[www.inewsguyana.com] – Pulsating beats of African drums, energetic dances, songs that tell stories of the struggle for freedom, colourful clothing and headdresses and mouth-watering African dishes were some of the attractions at the National Park where President Donald Ramotar joined thousands of Guyanese as the nation celebrated Emancipation, one of the most revered of national events.
Also present were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, leaders and members of the Opposition Parties and of the diplomatic community
Slavery was abolished in Guyana 176 years ago on August 1 1834. Today the system of slavery; whereby people were bought, sold and forced to work under the most inhumane of conditions, is still seen across the globe as the worse crime against humanity.
President Ramotar said that the abolition of slavery in Guyana was a major blow against the oppressive colonial rule to which Africans were subjected. He said that even though, Guyanese have different origins, they have a common history.
He called on citizens to reflect on the experiences in the fight for freedom and liberation and the sacrifices that had to be made, and apply them to today’s reality so as to strengthen their societies and take Guyana forward.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Opposition Leader, David Granger who described Emancipation as the “birthday of the Guyanese nation”.
He too urged that this occasion be used to bring Guyana’s six peoples together, so that the country can truly become one nation.
This year, in addition to performances from the various cultural groups in Guyana, Guyanese were also treated to performances from groups from Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]