Internet Radio

Junior Culture Minister calls Phagwah Festival of Lights

Junior Minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sport calls Phagwah Festival of Lights

Junior Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Nicolette Henry on Friday said Diwali-the Festival of Lights- instead of Phagwah, would be celebrated next Sunday

“On Sunday, March 12, here in Guyana and around the world, Hindus will be celebrating Diwali- the Festival of Lights- and today, my Department of Culture, Youth and Sport is holding this its annual Phagwah celebrations in honour of this festival,” she said.

Phagwah, the Hindu festival of colours or festival of love, will be celebrated on Sunday.

She described the festival as one of the most joyous festivals that helps to foster national harmony among the diverse Guyanese society and again called it Diwali. “It is important that in this Diwali Celebration (several persons were heard correcting her) Phagwah, sorry, celebrations we all hold high to the vision for justice and betterment for all especially to the poor who will always be among us,” she said.

This is not the first time that Henry has come under the spotlight, the first having to do with the use of plastic plates at a 50th Independence Anniversary State Dinner last year and the bungling of seating accommodation for the opposition at that year’s Flag Raising ceremony at D’urban Park.

The Government Information Agency (GINA), in a release on the event, quoted  Henry as saying during brief remarks at the event which was held at the Ministry’s Main Street office, that Guyana is one of few countries blessed with many cultures.

“May it bring joy, peace, health and wealth to you; may the festivities brighten your lives and those near and dear to you,” Minister Henry said while extending Phagwah greetings to all Guyanese. She expressed hope that Guyanese can appreciate and enjoy each other’s culture, in keeping with the country’s motto, ‘One People, One Nation, and One Destiny’.

Persons were treated to cultural presentations in the form dance, songs, tassa drumming and a fashion display by members of the Cove and John Ashram.

Meanwhile, President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo also extended Phagwah greetings to Guyanese.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo stated that, “This year’s celebration coincides with the observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship. The ending of that system of exploitation of cheap labour, is indeed a triumph of good over evil. We are forever indebted to our Indian ancestors for preserving, against great odds, their religion, their rituals and their festivities, such as Phagwah, and Diwali, Mother Kali Puja and Yesu Kathas, Eid-ul-Adha, Youman Nabi, as well as other Christian ceremonies.”

The Prime Minister added that, “Though we face our challenges, we must all work together to overcome them, and to realise our common hope for the good life for all.”

President David Granger speaking at a recent mela and cultural event hosted by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh to mark the 100th year since the abolition of Indian indentureship in Guyana, declared that there will be three national days of observance.

GINA said on March 12, President Granger is expected to officially announce that day as a national day of observance. The following day (March 13), Guyana will observe 104 years since the Rose Hall Estate Massacre where 15 persons were killed. That event is usually observed on different days in March each year.

The Head of State said that on May 3, the Government will officially declare that day as Portuguese Day since that is the day that ethnic group arrived in what was then British Guiana.

  • Madman

    Time for Henry to go. How many f ups does one need to make to realise that they are not suitable for the job?

    • Col123

      What the fuss for eating in paper plates?….with rice and pepper, who will know the difference?

    • Lancelot Brassington

      Major blunder but hardly a heinous crime. The minister may have been reading what her trusted speech writers wrote and may not deserve all of the blame. Some bosses trust their secretaries to write certain types of correspondence which they just sign without reading thoroughly. Some have had to pay the price for this. Even if the lady is not an expert on Hinduism no need to demand her head on a platter. A Hindu young woman once told me she had never heard or heard of the twenty-third psalm. Not a heinous crime. Cheddi and Janet once went up for communion at Anglican church in breach of both Anglican rules and Marxist/Leninist teaching. Not a heinous crime either. Jagan refused to have his newly constructed house in Belvoir Court blessed by Hindu rites. It had to be done behind his back. Not a heinous crime either.
      We should use religion to unite not hang people, (sorry,I meant not nail people to the cross). I am sure the minister will be extra careful going forward.

      • Col123

        It’s just a simple error..and should have been treated as such….lights are appropriate to all concepts of beliefs and of value to all living , showing us the path…. there…I don’t think hammon would have done any better explaining the error…

        • rs dasai

          It is a grave misfortune when A Minister of Culture (s) does not know the difference between Easter and Christmas, but it is more so with Diwali and Phagwah. It shows a callous attitude on the Ministry’s part.

          • Col123

            Yes an no…..we do not know the “whys” of it!

      • rs dasai

        It would have been more so backwards.

  • dougla

    Dunces running things in Guyana?

  • rudeo

    A dumbo par excellence…..imagine a PPP person making an error about an African holiday…these jokers are just mouthing words to placate Indians….not meaningful in any way…had to say something official and can’t even get that right

  • Col123

    It’s an error… why the first stones?

    • ExPPP_Man

      In the rice , cane, cash crops etc the East Indians toil to feed all you racist ungrateful dogs. Look at the slums of Guyana and the jails, full of all you lazy thieving black people. That is all you people know, thief what other people toil for.

      • Col123

        Hey ex KKK… enjoy the Festival Season bro…celebrate good over evil…. don’t eat too much gul gula stuff… it can choke you or get the sugar level up!

        • eddie

          lollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,, his comment did not required a response, he satire light

        • Gtloyal

          This ExPPP_Man’s comment to you gives an insight into the true feelings that the majority of the indoguyanese male population have for afroguyanese. Fortunately, the women do not seem to share this opinion, or maybe they simply see something else that makes it irrelevant!
          What do you think would be the thoughts and likely reaction of an afroguyanese towards someone who he knows has this opinion of him?Calling for cohesion and unity in Guyana are merely leaps of faith … into an abyss.
          The perceived tone of the reactions to his comment are interesting and may even be conformation of what I am writing here.

          • Col123

            GT: Both major groups are just as guilty of this behavior… It is common amongst many…..Pointing fingers only exacerbate this social alteration in humans…I am incensed by it BUT…move on and remain thick skinned…thus my occasional attempts at humor in these spaces…

      • Lancelot Brassington


      • Gtloyal

        ExPPP_Man? Ex?
        He left the party? Looks like the party never left him tho. Tru PPP man.

      • Victor

        but i am happy that you wrote what is in your heart , and you have made some others who were hiding behind false faces show their racist identity ,

  • pollard

    Kassee,what is wrong with your brains?

    • Kassee

      I will not ask u that because u have none,muchless any comprehension.

  • Victor

    faoud , most Guyanese are not that way, you will find a few losers in life.

    • faoud khan

      Thanks you are correct. We as citizens must realise that each of us has to coexist in Guyana and we need to go back to the days when we lived as family irrespective of colour or religion or politics. There will be losers I absolutely agree but we have hundreds if not thousands we can coexist with.

  • Col123

    All I am saying is that she may have medical alterations..,we don’t know why she made the error!