Statement from Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon.
I take this opportunity to extend greetings on behalf of the Parliamentary Opposition APNU+AFC Coalition, to all Guyanese, particularly, our Hindu brothers and sisters as we celebrate this joyous festival of Phagwah or Holi.
Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated each year with zeal and enthusiasm in the Hindu month Phalgun. Over the years, this spring festival has been embraced by persons of all walks of life, as it ushers the Hindu New Year. With the overflow of positive energy, people come together in camaraderie to celebrate this festival.
There is also a solemn religious significance. It marks the destruction of evil in the embodiment of Holika and the triumph of the forces of good.
For Hindus, on the eve of Holi, known as Holika Dahan, special prayers and offerings are made to the fire God, Agni Devta to express gratitude for the success in farming. The singing of chowtaal, smearing of colors, clashing of ‘jaals’ create a conducive environment to remove all forms of negativity.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions in place, this festival will not be celebrated with its usual merriment. Nonetheless, my message to all Guyanese is to use this occasion and reflect on the strides we have made to break cultural and social barriers. This, like many other religious festivals transcends all boundaries and is now celebrated throughout Guyana as a national festival.
May we also be reminded this Holi, that good always triumphs over evil and that we must always use the opportunities which present themselves in a positive way. May the fun, friendship and camaraderie associated with Holi be extended to your daily lives, your homes and to your communities.
I wish all Guyanese a safe and happy Holi.