President David Granger said that as Guyana strives for national unity and social cohesion, there are many important lessons to be learnt from the Hindu festival of Diwali, according to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency.
“I do believe that there are lots of lessons that all Guyanese can learn from the festival of lights, Guyana is blessed to be a country of many religions, Guyana is blessed to be a multi-cultural country… there is so much we can learn from each other,” the Head of State said. He made these remarks last evening at the Indian Monument Gardens where he and First Lady, Sandra Granger joined with members of the Indian Commemoration Trust for the symbolic Diya Lighting Ceremony.
The President said that Diwali has been observed in this country for the 179 years but it became a national holiday about 50 years ago owing to its significance, not only to the Hindu community, but to the country as a whole.
“It symbolises the victory of good over evil, it symbolises the victory of light over darkness, it symbolises the victory of hope over despair and I would like to feel that it symbolises the victory of knowledge over ignorance and of prosperity over poverty,” Granger said.
He added that he is pleased that this festival has become embedded in Guyanese culture, as it is not confined to households and mandirs and disclosed that this year, State House, the official residence of the Head of State, will be illuminated with diyas on the evening of October 18.