Today we join our Hindu brothers and sisters in celebrating the joyous and colourful festival of Phagwah. A number of organisations and individuals have also extended Holi greetings. Some of these messages are published below:
PRIME MINISTER and FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, Moses Nagamootoo
The Government of Guyana extends Phagwah Greetings to all Guyanese at home and abroad, especially our Hindu brothers and sisters.
This is indeed a happy, auspicious time in the Hindu calendar when we blend colours with chowtal and celebrate togetherness. Holi is a time when we mix joyfully and celebrate with each other with affection and goodwill.
This year’s celebration coincides with the observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship. The ending of that system of exploitation of cheap labour, is indeed a triumph of good over evil.
We are forever indebted to our Indian ancestors for preserving, against great odds, their religion, their rituals and their festivities, such as Phagwah, and Diwali, Mother Kali Puja and Yesu Katha, Eid-ul-Adha, Youman Nabi as well as other Christian ceremonies. These are all respected and observed in Guyana, and serve to promote the culture of diversity, tolerance and cohesion.
Today, when dark clouds hang over many countries, when many are deemed aliens and refugees, we celebrate freely, not constricted by colour, caste or creed. Though we face our challenges, we must all work together to overcome them, and to realize our common hope for the good life for all.
So, as we celebrate Phagwah, let us recognize our rich cultural traditions and weave them into symbols of our pride as a multi-ethnic Guyanese Nation. We share our generosity and our kindness, and momentarily, we embrace in oneness. Let us rekindle these sentiments once again. Enjoy the celebrations. Happy Holi!
PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
The People’s National Congress Reform extends sincere Holi greetings to the Hindu Community of Guyana, in particular, and Guyanese in general, on the occasion of the celebration of the Festival of Phagwah in Guyana.
The significance of Phagwah is two-fold. Its secular significance lies in the advent of the season of spring, and its real and allegorical implications of fertility rebirth, renewal and regeneration. The religious significance of Holi lies in the conquest of good over evil, manifested by the destruction by Prahalada of his demonic father, King Hiranyakashipu.
As the celebrated Indian national, Kulapati Vani wrote many years ago, “… festivals are gatherings for refreshing the spirit and enjoying life.” We urge all Guyanese to use this occasion to refresh their spirit and enjoy life and to participate fully in this colorful festival and enjoy the rich elements of our religious and cultural diversity.
Happy Holi to all Guyanese!
ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE
The Alliance For Change extends Phagwah greetings to our Hindu brothers and sisters and all Guyanese in Guyana and in the Diaspora.
On the occasion of the festival of colours we celebrate this vibrant and electric Hindu holiday with passion, brotherhood, love and fervour. The enthusiastic celebration of Holi is a demonstration of our nation’s unyielding commitment to our strong cultural foundations and roots. That Phagwah is on our annual calendar as a national holiday cements the nation’s motto that indeed we are one people, one nation with one destiny.
In addition to the triumph of good over evil, Phagwah also has its origins in the celebration of a period of long desired rainfall and relief after a period of drought which caused stress and hardship. As a result of our recent natural resources discoveries, Guyana is preparing to embark on a period of prosperity in the coming years when all Guyanese will benefit from improved and elevated living conditions.
The AFC therefore calls on the society to learn from the lesson of Holi and utilize this time to prepare for the new and prosperous Guyana which beckons and when we will all be able to celebrate a better, developed and progressive Guyana in which we can all thrive and advance unhindered and unfettered by political or other encumbrances caused by divisiveness and discord.
Phagwah also allows us as a people to shine as a culturally diverse nation. Not only do our Hindu brothers and sisters celebrate Holi with water and powder of all colours but so do Guyanese of all religions, ethnic backgrounds, political persuasions, geographic locations and gender orientation. We join in friendly embrace and a spirit of togetherness as we apply colourful abeer to our friends, neighbours, colleagues and countrymen. May this spirit remains with us all year round.
PEOPLE’S PRORGESSIVE PARTY
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) takes this opportunity to extend best wishes for the festival of Phagwah to all Guyanese especially the Hindu community. As our people celebrate this truly colourful festival, the PPP urges that its deep significance through its pertinent messages be reflected upon and be seen as a source of inspiration.
It is most unfortunate that this celebratory inclusive festival comes at a time when our country is being divided by discriminatory polices imposed by the Administration. It comes at a time when uncertainty prevails and fear is instilled; when humanity is being trampled upon; when freedoms are threatened; when people are being demoralized and despondency engulfs.
Our Party is cognizant that the values of the occasion of Phagwah are emphasized to promote the well-being of all mankind and the celebration is also associated with welcoming of the spring season which brings joy and delight to all living being. Phagwah also reminds us of the triumph of good over evil through the story of Prahalad, who defied his father, a despotic King.
This defiance continues to be a source of inspiration in the face of adversity reminding that there is always a road to fulfillment. On this occasion, our Party calls on all Guyanese to be inspired by the significance of Phagwah and not to lose hope. Our Party believes that such inspiration would fortify our resolve and belief; that good will once again triumph over evil and that the road to fulfillment will be reached.
