WELL-GUARDED: Young Tarouba residents portray the guards of Ram and Sita during Ramleela celebrations on Monday night at the Tarouba Recreation Grounds. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON
Ramleela celebrations expected to be grand
RAMLEELA celebrations have begun at 25 venues across the country, and this year the productions are said to be among the most spectacular ever presented.
President of the National Ramleela Council of Trinidad and Tobago (NRCTT), Rodney Ramjit, said preparations for the Ramleela cost each group an estimated $150,000 and it will cost more than $3 million to fulfill the needs of all the registered groups.
"We have about 500,000 people coming to venues across the country. Ramleela has been growing throughout the years and we need the funding to improve the standards. The Ministry (of the Arts and Multiculturalism) said the funds were ready, but they will have to set a date to distribute the cheque," he said.
The Ramleela is an enactment of the life of Lord Ram. The Leela, or play, shows the happy times and adversities encountered by Lord Rama during his life on earth.
The Ramleela performance concludes with the burning of a huge effigy (statue) of the defeated villain, King Ravan.
Secretary of the Cedar Hill Youth, Social and Cultural Organisation Ramleela Group, Alvin Saltan, said he was pleased with this year's presentation. "We work really hard to ensure that the Ramleela celebration in Cedar Hill is something people would want to witness. We are known for our amphitheatre style and bridge that we construct," he said.