‘Holi’ is for all! – Pandit Aditya Persaud
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 1, 2018
Holi fun and celebrations begin in the morning after the burning of the Holika and continue with the rubbing of a colourful assortment of powder and water and the sharing of sweetmeats to family and friends.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival, known as the ‘Festival of Colours’, which celebrates the arrival of spring. The spirit of Holi transcends across all societal barriers, strengthening the social fabric and symbolizes good triumphing over evil. It is a festive day celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Guyana.
Pandit, Aditya Persaud spoke to the Department of Public Information (DPI) about the essence of Phagwah and what it should mean to all Guyanese.
“Hindus welcome the spring season with Holi, we do so with songs and the singing of chowtaal …with very positive vibration back to our being…As Hindus we have popular stories associated with the festival, of Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad and Holika….these stories though ancient have modern day applications.”
Pandit Persaud added, “In essence, it was one tyrant king Hiranyakashipu, who thought he could’ve overpowered the forces of nature, he wanted to proclaim [to] be God…tried to get his own son and his followers to worship him as God. He asked for a boon (blessing) that he thought would ultimately make him immortal… today we have a lot of that… we always have to remember as humans hat there is a power [more superior than us]. Some choose to call him God some say Prakriti, which means mother nature.”
The Pandit noted that the festival is all-encompassing.
“When we celebrate we don’t look at somebody’s colour or their name…we celebrate with everybody because we believe that this energy which comes from spring is energy that needs to be shared with everybody.”
He called for Guyanese to play, celebrate and enjoy together and when the festivities are finished to ‘keep that energy as Guyanese together to work together to build our country.’
Over the years, Holi has evolved into an important festival in India and its diaspora. A festival filled with colours, life, and music even for those of other cultures and religious persuasions.
Happy Holi Guyana!
By: Nateshia Isaacs