President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha Chief Guest & feature speaker at Diwali Nagar 2016 in Trinidad & Tobago
President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persaud was the Chief Guest and feature Speaker at this year’s Diwali Nagar in Trinidad and Tobago hosted by the National Council for Indian Culture in Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr. Persaud’s message which was delivered extemporaneously stressed the importance of unity and respect for each other’s culture and traditions. She also urged for the deeper understanding of the significance of Diwali; underscoring the point that festivals were an integral part of Hindu belief. She urged all to look at the multifaceted significance of the Diwali and to understand importance of rekindling light within and being pure in thought, word and action.
Dr. Persaud spoke of the Nagar’s theme of Ganga and made the point that women play a key role in society. Quoting from Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi, Persaud said: “If you can educate a man, you educate but one, but if you educate a woman you educate the nation…tonight, I want to encourage you all to think of women in such a way and in such a light. Empower, educate and enable all the women, all the girls, not only in Trinidad and Tobago but the world so that they can continue to be inspirations to all who they come into contact with.”
As the NCIC celebrated its 30th year, Dr. Persaud mentioned that her father, the late Pt. Reepu Daman Persaud was part of the historic opening of the Nagar 30 years ago and she was humbled to be there this year. In her congratulations to the members of NCIC, she said “As you celebrate 30 years, I encourage you to do it with absolute pride because as a people you have united, you have worked tirelessly and incessantly to make this happen consecutively and it’s not just these moments that are shared at the beginning of every Divali Nagar, but, it is what is involved.
The training of young people, their immersion in culture, their exposure to the wider ambit of Sanatan Vaidic Dharma, their introduction to values and principles and more importantly the sharing of cultural traditions and beliefs among all people,” said Persaud.
Dr. Persaud said that if people understood each other’s beliefs, the barriers separating them would be broken and there will be unity. She said that to understand what it means to be a global village, means reaching out to each other,“I want to encourage you to not confine what you want to achieve, to the borders of your country rather reach out to your sister nations across the world. Reach out to the cultural diaspora, build relationships, friendships, share ideas so that we can truly achieve what we mean by a global village,” she said.
Dr. Vindhya Persaud extended an invitation to the people of the Trinidad and Tobago to visit Guyana for the annual Diwali motorcade hosted by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha.
In attendance at the opening of Divali Nagar were House Speaker Bridgid Annisette George, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, US Ambassador John Estrada, Indian High Commissioner Bishwasdip Dey, and Members of Parliament Suruj Rambachan, Rudy Indarsingh, BhoeTewarie and Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodan.