Today, we at Kaieteur News join our Hindu Brothers and Sisters as another Phagwah Day is celebrated. We pray that as we unite to commemorate this colourful calendar activity, we will continue to embrace our country’s motto of: One People, One Nation and One Destiny.
Below are other messages to mark the observance of Phagwah Day 2019.
PRESIDENT DAVID GRANGER
I extend best wishes to the people of Guyana on the occasion of the joyous festival of Holi (or Phagwah). Holi is a spiritual event that recounts the adversities of Prahalad, his unshakeable faith and his eventual triumph over the forces of destruction.
Holi, also, is a secular event that signifies rebirth and regeneration. These are universal themes, which are common to all the major religions in Guyana.
Holi ― a colourful and vibrant festival ― was introduced into Guyana by the Hindu migrants who came to work and live here one hundred and eighty one years ago. The festival, with its origins in Hindu and Indian culture, has become national in character and is celebrated across the country, engendering hope and an outpouring of happiness.
Holi fosters the spirit of togetherness. It celebrates our shared humanity, without regard to social differences and divisions. It conveys a powerful message of friendship and fellowship.
I encourage Guyanese everywhere to enjoy the festival of Holi and to celebrate the values of social cohesion and national unity by rejecting the forces of division.
I wish everyone “Happy Holi!”
PRIME MINISTER MOSES NAGAMOOTOO
On the auspicious occasion of Phagwah, the Festival of Colours, I send warm greetings to all our Hindu brothers and sisters.
Phagwah or Holi is a unique celebration when Guyanese in friendship joyfully “play” with each other, using abirs of many colours, and even water and perfumes. Phagwah therefore is symbolic of the social interaction among our different races, the harmonious blending of our ethnicities and our multi-culturalism.
This festive event is observed as a National Holiday because all Guyanese embrace its universal message of good triumphing over evil.
Sita and I send our sincere hope that Guyanese, both at home and abroad, would at this time also celebrate our togetherness, our diversity and our grace of tolerance.
Happy Phagwah to all.
PEOPLES’ NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
The Peoples’ 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 symbolic 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 Prahalad of his demonic father, King Hiranyakashipu.
We are a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. Our diversity is an asset, not a liability. We are proud to belong to a society on many faiths. We are proud of the mosaic that is Guyana.
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 colourful festival and enjoy the rich elements of our religious and cultural diversity.
Happy Holi to all Guyanese!
PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY
The joyous festival of Phagwah or Holi is once again upon us and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would like to take this opportunity to extend greetings to all Guyanese, especially members of the Hindu community.
Phagwah has become a national occasion that Guyanese from all spheres of society look forward to, not just for the excitement it brings, but also for the opportunity that it affords in coming together through interaction and sharing in the spirit of what it truly represents.
The diverse colours that are associated with the festival, and which symbolize the commencement of the spring season, epitomize our nation’s rich diversity.
Like all of our national festivals, the significance of Phagwah speaks to, amongst others, the triumph of good over evil. That universal belief is firmly rooted in societies and offers hope in the face of adversity and despondency. Let this comfort us as we confront our challenges.
As Guyanese participate in the various events across the country to mark the occasion, we extend best wishes and urge tolerance and respect in the celebrations. Shubh Holi to all!
INDIAN ACTION COMMITTEE
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) extends Phagwah (Holi) greetings to all the citizens of Guyana, especially those who are guided by the philosophical teachings of Sanatan Dharma.
Phagwah or Holi is a festival of Bharat (India) that has its roots in antiquity and celebrates the coming of a new spring season, the dawning of a new year, and the triumph of good over evil. The exuberance of this festival reflects the collective hope of people for progress, prosperity and the concomitant betterment of their lives.
This festival of renewal most likely pre-dated the Sarasvati Valley Civilisation, the world’s first significant civilization, which existed between 5000 BCE and 2600 BCE.
Even though the cultural landscape in Bharat had changed from time to time from the introduction of the Negroids followed by the Proto-Australoids, Dravidians, Mongoloids, Caucasians, Persians, Greeks, Shakas, Kushanas, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mughals and Europeans, the festival of Holi emerged, survived and flourished in Bharat, the world’s first melting pot.
Holi was brought to British Guiana by Hindus who arrived here as indentured labourers to work on sugar plantations 180 years ago and was sustained by the descendants of the majority of approximately 239,000 Bharatiyas who arrived on these shores between 1838 and 1917.
Phagwah was transplanted from a large sub-continent, characterized by the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, to Guyana, a small South American land of dry and rainy seasons, and even though global warming is creating climatic havoc, the symbolism of Holi must not be lost.
The IAC, therefore, calls upon all Guyanese to regard the great festival of Phagwah or Holi, which celebrates life regardless of demography or geography, and always as a focus for a unified nation.
GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS’ UNION
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) joins with the Hindu community and indeed all other Guyanese in celebrating this year’s Festival of Holi.
