President David Granger – Sacred Holi and social cohesion
Holi, in the spiritual sense, recounts the trials and triumph of Prahalad. It reminds us of the virtue of an unshakeable belief in God and the inevitability of the triumph of good over evil.
Holi, in a secular sense, fosters faith in the future by celebrating rebirth and regeneration. These are universal themes which are common to all the major religions in Guyana.
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. The festival was brought to Guyana by Indian indentured immigrants who came to work on the sugar plantations 180 years ago.
The festival implanted hope by assuring immigrants that good would overcome evil, that enlightenment would overcome ignorance and that right would overcome might. Immigrants were thrust into a strange land but they drew strength and succour from their faith and festivals.
Holi celebrations, in our multi-cultural country, bring people together. 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 preserve its vitality as a festival which unities communities. It must be celebrated vigorously at the community level so that we can have more cohesive communities.
Holi helps to break down barriers of division and bring people together, particularly at the community level. We must build a more cohesive country beginning within and among our communities.
PPP – Heed the pertinent messages of Phagwah
As Guyanese at home and abroad, especially the Hindu community, prepare to celebrate the joyous festival of Holi or Phagwah, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) 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 the forging harmony among all of our people.
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.
Shubh Holi to all!
GAWU Phagwah message 2018
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 unity that is so well manifested on this occasion 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. Thus, we are optimistic that our economic hardship that the trauma stemming from crime and growing want of retrenchment will be overcome soon and completely.
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.
PNCR PHAGWAH GREETINGS
The People’s National Congress Reform extends sincere Holi greetings to the Hindu Community of Guyana in particular, and Guyanese in general, on the celebration of the Festival of Phagwah.
All Guyanese embrace Phagwah or Holi. 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.
As the celebrated Indian national, KulapatiVani wrote many years ago, “… festivals are gatherings for refreshing the spirit and enjoying life,” 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.