2018 phagwah messages

first_imgGuyanese from all walks of life will today be colourfully disguised as they join in with their Hindu brothers and sisters to celebrate Phagwah or Holi – the Festival of Colours. In extending wishes to the Hindu community, the cohesion of a multicultured people was highlighted.Holi breaks race, religious barriers; fosters social cohesion – PresidentIn his Phagwah Day message, President David Granger said the festival reflectsthe unshakeable belief in God and the inevitability of the triumph of good over evil, while at the same time fostering social cohesion.“Holi is a unifying festival that helps to break down barriers of class, race and religion. When people shower each other with Abrack or Abeer, they do so usually without regard to the status they enjoy in society or the God they worship. Holi is an enduring example of cultural retention,” he said of the festival that was brought to Guyana by Indian indentured immigrants 180 years ago.According to the Head of State, in a multicultural country such as Guyana, Holi celebrations bring people together, especially at the community level.“They play a vital role in social cohesion by reinforcing community identity; fostering healthy and helpful relations between persons of different cultures; dismantling barriers which have traditionally divided our people and by implanting spiritual values of hope and togetherness. I urge communities, countrywide, to celebrate this festival with faith and fervour. I encourage mass celebrations because they promote community identity and reinforce bonds of social solidarity. Respect for cultural diversity is at the heart of social cohesion. Holi must preserveits vitality as a festival which unities communities.PNCR calls for Guyanese to enjoy rich cultural diversityMeanwhile, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) extended Holi greetings, not only to the Hindu community but Guyanese as well, since all embrace the festival. The party said the festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, the end of winter and for many, a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and forget and repair broken relationships.“The significance of Phagwah is two-fold. Its secular significance lies in the advent of the season of spring, and its real and allegorical implications of fertility, rebirth, renewal and regeneration. The religious significance of Holi lies in the conquest of good over evil, manifested by the destruction by Prahalada of his demonic father, King Hiranyakashipu… We urge all Guyanese to use this occasion to refresh their spirit and enjoy life and to participate fully in this colourful festival and enjoy the rich elements of our religious and cultural diversity.”Heed the pertinent messages of Phagwah – PPPThe People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has said as Guyanese at home andabroad, especially the Hindu community, prepare to celebrate the joyous festival of Holi or Phagwah, the Party takes this opportunity to extend greetings to all on this occasion.“Holi is a festival that has truly become national and one that is most anticipated having transcended religious boundaries. This is manifested through the participation of a wide cross section of Guyanese throughout the country. The fun and frolic that have come to be associated with it remain a catalyst for forging harmony among all of our people,” the Party’s Phagwah 2018 messaged read.It explained that the kaleidoscope of colours that exemplify the celebrations, heralds the dawn of spring, reminding not only of nature’s beauty but the vibrancy of our rich diversity.“Our Party urges all Guyanese to heed the pertinent message of this festival – that of the triumph of good over evil. The story of Prahalad reinforces that hope must always remain alive for in the end, evil will ultimately be defeated,” the Party said.Holi emphasises unity and equality – Dharmic SabhaOutlining that Phagwah signifies the end of the Hindu calendar year and also coincides with the arrival of spring, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha notes that the festival pervaded an air of joy in homes and communities with persons expressing affection by greeting each other by playfully spraying perfume and squirting Abrak (coloured water) and Abeer or Gulal (coloured powder) on their faces and body. The colours of the Abrak and Abeer reflect the vivid hues of spring as at this time nature blooms in abundance.“Holi is all embracing and possesses an unparalleled social dimension which is conducive to reunion, exchanges and togetherness occurring in an atmosphere of absolute cordiality. The festival is proletarian in outlook with elements which spontaneously fashion an atmosphere of total equality and people from all walks of life and social strata are literally engulfed in merriment, joy and happiness. Holi transcends all barriers. There is complete unity.”According to the Dharmic Shabha, one of the largest Hindu communities in the Guyana, with the passage of time, the legend of Prince Prahalad and his despot father King Hiranyakashyap became associated with the festival, adding the symbolism of the triumph of good over evil.“Hol is a time for reflection and analysis. Consequently the merriment and joy which Holi brings should not make us oblivious of the true significance of the festival. Holi does not license anyone to recklessly and wantonly drench passers-by or to barge into people’s homes and splash water on the occupants. Holi should never be associated in any way with events not in consonance with its spiritual dimension; no alcohol, vulgar and lewd music, barbeques and similar activities should be associated with Holi or Phagwah. These acts are against the spirit of our lovely Holi festival and should not form part of the Phagwah celebration. Every effort made to divest this unique festival of practices alien to Phagwah.”GAWU – Holi is truly national celebrationIn spite of its roots in the Hindu community, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) noted that the Festival of Colours is generally recognised as an integral part of the Guyanese social and cultural history, and Holi has evolved into a truly national celebration.“GAWU sees the togetherness in joyous colourful celebration on this occasion as an example of the need to forge common efforts to bring about and ensure the well-being, peace of mind and steady enhancement of the prosperity of our people. The spirit of unity that is so well manifested on this occasion is testimony to the good prospects we have to strengthen our nation and overcome divisiveness… May the understanding associated by festivals like Holi lead to a united and better country where our people of different faiths will take pride in our progress and developments knowing that a secured future is being built for all.”last_img