VISITORS arriving in Guyana were treated to a special ‘Arrival Day welcome’ at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri, East Bank Demerara, yesterday.
The ‘meet and greet’ exercise was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce; the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA); management of CJIA; Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Caribbean International Distributors Incorporated.
Passengers who arrived on Caribbean Airlines, Delta and LIAT flights from United States, Canada, and Trinidad were greeted by tassa drumming by the Jagnandan Tassa Group and staff dressed in traditional Indian attire. Sweetmeats were distributed to give them a taste of the culture brought by the East Indians.
There were also persons dressed in traditional Amerindian wear and who gave visitors a sample of farine (a cassava meal). The Amerindians were the first people here.
Today marks the 173rd anniversary of Indian arrival to Guyana.
GTA Director, Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh said the entities partnered to welcome the arrivals on this very special occasion.
On behalf of Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad, the GTA Director extended greetings to the visitors on arrival day.
Haralsingh said this activity is part of a number of welcome activities for the various festivals and events in Guyana including Christmas, Deepavali, Mashramani and Phagwah. He said that immigrants to Guyana have done a phenomenal job and have contributed greatly to Guyana’s development including the East Indians who have also made a significant contribution.
“We are known as a nation of six races and we are admired for our multiculturalism; for being multiracial; and for being warm and welcoming to everyone from everywhere else,” he said.
He said that Arrival Day is a very important occasion for Guyana and “it is a time when we should reflect on our history, where we come from, and further consolidate and work as one to build the ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny’ and we should stand united as we move forward”.
“We are very happy that after all these years of immigrants coming from everywhere that, today we stand as a proud nation, as proud citizens, and that we can all call ourselves Guyanese,” Haralsingh said.
He said that all this augurs well for our tourism industry as persons have also come in for the much-anticipated one-day international cricket match between West Indies and Pakistan today
Also arriving were a lot of Guyanese from the Diaspora.
One of the many excited incoming passengers, Dave Gilligan, a US citizen who is on his first visit to Guyana, said the welcome was very different and he was glad to have a glimpse of Guyanese culture.
Fay (only name given) a Guyanese living in New York for over 27 years, said that it was very warm and welcoming.
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