February, and LiTTribute to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, hosted by the First Lady of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Jean Ramjohn Richards and Dr Rampersad in September 2012. LiTTscapes was launched at White Hall – one of Trinidad and Tobago’s Magnificent Seven buildings as part of the islands 50th anniversary of independence in August 2012.
Persons wishing to get involved and For invitations and details Email: lolleaves@gmail.com.
See: https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal;  facebook.com/kris.rampersad1LiTTscapes, LiTtributes, LiTTour Album Facebook .