Below are some messages in commemoration of 2016 observance of Phagwah Day.
DR. VINDHYA V. PERSAUD, PRESIDENT OF THE GUYANA HINDU DHARMIC SABHA
Holi or Phagwah is a unique and colourful Hindu festival. It is possesses an unparalleled social dimension which is conducive to reunion, exchanges and togetherness in an atmosphere of absolute cordiality.
The social aspect of Holi does not in any way obscure its rich spiritual values and message of resistance to evil, which were demonstrated in the life of the devoted Prince Prahalad.
Phagwah is the loveliest of our festivals and is celebrated in an atmosphere of absolute equality. Every barrier is removed and celebrants are virtually lost in the pomp and gaiety, which HOLI brings. Our celebration must match this beautiful season and all unhealthy practices which mar and pollute this unique and colourful festival must cease. Drenching each other with water, dumping each other in trenches and dabbing noxious substances must be stamped out. Phagwah must only be played with persons who are desirous of doing so. Celebrate and do so happily but do remember the significance of the festival which sends a clear signal of respect for human rights so bravely fought for and won by Prahalad.
Let us recapture the ancient feeling which permeates at HOLI time, and syringe it through our veins so that hate, greed, deceit and injustice which manifestly exist in today’s world can be consumed in the pyre, which is kindled and reduced to ashes on the eve of this meaningful festival, which is a harbinger of love, unity, equality, justice and peace.
May the significance of HOLI influence and enrich your thoughts and inspire all to contribute to a fair and just system in which there exists not only equality but plenty and abundance for all.
GUYANA PANDITS’ COUNCIL – SPIRITUAL HEAD OF RADHA KRISHNA MANDIR
Phagwah or Holi is the festival of Spring. The Festival of Phagwah commemorates the regeneration of Nature from her slumber. This unique Festival found its way on these shores with the arrival of Hindus from India as Indentured Labours. Hindus after traversing thousands of miles from India brought to Guyana their many festivals among which Phagwah has a special place. The significance of Phagwah is manifold. It is a time of Gaiety, splendour and pomp when nature is converted into a beautiful garden full of colours.
The religious aspect of Phagwah gives to mankind the reassurance that evil doers, perpetrators of unholy acts, architects of injustices, and those associated with such actions are inevitably doomed to failure and extinction. In the story of Phagwah there is evidence that the dark forces of evil is eventually conquered by the forces of truth. The symbol of the burning of Holika serves to reinforce that no matter what, once our intentions and actions are malicious, the results will always remain destructive. Sowing evil will result in degeneracy and decay — wrong-doers will be punished in order to change.
Let us allow this festival to be a binding force among us Guyanese and stamp out differences and spread the message of peace and goodwill which Holi brings.
VIRAAT SABHAA GUYANA
Holi or Phagwah is a seasonal festival which predates the Vedic era. From remote antiquity, this festival was celebrated with great pomp and joy by all cross section of the Hindu community.
Phagwah symbolizes the freedom from confinement in every regard. It is a time when nature exhibits its beauty with the introduction of the spring season. With the advent of spring, Life blooms in every kingdom. The plants, animals, birds and human welcome and celebrate the freedom influenced Mother Nature’s hospitality.
The season offers many opportunities for human reflection. Every human being should aspire to be a product of Liberation. In simple, man should recognize he is more a product of divinity rather than sin. Liberation, the high point of the Hindu Life can only be achieved when the divine inherent potentialities in the individual is explored and exploited to its fullest extent. The capacity for such an exploration solely depends on the discriminate power of the aspirant i.e. to be loyal to our conscience rather than be a slave to our minds and senses.
Phagwah also sends the message of integration and cohesion. The multi colours associated with the festival is a clear testimony of varieties adding to nature’s beauty.
Holi is also a time for sharing. It is a time when farmers and peasant celebrate the harvesting of their crops and at the same time, indulge in Yagnas and Pujas, thanking God for his benedictions and also securing blessings for their future crops. Basant, therefore, sends a universal message, which has the potentialities to remove hopelessness and reinstate confidence.
May all be blessed through the significance of the festival.
The Viraat Sabhaa Guyana extends Holi greetings to all Guyanese.
INDIAN ARRIVAL COMMITTEE (IAC)
The Indian Action Committee (IAC) extends Phagwah (Holi) greetings to all the citizens
Of Guyana, especially those who are guided by the philosophical teachings of Sanatan Dharma.
Phagwah or Holi is a festival of Bharat (India) that has its roots in antiquity and celebrate the coming of a new spring season, the drawing of a new year and the Triumph of good over evil exuberance of this festival reflects the collective hope of people for progress, prosperity and the concomitant betterment of their lives.
This festival of renewal most likely pre-dated the Sarasvati Valley Civilisation, the
World’s first significant civilization which flourish between 5000 BCE and 2600 BCE
And sir Krishna of Mahabharat frame.
Even though the culture landscape in Bharat had change from time to time from the
Introduction of the Negroids followed by the Proto- Australoids, Dravidians, Mongoloids,
Caucasians, Persians, Greeks, Shakas, Kushanas, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Afghans, Mughals
and Europeans, the festival of Holi emerged, survived and flourished in Bharat, the world’s
first melting pots.
