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 Kathas, 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 generosities and our kindness, and momentarily, we embrace in oneness. Let us rekindle these sentiments once again.