Holi, a festival embraced by all

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 19, 2019

As Phagwah quickly approaches, and Guyanese are anticipating the celebrations, the Ministry of Presidency Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport hosted its pre-Phagwah Holi celebration.

Held at the Umana Yana on Tuesday, the collaboration between the Ministry and the Hindu Core Group featured beautiful chowtal singing, dances by members of the National School of Dance and Indian Cultural Centre.

In his feature address, Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton highlighted the message togetherness and love.

“While Phagwah is a Hindu religious holiday which ushers in the spring, it is celebrated and embraced by all walks of life regardless of ethnicity or faith. Phagwah has many noble messages, it reiterates the message of good over evil and it is reflected in the story of Prahalad versus King Kiranya,” Minister Norton said.

The Minister also opined that the festival also demonstrates the beauty of diversity by showing the magnificence that lies in the union of various shades of colour.

According to Pandita Dolly Haimraj, the festival spotlights new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, hence it is a good time for self-introspection; to “look within” and determine what needs to be removed.

Also, in attendance were Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, Permanent Secretary (PS) attached to the Ministry Melissa Tucker, Director of Sports Christopher Jones, Director of Culture Tamika Boatswain and representatives from the various religious core groups.

Phagwah, also known as the festival of colours celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Hindus traditionally wear white on Phagwah day and throw the red liquid known as abeer on each other to symbolise the blood of the dictatorial King Kiranya who in the Hindu tradition was ordered burnt alive by his son Prince Prahalad because of the suffering which his people endured at the hands of his father. Powder and water are also thrown on celebrants observing the festival.

Neola Damon.

Image: Giovanni Gajie.

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