Holi was brought to British Guiana by Hindus who arrived here as indentured labourers to work on sugar plantations 177years ago and was sustained by the majority of approximately 239,000 Bharatiyas who arrived on these shores between 1838 and 1917.
Phagwah was transplanted from a large sub-continent, characterize by the four season of spring, summer, autumn and winter, to Guyana a small South American land of dry and rainy
seasons and even though global warming is creating climatic havoc, the symbolism of Holi
must not be lost.
IAC, therefore, calls upon all the citizen of this multi-cultural land of Guyana to regard the great festival of Phagwah or Holi, which celebrate life and hopes regardless of demography or geography, always as a focus for national unity.
PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM (PNCR)
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) expresses Holi Greetings to the Hindu Community in Guyana in particular, and Guyanese in general, on the auspicious occasion of the celebration of the Festival of Phagwah in Guyana.
Guyana is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. Our diversity is an asset not a liability. We are proud to belong to a country of many faiths. We are proud of the mosaic of ethnicities within our country.
As we celebrate this beautiful festival we pray for greater trust and cooperation between our communities. We pray for happy families and households. We pray for better interpersonal relationships. We pray, in other words, for social cohesion at all levels of society.
As the celebrated Indian National Kulapati Vani wrote many years ago, ”festivals are gathering for refreshing spirit and enjoying life.” We urge all Guyanese to use this occasion of Phagwah to refresh their spirit and enjoy life, and to participate fully in this colourful festival and enjoy the rich elements of our religious and cultural diversity.
PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY (PPP)
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) extends warm greetings to our Hindu brothers and sisters on the occasion of Phagwah which is being observed today.
Phagwah, also known as the Festival of Colours, provides that unique opportunity for people from all walks of life to reach out to each other through worship and exchange of water and powder.
This is indeed an auspicious moment in the Hindu calendar as it serves to highlight the universal lessons of the triumph of good over evil and justice over injustice.
Phagwah is today a national festival which is embraced and celebrated not only by the Hindu community but by people from all across the ethnic and cultural spectrum of Guyana. This is testimony of our maturity as a people and our capacity to appreciate and tolerate religious and cultural diversity.
The PPP takes this opportunity to call on all Hindus to guard against those with hidden agendas who seek to divide the Hindu community out of selfish and partisan interests. Such attempts which belonged to a bygone era must be rejected since it has the potential to undermine the very fundamentals of Hinduism.
The PPP joins with the rest of the Guyanese people especially the Hindu community in celebration of this joyous festival of Phagwah.
GUYANA AGRICULTURAL AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION (GAWU)
The festival of Holi – popularly known as Phagwah – is once again upon us. In Guyana, this festival is now a fixture in the country’s calendar of holidays. While this festival is of Hindu origin and celebrated by the Hindus primarily, today’s Holi festivities attract, increasingly, non-Hindus in Guyana and elsewhere in the world.
We are drawn to Holi’s colourful expressions and the exuberance and joy that electrify the celebrations everywhere. But, Holi’s significance lies also in the embrace of life’s many positive values which provides sustenance to the human existence. Over the years, Holi has come to be seen as an enduring reminder of the triumph of good over evil.
This inspiring message where ‘good’ is promoted and embraced is as relevant as ever today. Around us, these days, are many evil-doers of various stripes and many injustices which seem to be growing rather than diminishing. As life’s burdens grow heavier for the masses, and new threats hang over their heads, the message of Holi gives us hope, strengthens our faith that wrongs can be overcome, and imbue us with the courage to go on in the face of adversities and triumph.
At this time, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) takes pleasure in wishing all Hindus, indeed all Guyanese a Happy Holi 2016. That fact that this Holi festival appeals to a cross sector of our diverse religious and cultural makeup is significant. Any event that can promote togetherness and tolerance should be encouraged. In the circumstances of today, our unity to overcome injustices and so on to a joyful and bright future is essential.
MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS OF THE CITY OF GEORGETOWN
Joyous Phagwah greetings to all our Hindu brothers and sisters, and more so to all Guyanese. Phagwah is a very special occasion in the Hindu calendar of events.
Indeed, the significance of Phagwah is dichotomous; it secular significance lies in the advent of spring and its religious significance is premised on the importance of good prevailing over evil.
Phagwah alludes to important life principles such as; love, purity of heart and spirit and the attitude of giving.
It is our sincere hope that as we celebrate this occasion, that we would indeed reflect on the importance of our local communities and together we would work to restore the beauty and glory of the aesthetics of our communities.
Also, that every boy, girl, man and woman would embrace the wider vision of making our communities more environmentally friendly so that our children, and the elderly would able to live in communities that would enhance their social, physical, mental and environmental well-being.
May we all embrace the spiritual significance of this occasion and may we resolve that at this juncture that we will strive to renew the bonds of friendship, co-operation and trust that would enable Georgetown to realize that great potential of becoming modern City.
This was first published at www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/