Daily Archives: 02/06/2013

The Mainstreaming of Roti – By Tony Deyal

A lesson in roti-ology.

The Mainstreaming of Roti – By Tony Deyal

“Coolie, coolie come for roti, all de roti done.”

In the elementary schools I attended in Trinidad in the fifties, this racist chant was common. Now, fifty years after Independence, making, buying, selling or eating roti is not limited to any one race.  It is not the speed with which the roti “done” but the question, “Where de roti gone?”  As we say in Trinidad, it “gone for higher”.  Now you can buy all the different variations of roti in Toronto, New York, Miami and wherever Trinidadians and other West Indians live, lime and labour.

In 1962, the roti best known outside of the home was the “dhal puri”.  There is no such commodity in India, where a puri is either a flat, flaky bread cooked in ghee (clarified butter), or a dish made by mashing or grinding peas, vegetables or meat and cooking it in hot water.  The purists say that what we call a “dhal puri” is really a dhal paratha which is a stuffed roti but in Trinidad what is called a “paratha” is not stuffed and is known as a “buss-up-shut”, taking its name because of its likeness to a tattered shirt.  Continue reading

Cyril Dabydeen to give McLeod Lecture – “Being Canadian”

Cyril Dabydeen to give The McLeod Lecture at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada.

Cyril Dabydeen

Cyril Dabydeen

The Department of English and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Lakehead University has invited  Guyana-born Cyril Dabydeen to give this year’s McLeod Lecture at Lakehead University on February 8. He will be speaking on the topic of “Being Canadian”—as well doing a reading.

Dabydeen recently participated in the 12th International Conference on the Short Story English held in North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. An acclaimed author (poet, novelist, and short story writer—as well as book critic and anthologist.      Continue reading

Portraits of perfection: pencil drawings by a young genius

Portraits of perfection: No, they’re not photos, but pencil drawings by a young genius from a tough council estate

  • Subjects range from singers Beyonce and Amy Winehouse to Mother Teresa and Princess Diana
  • Each expressive piece is made using primarily a set of pencils and the occasional stick of charcoal on paper
  • Artist Kelvin Okafor is gaining great acclaim for his incredible work

By Vincent Graff  Published:  31 January 2013  Comments (739)

Kelvin Okafor

Kelvin Okafor

Stare closely at the pictures on this page. What do you think it took to create these beautiful images of Amy Winehouse, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana and Rihanna? An expensive camera, a precision lens, hours of trial and error from a skilled photographer?

Well, the answer is none of the above.

All of these extraordinarily detailed pictures are pencil drawings, created purely by hand — with no digital trickery — by British artist Kelvin Okafor, whose only tools are a set of pencils, a piece of paper and the occasional stick of charcoal Continue reading