October 23, 2016: The National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Nagar site has celebrated the 30th annual Divali Nagar in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday night. The event began with the lighting of the Nagar’s first ‘Diya’ and performance by Hindu Prachaar Kendra and Munroe Road Hindu School.
According to trinidadexpress.com, Dr. Deokinanan Sharma, president of NCIC, thanked the council’ executive for its support in his opening address. He said, “Divali Nagar celebrations have brought an awareness of the Indo-Trinidadian culture and is an event which is fast growing in popularity. NCIC will partner with other Hindu religious organisations to hold a convention based on the Indian cultural diaspora next year in celebration of Indian Arrival Day (May 30).”
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The opening of Divali Nagar was attended by House Speaker Bridgid Annisette- George, US Ambassador John Estrada, Indian High Commissioner Bishwasdip Dey, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Members of Parliament Suruj Rambachan, Rudy Indarsingh, Bhoe Tewarie and Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan. The president of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persuad, delivered the feature address, mentioned trinidadexpress.com.
Dr. Nyan Gadsby, Minister of Community Development, said that the event has preserved and promoted the awareness of Indian culture.
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The event included Bhajans by Terance Taran Sookdeo, dances by the Shiv Shakti Dance Group and Khalnayak Dance Academy and tassa by the Trinidad and Tobago Sweet Tassa Academy. The celebration will continue for nine nights, ending on Diwali morning.
According to Gadsby,“ Through your various themes, attendees have the chance to learn about essential aspects of our Indian culture. This year’s theme, Ganga Maa (Sacred River), focuses on the goddess and symbolises purity. It speaks of cleansing, health and mercy. It reminds us of new life, rejuvenation and victory. They say that it is here, in Trinidad and Tobago, that the Ganges meets the Nile. And so even as we celebrate the sacred river and the festival of lights, we also celebrate our diversity as a people.”
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She added,“ We acknowledge the attributes of our Aripo River in northeast Trinidad, which is believed to have been connected to the Ganges River over 25,000 years ago. With the upcoming observance of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, let us all be reminded of the strength of communal ties, the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and unity over dissension, and the power of love and hope.”
– Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53