This year, Phagwah comes at the same time the 100th anniversary of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship in Guyana is being observed. The nation’s East Indian ancestors brought these rich religious and cultural traditions and preserved them through untold sacrifices while being oppressed. They remained resolute and never lost hope despite the adversities foisted upon them.
As we reflect and commemorate, let’s also draw inspiration from their relentlessness. Our Party once again uses this opportunity to extend best wishes for Phagwah to all and calls on Guyanese not to be deterred by the prevailing climate of uncertainty.
People’s Progressive Party
MINISTER OF SOCIAL COHESION, Dr. George Norton
Guyanese throughout the length and breadth of the country today observe the Hindu religious Festival of ‘Holi’ – a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. This spring festival, which is also referred to as Phagwah, is a joyful celebration that provides the opportunity for persons to rid themselves of past errors and to mend broken relationships. The observance of this festival is not only important to the Hindu community, but has grown into an important celebration for all Guyanese.
Guyanese from all walks of life, Hindus and non-Hindus alike, friends and strangers unite as one to indulge in the traditional colouring of each other with dry powder and coloured water. This forms a part of the unique fabric of the Guyanese society. Phagwah can be considered as an occasion, which sees the manifestation of the unity of our people and this is certainly worth celebrating. It is important that we as a people preserve every aspect of our culture and use it to bring us closer together.
We must let this good-natured celebration set the tone for the surrendering of old grievances, as we continue to march steadily with a united front. Let it allow us to have a greater appreciation of our relationships with family, friends, workmates and other persons in our lives. It is important to note that Indian indentured immigrants brought Phagwah to Guyana and today we also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the abolition of Indian Indentureship in this country.
There is, no doubt, heightened appreciation among members of the Indian community for their culture and the contributions of their fore parents. It is without a doubt that this group has made significant contributions to our dear land both in the form of culture and the shaping of our economy.
So let us all join together as one people to celebrate Phagwah and the 100th Anniversary of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship in Guyana. Let us do this in the true spirit of one people, in one nation, working towards one destiny.
Happy Holi to all of Guyana
MINISTER within the MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, Nicolette Henry
Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing the festival of Spring more culturally titled Phagwah, it is a time for triumph, feasting and that quintessential splashing of bright colours and or water.
Here in Guyana, it is a time for our Hindu community to reflect and reconnect. Through these rituals, Phagwah remains a vibrant strand in our diverse community.
As we enjoy the festivity, I wish to pay tribute to all Guyanese for shaping and building a strong and successful nation.
Guyana’s history is powerfully influenced by the distinct narratives of its people, from all ethnicities, experiences, cultures, customs and religions.
A safe and enjoyable Holi celebration to one and all.
GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION
The festival of Holi – known as Phagwah – is once again upon us. In Guyana, this festival has been a fixture in the country’s calendar of holidays. While this festival is of Hindu origin and celebrated by the Hindus primarily, today the Holi festivities attract, increasingly, non-Hindus in Guyana and elsewhere in the world.
We are drawn to Holi’s colourful expressions and the exuberance and joy that electrify the celebrations everywhere. But, Holi’s significance lies in the embrace of life’s many positive values which provides sustenance to the human existence. Over the years, Holi has come to be seen as an enduring reminder of the triumph of good over evil.
Its inspiring message where ‘good’ is promoted and embraced is as relevant as ever today. Around us, these days, are many evil-doers of various stripes and many injustices which seem to be growing rather than diminishing. As life’s burdens grow heavier for the masses, and new threats hang over their heads, the message of Holi gives us hope, strengthens our faith that wrongs can be overcome, and imbue us with the courage to go on in the face of adversities and triumph.
This year’s Phagwah activities find the GAWU facing various challenges in the sugar industry. However, we are optimistic as the message of Phagwah reminds us, that success in the future will come from our principled struggles.
At this time, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) takes pleasure in wishing all Hindus, indeed all Guyanese a Happy Holi 2017. The fact that this Holi festival appeals to a cross sector of our diverse religious and cultural makeup is significant. Any event that can promote togetherness and tolerance should be encouraged. In the circumstances of today, our unity to overcome injustices is essential as we continue along the challenging path to a joyful, bright and prosperous future.
Happy Holi to all Guyana from GAWU.
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF GEORGETOWN
It is an honour to extend Phagwah greetings to my Hindu brothers and sisters. This is a very special occasion, in the Hindu calendar of activities, where purity of heart and the attitude of giving are emphasized.
It is my sincere wish that as we celebrate, purity would be reflected in our Local Communities and in general aesthetics of the city. The manner in which we keep our environment should confirm to environmental health standards. We should endeavour to show care and caution for the environment in which we live, work and play.
As we celebrate this special occasion, let it bring us closer together in unity regardless of our race, colour or religious persuasion; let us remember that in unity there is strength.
As we celebrate let us pray for peace and become instruments of peace, let us not concede to grounds of division, we must do everything to ensure unity, harmony and peace.
Once again Happy Phagwah.
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