Patrons brave heavy rains to attend National Day of Villages
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Hundreds of patrons, including teachers, students, Ministers of Government and other officials and Members of the diplomatic community braved heavy rains to attend the National Day of Villages Celebration at Den Amstel Community Center Ground today.
The Regional Administration of Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region 3) in collaboration with Ministry of Social Cohesion, with support from Ministry of the Presidency, hosted the event under the theme “Working in Harmony, Building Stronger Relationships for a Brighter Future.”
Feature Speaker, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, performing the duties of President, said the barter system within the villages formed the basis of social cohesion in Guyana.
“We developed a community based on the culture of selling and buying and even when we couldn’t buy with cash, our villages knew how to barter, they knew how to trade…it was the basis, it was the cradle for the development of the movement in Guyana for social cohesion for all of our people to work in cooperation, to work in togetherness to build this land,” he said.
Citizens were called upon to reject those negative forces in society who are trying to create division. PM Nagamootoo noted that “The President referred to their behaviour and gave them a name as ‘vulgarians’…nothing is more vulgar than trying to set people apart on the basis of ethnicity, on the basis of their cultures or on the basis of geography.”
Division, the Prime Minister said, is an obsession of those politicians who wish to regain power, however, he assured those present that, “We cannot be divided because of the lust of individuals for power, we cannot be terrified by the obsession of those I described as phantom of the opera.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton called for an appreciation of our differences to the furtherance of national unity. He reminded that “We are a diverse people and we should take every opportunity to appreciate our differences and use them to unite us, instead of divide us. Recognising in the first place in accepting and celebrating our differences are key to achieving a unified Guyana.”
Also highlighting the importance of social cohesion, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan said it is vital to facilitating the development of individuals and the nation. He said that Government has a plan to ensure the forging national unity.
“National unity which is indispensable to our prospects to leveraging our abundant natural endowment into the good life for all Guyanese remains elusive half a century after Independence. We can ignore it, the absence of national unity, or we can pretend that it is not so, but it won’t make it go away. The Administration, however, is guilty of none of these, it has a plan on how to confront that intractable issue,” Minister Bulkan said.
This plan, the Minister noted is grounded in the legacy of our immediate post-colonial leaders, making reference to the Constitution of Guyana, particularly Article 12, which speaks directly to local government and its importance to democracy.
Villages across that region came together for the second time to engage in a formal cultural programme. The cultural presentations showcased the rich diversity of the Guyanese people in the form of songs, dances, skits, and steel pan renditions.
Hampers were also distributed to several elderly persons in the region by PM Nagamootoo, Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Ferguson, Minister Norton, among others. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, was also in attendance at the event.
Following the formal programme, a number of groups participated in indoor games.
By: Stacy Carmichael