While Phagwah is one of those notable holidays that all facets of Guyanese celebrate, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) has issued an appeal for all persons to show respect by not degrading the festival with vulgarity and the consumption of alcohol.
Within the last several days, a number of public figures have called on the Guyana Police Force, via social media, to institute a ban on social activities that encourage nudity and alcoholism on Phagwah day. The religious organization also made an appeal to persons to desist from associating Phagwah with events that promote violence as well.
“We have made this appeal yearly for our festivals to be respected and celebrated in the right way, maintaining the love, respect, and dignity that goes with its observance. Although there is a social and festive component, there should be nothing to taint the festival which is loved and celebrated by all,” the organisation said.
The Dharmic Sabha further stated that the Hindu community has made requests before for promoters and bar owners to desist from promoting events that disregard the meaning of the celebration. In this regard, this year’s celebration might see a different approach from the Police. “It (Phagwah) continues to be wonderfully celebrated by all and continues to espouse unity. Keep Phagwah 2023 clean,” the statement concluded.
Holi or Phagwah as it is commonly called is an annual Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Spring. The festival was brought to Guyana by the East Indians who came to Guyana some 176 years ago. Holi is said to be the most joyous and colourful of festivals and is celebrated by all Guyanese.