A Hindu couple were declared, in Trinidad and Tobago to be “married under bamboo“, and the union had no constitutional standing whatsoever.
As a result, Hindu sacraments weren’t legal in Trinidad until the Hindu Marriage Act on May 13 1946: An Act to make provision for the Solemnisation and Registration of Hindu Marriages.
Under Bamboo (phr) A Trinidad Hindu nuptials ceremony conducted according to Hindu religious rites. Such services were not recognized as legal [marriage] unions until 1946 in Trinidad. English under ‘subject to the authority or control’ + bamboo the usual building material for the wedding reception area which is under Hindu rites, under fig tree.
She not marriedin under no fig tree like she grandmother.
The phrase Under Bamboo is not to be confused with under fig tree. Under fig tree is a Trinidad marriage ceremony, conducted according to Hindu religious rites. Fig tree leaves were used as roofing for the ceremonial area.
Under Bamboo- Caribbean Usage
“Under bamboo” Hindu marriages could only be done in a couple of Hindu Marriage Districts in Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the Hindu Marriage Act of 1946.
Hindus arrived in Trinidad as indentured workers on May 30, 1845, and for 100 years their marriages, although solemnised by a pundit and consented to by the parents, their marriages were never recognised by the state. It took another 100 years before the colonial government recognised the Hindu marriage by its proclamation of the Hindu Marriage Act.
Various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French, African, Hindi, and Spanish origins. For instance, growing up in Trinidad and Tobago is fascinating because the slangs can change over time. I have lived in the United States for 20 years now, and every time I travel back to Trinidad and Tobago, I have to reacquaint myself with the words and phrases that have emerged.