Message by Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton on the occasion of the Festival of Holi

Georgetown, Guyana – (March 12, 2017)

Guyanese throughout the length and breadth of the country today observe the Hindu religious Festival of ‘Holi’ – a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. This spring festival, which is also referred to as Phagwah, is a joyful celebration that provides the opportunity for persons to rid themselves of past errors and to mend broken relationships. The observance of this festival is not only important to the Hindu community, but has grown into an important celebration for all Guyanese.

Guyanese from all walks of life, Hindus and non-Hindus alike, friends and strangers unite as one to indulge in the traditional colouring of each other with dry powder and coloured water. This forms a part of the unique fabric of the Guyanese society. Phagwah can be considered as an occasion, which sees the manifestation of the unity of our people and this is certainly worth celebrating. It is important that we as a people preserve every aspect of our culture and use it to bring us closer together.

We must let this good-natured celebration set the tone for the surrendering of old grievances, as we continue to march steadily with a united front. Let it allow us to have a greater appreciation of our relationships with family, friends, workmates and other persons in our lives. It is important to note that Indian indentured immigrants brought Phagwah to Guyana and today we also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the abolition of Indian indentureship in this country.

There is, no doubt, heightened appreciation among members of the Indian community for their culture and the contributions of their fore parents. It is without a doubt that this group has made significant contributions to our dear land both in the form of culture and the shaping of our economy.

So let us all join together as one people to celebrate Phagwah and the 100th Anniversary of the Abolition of Indian indentureship in Guyana. Let us do this in the true spirit of one people, in one nation, working towards one destiny.

Happy Holi to all of Guyana

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