Thousands of youths take centre stage at Independence flag raising

Dancers on the D’Urban Park tarmac performing their cultural piece at the 52nd Independence Flag Raising Ceremony yesterday. (Photo by Terrence Thompson)

All eyes were on Guyanese youths yesterday as thousands came out to witness the flag raising ceremony held at D’Urban Park in recognition of Guyana’s 52nd Independence Anniversary.

Though the flag raising ceremony has traditionally been held on the night of May 25th, this year’s ceremony saw a historic shift as the decision was made to have the event commence in the afternoon.

Stabroek News understands that the decision to stray away from tradition was made by President David Granger as part of efforts to accommodate more youths in the celebration.

The change in time seemingly yielded success since based on observations, the youths were responsible for filling the majority of the stands at the event and were the ones cheering the loudest for every performance done during the cultural show.

In addition to those in the stands, the youths were among the majority of those who participated in the parade that opened the ceremony.

As witnessed yesterday, the parade was said to have had the participation of an estimated 1,000 students—including some from as far as the Rupununi—all of whom marched together with ranks of the Guyana Defence Force,  as well as members of the Cadet Corps, Scouts and Pathfinders.

Even more students took part in the cultural presentation, during which the audience was treated to a lineup that included two dances, which spoke to Guyana’s richness in flora and fauna, and the uniqueness that comes in the form of our diverse culture. There was also a prayer and a series of national songs rendered by the National Choir.

And though the start of the ceremony was delayed due to some light rain, blue skies began peeking out as members of the Guyana Defence Force undertook the task of hoisting the Golden Arrow-head just after 4 pm yesterday.

The hoisting of the flag and the national songs that followed were well received by the audience, which concluded the hour and a half long event with loud applause.

In addition to the youths, the rousing ceremony was also attended by President Granger, First Lady Sandra Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife Sita Nagamootoo, members of the Cabinet and officials from the French Guiana Army who are currently visiting Guyana.

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