Though it has its roots in the Hindu community, this Festival is generally recognized as an integral part of our Guyanese social and cultural history and Holi has evolved into a truly national celebration.
Holi, popularly known as Phagwah, is now embraced by numerous sections of the population and is yet another expression of our diversity. GAWU sees the togetherness in joyous colourful celebration on this occasion as an example of the need to forge common efforts to bring about and ensure the well-being, peace of mind and steady enhancement of the prosperity of our people.
The spirit of celebration widely is well manifested on this occasion and is testimony to the good prospects we have to strengthen our nation and overcome divisiveness.
GAWU realizes that the messages of unity, goodwill and optimism exchanged during such Festivals as Christmas, Mashramani, Eid and Phagwah, are positive contributions to instill hope and productive relationships between our people and build strong foundations for our future generations.
May the understanding associated with Festivals like Holi lead to a united and better country where our people of different faiths will take pride in our progress and developments knowing that a secure future is the aspiration we all cherish.
Happy Holi 2019 from GAWU!
>>**##**<< GUYANA HINDU DHARMIC SABHA As the world celebrates Phagwah today, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha extends fraternal and joyous greetings to all of Guyana on this lovely occasion. Phagwah is an ancient Hindu festival on our national calendar, which has been embraced by Guyanese and its messages resonates with all people; the triumph of good over evil and removal of all negativities and vices, equality and brotherhood, the promotion of love and unity. It is a unifying and inclusive festival that encourages people of all walks of life to participate and celebrate in togetherness. Phagwah has both spiritual and social connotations. This festival which is integrally associated with the season of spring is resplendent with the colours of nature’s blooms, as celebrants smear each other with vivid hues. It reminds us of the concept of “VasudhaivKutumbakham”; the world is one family. Proletariat in nature, the festival removes all barriers and differences, as covered in colour people are unrecognizable emphasizing that there should be no distinction on this day. The word “Phagwah” is derived from the Hindu month, Phalgun. Its synonym Holi comes from the Sanskrit word “hola’ meaning grains, reminding us of the festival’s linkage to agriculture and a bountiful harvest. It also heralds the advent of Spring and the Hindu New Year. Phagwah is a beautiful festival and we must capture the essence of the celebration by fostering love, understanding, unity, harmony, steadfastness, fearlessness and righteousness as we engage in the gaiety and festivities this festival brings. As you enjoy the festival and all of its dimensions today, we urge that the land be converted into a spiritual garden from which we must imbibe positive and good vibes. There must be no barbaric nor primitive behaviour nor any disrespect on this day, rather we must embrace each other in the spirit of friendship, colouring each other to illustrate the splendour of nature. As Prahalad did, let us always fight against injustice and unrighteousness so that all people can prosper in love, peace and unity. Holi Utsav will be hosted by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha today at the Softball Ground on Cartifesta Avenue, opposite the National Park and East of the Everest Ground. Gates open at 4:00 pm and admission is free. No alcohol allowed. All are invited! Holi keShubhKaamnaye from the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha to all! >>**##**<<
ETHNIC RELATIONS COMMISSION
The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) takes this opportunity to extend to all Guyanese, especially our Hindu brothers and sisters, greetings on the occasion of Phagwah or Holi; a national holiday. Over time, this event has transcended religious boundaries to become a truly and much anticipated national festival. It is one that serves to bring Guyanese from all walks of life together as evident by the sense of fun and frolic that have become its hallmark.
As the occasion is observed, the Commission urges that its significance through the pertinent messages be foremost in our minds. Significant is its underlying messages of the triumph of good over evil as exemplified by the story of Prahalad and which continues to be an inspiration for the advancement of humanity.
Characteristic of this joyous occasion is the plethora of colours that mix and engulf the landscape. That not only signifies the advent of spring and the blooming of flowers, but in the context of our dear nation, a demonstration of the vibrant intertwining of our rich diversity that creates that enviable and beautiful kaleidoscope that defines who we are as a people.
It is a reflection of what can be achieved from a combination of efforts as we endeavour together for the realization of our national motto. It is also demonstrative of how as a nation we embrace our cultural diversity. The countrywide participation by Guyanese from all backgrounds must be seen as sending a strong message of tolerance, which is vital to the efforts of the promotion of harmony and unity.
That therefore, offers pertinent lessons for us all and an impetus for increased and sustained efforts to build upon our strengths and improve on weaknesses. It allows for the enhancement of our capacity to overcome inherent challenges to foster togetherness.
The Commission also takes this opportunity to urge utmost respect for the occasion and for it to be observed and celebrated as advised by the Hindu community.
Phagwah also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, a time that is associated with reflection and introspection. It therefore offers us all that opportunity to take stock in gauging our strengths and weaknesses and for the imbuing of a sense of renewal to help fortify us for much needed success in our well-intended endeavours.
Let the vibrancy of the celebrations and the splashing of diverse colours continue to be tools of unification so as to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Shubh Holi to all!
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