The Indian High Commission in Guyana celebrated Phawagh last Tuesday Wednesday at The Georgetown Cricket ground, Bourda, once the home for test cricket in Guyana. The celebrations were held under the patronage of the High Commissioner Dr. KJ Srinivasa. Prime Minister Mark Phillips was the Chief Guest. In attendance were Members of Parliament, Ministers including the Attorney General Anil nandlall, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, Opposition Members, other politicians, diplomats, and the public. The High Commission issued the below release:
Holi/Phagwa 2023 celebrations were organized by the High Commission of India in Georgetown at a grand scale in the Georgetown Cricket Club (Bourda) premises on 7 March 2023. The yearly event organized by the High Commission has grown in popularity year on year and this time hosted over 1,000 attendees.
Hon. Prime Minister of Guyana, Brig. (Retd.) Mark Phillips, was the Chief Guest at the event, while Cabinet Ministers including Hon. Anil Nandlall – Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Vindhya Persaud – Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Oneidge Walrond – Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Hon. Hugh Todd – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Aubrey Norton – MP & Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Hon. Daniel Seeram – Regional Chairman of Region 4, Members of Parliament of ruling and opposition parties, Various Government officials, Diplomatic Corps, members of Indian Diaspora, non-resident Indian community residing in Guyana, students etc. attended the function.
In his message, Dr. K J Srinivasa, High Commissioner spoke in detail about the history of Holi and the legends attached to it. He stated that the festival can certainly energise people and give them an opportunity to meet their loved ones and family members and exchange pleasantries with them.
Holi / Phagwah (Dolyatra, Doul Jatra, Basanta-Utsav) is the Hindu spring festival of colors that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, good harvest, and fertility. It is also known as the “festival of love”, the “festival of colours”, and the “festival of spring”. The festival celebrates the eternal and divine love of Radha and Krishna. In India, Holi is a colourful festival that marks the end of winter and arrival of spring and is celebrated at the end of the winter season around the month of March. A day before Holi, a huge bonfire is lit – called Holika Dahan – which indicates the burning of the evil spirits. Holi also celebrates the various legends associated with Hindu God Krishna; Lord Shiva/Parvati & Kamadeva and the legend of Holika & Prahlad. High commissioner narrated how Holi was the time to show love for each other and to renew friendship. “Holi has become increasingly popular outside of India – in large part because of the millions of Indians and Indian Diaspora living all over the world. As with Diwali, another Indian festival, communities with Indian heritage living abroad often get together and celebrate Holi. The Holi celebration is thus an important part of people’s lives in the Caribbean especially Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname and Jamaica – with all people celebrating it irrespective of their religious faith or beliefs” he said. High Commissioner appreciated that Guyana was the true depiction of “Unity in Diversity”. High Commissioner also stated that Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam – (meaning the world is one family) is a theme that originated in India which aptly applies to the celebrations of Holi/Phagwa in Guyana where people of all ethnicities, race and religions join in celebration of this festival. High Commission also spoke about India’s Chairmanship of the G-20 Summit this year where this over arching theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam – has been adopted by India as the theme of this years G20 Summit.
Hon. Prime Minister Brig. Retd. Mark Phillips in his remarks, recalled the uniqueness of Holi/ Phagwah in Guyana, its historical role, and the importance of uniting the country under the “One Guyana” theme of his Government. He called upon all gathered to work towards peace, prosperity and wellness of Guyana. Prime Minister also actively participated in the merriment along with his cabinet colleagues.
The event also witnessed energetic cultural performances from the students of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre under the Kathak Dance Teacher Ms. Varsha Chaudhary as well as outreach dancers from various Mandirs, the National School of Dance etc. Members of the audience actively joined in the dance performances and were seen enjoying in each other’s company with traditional and modern Holi songs being played in the background, playing colours with each other. Overall the event garnered appreciation from everyone.