Harmony village – reflecting Guyana’s diversity
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, April 12, 2018
Cultural dances, songs and poems, were among some of the captivating performances that entertained those gathered for the opening ceremony of the much-anticipated Harmony Village 2018. The event officially opened today at Main Street under the theme “Building Partnerships, Promoting Community and National Cohesion.”
Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton told those gathered that to fully appreciate Guyana’s rich diversity, persons must have pride in themselves.
“The key to us embracing diversity and promoting tolerance is to be proud of ourselves, our culture, traditions, ethnicities, religion and all the things that make us who we are as individuals. From that we can begin to appreciate the differences and similarities of those around us,” Minster Norton remarked.
The Social Cohesion Minister further added that the village reflects the unity that is the footprint of our ancestors who have created Guyana and must be celebrated.
“This land belongs to all of us and as clearly shows that each of us has an equal place in Guyana…I’m pleased with the response from all of you and want to congratulate you for staying true to who you are, whilst embracing your brothers and sisters philosophies,” the Minister stated.
Harmony Village was first launched in March 2017. Coordinator, Sharon Patterson said since its introduction, networks and bonds have been forged.
“We have used last years’ experience to deepen existing relationships with partners and establish new ones. This is evident today as last year we had 46 tents. The number of tents today is 103 with 98 organisations represented.”
International communities in Guyana, government ministries and departments, religious communities, cultural organisations, sporting fraternities, non-governmental organisations and business communities all participated in the spectacular event.
According to Patterson, Harmony Village creates an enabling environment to display Guyana’s diversity and presents an opportunity to learn about our vast cultures.
Acting Permanent Secretary, Melissa Tucker, echoed similar sentiments, stating “Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strength and is at the heart of who we are and makes Guyana a great place to live. An integrated multi-racial Guyana is an integral part of our national identity”.
She similarly encouraged the audience to embrace the six races of Guyana who have each enriched Guyana with the various cultural and religious traditions.
Also attending the event were Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, Permanent Secretary (ag), Ministry of Education, Melissa Tucker, Coordinator, Sharon Patterson and other members of the diplomatic corps and ministries.
By: Ranetta La Fleur