The Ministry of the Presidency Sunday afternoon hosted its annual Phagwah, or Holi, celebration under Baridi Benab at State House.
The event saw a kaleidoscope of colours and Guyanese from all across the spectrum of Guyana in attendance.
Participating were Prabhu Dev and Hare Krishna Study Centre, Sunil Sharma and Radha Krishna Mandir, Pt Dhanraje Haimraj and Windsor Forest Arya Samaj Temple, and St Joseph’s High School Hindu Society.
Speaking to the gathering was Minister of Foreign Affairs and President (ag) Carl Greenidge. He said Guyana’s many religious festivals celebrate its rich multiculturism, which is not just a national asset but an often unheralded achievement.
“Despite our problems and challenges we have been able to weld a united nation…since independence, Guyana has successfully managed to navigate away from the fault line of ethnic and religious strife which afflicts and off trigger atrocities elsewhere.
“Events such as the one we are hosting today help to foster religious tolerance and to promote inclusiveness by ensuring that every major religious and ethnic group is accorded respect and recognition,” Greenidge said.
The Minister said Phagwah is intended to be a unifying festival; it is a time in which barriers of age, class, race and sex are disregarded and when everyone can come together and be happy. He said it is a time that we [Guyanese] come together and set aside our differences.
“Harmony is the essential underlying message of Phagwah; the festival speaks to the fostering of harmony between man and man, between man and nature, between man and the supreme being and between the inner man and the outer world.”
Greenidge said the Phagwah urges us to dispense with division, disunity, distrust and disaffection. He added that it is his hope that this message of love will percolate within society.
Also in attendance was speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland who celebrated alongside the Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other religious leaders.
Phagwah is considered as one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country and around the world.
Holi will be celebrated on March 21 in Guyana.