Minister Singh urges Guyanese to embrace cultural diversity to promote prosperity

Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh urged Guyanese to embrace the country’s rich cultural diversity and harness it to promote unity, strength, and prosperity. He made the remarks at the Diwali Mela hosted by the Indian Commemoration Trust at the Indian Monument Gardens on Friday evening.

Spectators were treated to Indian music, dance, and cuisine, in celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh at the Diwali (Deepavali) Mela

Minister Singh emphasised that celebrating religious holidays highlights Guyana’s multicultural heritage, a precious asset that should not be taken for granted.

“Right now, as we speak, people are hiding in their homes, afraid of losing their lives tonight because of religious and ethnic differences in many parts of the world. Right now, today, people have lost their lives at the hands of others for no other reason than that they belong to another ethnicity or religion. So, we must not be flippant about this beautiful and rich diversity that we enjoy in Guyana,” Dr Singh noted.  

It is against this backdrop that President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ platform promotes greater inclusion, unity, and equality, which are essential for the country’s development.

Dr Singh also pointed to the spiritual significance of Deepavali, the triumph of light over darkness, and urged all in attendance to let this serve as a guiding principle throughout their lives.

Scenes from the Diwali (Deepavali) Mela hosted by the Indian Commemoration Trust and the Indian Monument Gardens

“We have an obligation not only to repeat the significance of Deepavali, but how we can incorporate into our daily lives, the lessons of light over darkness, good over evil, and positive over negative,” he related.

The Indian Commemoration Trust is an organisation aimed at promoting Indian culture, and has been involved in a number of projects, the most notable being the renovation of the Indian Monument Gardens in preparation for the 175th anniversary of the arrival of East Indians in Guyana.