Peoples Progressive Party
The joyous festival of Phagwah or Holi is once again upon us and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would like to take this opportunity to extend greetings to all Guyanese, especially members of the Hindu community.
Phagwah has become a national occasion that Guyanese from all spheres of society look forward to, not just for the excitement it brings, but also for the opportunity it affords in coming together through interaction and sharing in the spirit of what it truly represents.
The diverse colours that is associated with the festival and which symbolizes the commencement of the spring season, epitomizes our nation’s rich diversity.
Like all of our national festivals, the significance of Phagwah speaks to, amongst others, the triumph of good over evil. That universal belief is firmly rooted in societies and offers hope in the face of adversity and despondency. Let this comfort us as we confront our challenges.
As Guyanese participate in the various events across the country to mark the occasion, we extend best wishes and urge tolerance and respect in the celebrations.
Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU)
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) joins with the Hindu community and indeed all other Guyanese in celebrating this year’s Festival of Holi.
Though it has its roots in the Hindu community, this Festival is generally recognized as an integral part of our Guyanese social and cultural history and Holi has evolved into a truly national celebration. Holi, popularly known as Phagwah, is now embraced by numerous sections of the population and is yet another expression of our diversity. 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 celebration widely is well manifested on this occasion and is testimony to the good prospects we have to strengthen our nation and overcome divisiveness.
GAWU realizes that the messages of unity, goodwill and optimism exchanged during such Festivals as Christmas, Mashramani, Eid and Phagwah are positive contributions to instill hope and productive relationships between our people and build strong foundations for our future generations. In this regard, we feel that discriminating practices, whatever their form and a callous attitude to sections of the population will not serve to promote a national environment of trust, confidence and genuine togetherness so vital to peace and a healthy economy.
It is appropriate to recall the narrative linked to Phagwah which speaks of the defeat of intrigues and the triumph of a just cause. Indeed as we take such sentiments into account, the GAWU cannot ignore that Phagwah 2019 coincides with what many have deemed the last day of legality for the current executive administrators. The nation, as many have opined, will now sail into uncharted territory which brings obvious unknowns. The festival of Holi teaches that the overcoming of adversity and difficulty even in the face of daunting challenges is possible. Such teachings, undoubtedly, are instructive at this time of national anxiety.
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 secure future is the aspiration we all cherish.
Ethnic Relations Commission
The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) takes this opportunity to extend to all Guyanese, especially our Hindu brothers and sisters, greetings on the occasion of Phagwah or Holi; a national holiday. Over time, this event has transcended religious boundaries to become a truly and much anticipated national festival. It is one that serves to bring Guyanese from all walks of life together as evident by the sense of fun and frolic that have become its hallmark.
As the occasion is observed, the Commission urges that its significance through the pertinent messages be foremost in our minds. Significant is its underlying messages of the triumph of good over evil as exemplified by the story of Prahalad and which continues to be an inspiration for the advancement of humanity.
Characteristic of this joyous occasion is the plethora of colours that mix and engulf the landscape. That not only signifies the advent of spring and the blooming of flowers, but in the context of our dear nation, a demonstration of the vibrant intertwining of our rich diversity that creates that enviable and beautiful kaleidoscope that defines who we are as a people.
It is a reflection of what can be achieved from a combination of efforts as we endeavor together for the realization of our national motto. It is also demonstrative of how as a nation we embrace our cultural diversity. The countrywide participation by Guyanese from all backgrounds must be seen as sending a strong message of tolerance which is vital to the efforts of the promotion of harmony and unity.
That therefore, offers pertinent lessons for us all and an impetus for increased and sustained efforts to build upon our strengths and improve on weaknesses. It allows for the enhancement of our capacity to overcome inherent challenges to foster togetherness.
The Commission also takes this opportunity to urge utmost respect for the occasion and for it to be observed and celebrated as advised by the Hindu community.
Phagwah also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year, a time that is associated with reflection and introspection. It therefore offers us all that opportunity to take stock in gauging our strengths and weaknesses and for the imbuing of a sense of renewal to help fortify us for much needed success in our well-intended endeavours.
Let the vibrancy of the celebrations and the splashing of diverse colours continue to be tools of unification so as to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Pandit Rudra Sharma
Phagwah or Holi is the festival of spring and it commemorates the regeneration of nature from her slumber. This unique festival found its way on these shores with the arrival of Hindus from India as Indentured labourers.
Our forefathers after traversing thousands of miles from India brought to Guyana their many festivals among which Phagwah has a special place. The significance of Phagwah is manifold, it is a time of gaiety, splendour and pomp when nature is converted into a beautiful garden full of colours.
The religious aspect of Phagwah gives to mankind the reassurance that evil doers, perpetrators of unholy acts, architects of injustices, and those associated with such actions are inevitably doomed to failure and extinction. In the story of Phagwah there is evidence that the dark forces of evil is eventually conquered by the force of truth.
The symbol of the burning of Holika serves to reinforce that no matter what, once our intentions and actions are malicious, the results will always remain destructive. Sowing evil will result in degeneracy and decay -wrong -doers will be punished in order to change.
This festival also commemorates the destruction of king Heranykshyapu, the father of prahalad who spared no pain at torturing his subjects and his son, his conceit was unparallel and was the cause of his death.
Let us like prahalad, be disciples of the virtues of righteousness, courage, faith, determination, forthrightness and leadership. Prahalad stood for what was right and in-spite of the several tortures inflicted upon him by his father and the criminal attempts on his life, Prahalad rose triumphantly to be a living model of fearlessness and truth.
As we celebrate this great festival let us demonstrate love and cooperation so that the true spirit of Phagwah can prevail. I urge all to let us allow this festival to be a binding force among us Guyanese and stamp out differences and spread the message of peace and goodwill which Holi brings.
On behalf of the Guyana Pandits’ Council and the Management Commitee of Radha Krishna Mandir, I extend Holi Greetings to the entire nation.
May the festival of Phagwah serve to enrich our lives, strengthen our society and promote love, harmony and peace in this beautiful country of ours.
Phagwah or Holi is a unique celebration when Guyanese in friendship joyfully “play” with each other, using abirs of many colours, and even water and perfumes. Phagwah therefore is symbolic of the social interaction among our different races; the harmonious blending of our ethnicities and our multi-culturalism.
This festive event is observed as a National Holiday because all Guyanese embrace its universal message of good triumphing over evil.
Sita and I send our sincere hope that Guyanese, both at home and abroad, would at this time also celebrate our togetherness, our diversity and our grace of tolerance.
I extend best wishes to the people of Guyana on the occasion of the joyous festival of Holi (or Phagwah).
Holi is a spiritual event that recounts the adversities of Prahalad, his unshakeable faith and his eventual triumph over the forces of destruction.
Holi, also, is a secular event that signifies rebirth and regeneration. These are universal themes which are common to all the major religions in Guyana.
Holi ― a colourful and vibrant festival ― was introduced into Guyana by the Hindu migrants who came to work and live here one hundred and eighty one years ago. The festival, with its origins in Hindu and Indian culture, has become national in character and is celebrated across the country, engendering hope and an outpouring of happiness.
Holi fosters the spirit of togetherness. It celebrates our shared humanity, without regard to social differences and divisions. It conveys a powerful message of friendship and fellowship.
I encourage Guyanese everywhere to enjoy the festival of Holi and to celebrate the values of social cohesion and national unity by rejecting the forces of division.