The annual Divali Nagar is another casualty of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, according to Deokienanan Sharma, chairman of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC).
Divali Nagar was supposed to take place from Thursday November 5 to Friday November 13, a day before the annual Festival of Lights, Divali November 14.
Sharma said that the Covid-19 figures keep escalating in Trinidad and Tobago and, there was no reason showing that the figures are going to be reduced in the immediate future, if ever at all, and as,” a responsible and a major religious – cultural organization in our country, and one can safely so in the Caribbean, and on this side of the Atlantic, we dutifully postponed it until next year’s Divali Nagar.”
Sharma said that this is the second time the Nagar has had to be postponed. Firstly, it was in 1990 when this country was hit by the attempted coup in July 1990, and now because of Covid -19. “The executive of the NCIC opted to be on the side of precaution for the health, welfare and safety of the over 100,000 patrons and the nation as a whole who visit the nine-day festival, and it came to the unanimous conclusion that it should be postponed”.
The NCIC is now working on hosting a virtual zoom on a nine-day presentation reflecting exclusively on the, “cultural genre of Divali Nagar over the years.”
Sharma added: “Divali Nagar which started in 1986, and it is a precursor of the Divali observance annually, has captured the national and international imagination of members of the Indian diaspora at home and abroad. Coming to Divali Nagar, over the years, is considered as a cultural imperative for patrons from India, England, USA, Canada, Suriname, Holland, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, Grenada and Martinique.”
He said plans were functional after last year’s Divali Nagar, and that Divali Nagar continues to be the cultural, religious and social showcase for all aspects of Indian culture—dance, music, songs, art and crafts—Hinduism and a network of social issues.
“We are deeply sorry and perturbed that Divali Nagar, considered this country’s Indian diasporic major socio-cultural celebration has had to overlook this year because of health and social reasons, and we hope that the presentation would be back on the stage in 2021. We are apologetic to the scores of musicians, dancers, corporate and individual persons, all of whom are looking forward to Divali Nagar 2020,” Sharma said.
Sharma also postulates that Divali, the annual Hindu Festival of Lights, would have, “to simmer down as well,” adding that it is the NCIC’s hope, as indeed other similar groups and organizations, that the Covid -19 pandemic, would soon wither away, and that all peoples and countries worldwide would be relieved of this monster pandemic.