Message to the citizens of Trinidad & Tobago on the occasion of Phagwa / Holi from the Leader of the Opposition
The splendour of our nation’s rich heritage and traditions form a remarkable tapestry that is a testament to our nation’s strong and proud diversity.
This tapestry holds a special and prominent place for Phagwa (Holi) celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. Hindus celebrate Holi as part of the commemoration of the New Hindu year, joining hands with friends of all religious backgrounds in millions of communities around the world.
Holi is a colourful festival, where persons gather and commemorate the joy of the end of the winter, and start of Spring in song, dance and playful adornment of each other with abeer and coloured powders.
Choirs of children add to the jubilation with Chowtals (folksongs) energising a festival that is defined by love, brotherhood and equality in our humanity before God.
It is one of the happiest celebrations in the Hindu community, bringing opportunity for all to renew relationships, let go of past mistakes and join hands in a commitment to unity.
With a strong cultural and religious background, Holi also brings opportunities for us to give thanks for the blessings of God, and stand in solidarity with those around the world who suffer in starvation, violence and poverty. The colour, rhythm, devotion and joyful celebrations also come together to remind us all that even as we face challenges and fears, good will always triumph over evil, and the darkness will always recede in the face of light.
As Trinidadians and Tobagonians, the freedoms we enjoy to confidently express our religious beliefs and live in harmony with those of other beliefs is a tribute to the strength our people have attained, built on centuries of traditions and wisdom.
As families and friends join in the 2016 celebrations of Holi, I wish you all a very happy and peaceful celebration.