Georgetown, Guyana — (November 5, 2018) Prime Minister Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, who is performing the functions of President, this evening, hosted the annual Diwali Utsav in the Baridi Benab at State House in observance of the festival of lights where he encouraged Guyanese to be a light of change.
He said as Guyanese observe the national holiday, differences must be put aside, and all must work together for the good of the country.
“For me… Diwali is a symbol of light… It is the lighting of the light within us, our own light. The one that tells us that we have a conscience, that we do not have to behave like those who enslaved us and kept our people in bondage. [It is a] light that is edifying, a light that is illuminating, a light that tells us that there is a vision that can take us forward… We can bring back some of the values… the spiritual values [and] the knowledge that would come from those values for good life, for honest living, for clean leadership… This year must be a year when the lights of Deepawali must give us a reason to be better, to do better, to create better in our society so that all of us can be in a better place,” the Prime Minister who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo said.
Meanwhile, speaking on the significance of Diwali, Swami Aksharananda of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan Secondary School said that during Diwali, the Goddess Lakshmi is revered, and the celebration serves as a reminder of the need to respect women.
“Deepavali signifies the honour of a woman. Every Hindu woman in every Hindu family is a symbol of Lakshmi… I don’t think we can see… any time in our history where there has been such a level of violence against women in our society… That, to me, is a serious irony and something that we should reflect on at this time. When we worship Lakshmi, [reflect on] the status and the welfare of the woman,” he said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, who is performing the functions of Prime Minister; Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, along with other government officials, Members of the of the Diplomatic Corps and members of Mandirs from across the country also attended the event.