Indo Guyanese can join fully in Emancipation Day
Stabroek News
July 31, 2001

Dear Editor,

Emancipation Day is of special significance to Afro Guyanese but it is an occasion which all Guyanese can celebrate and appreciate.

We need to recognize and appreciate our distinctness. Yes, as Guyanese, we are one people. Yet we have come from different streams with its distinct tastes, flavours and colours. The delusion of not appreciating this distinctness lead to insecurity, fear and a sense of not belonging. Understanding our past helps us to appreciate the present.

Emancipation Day is a wonderful opportunity to exhibit harmony as Guyanese are still licking the wounds of the recent post-election upheaval. Indo Guyanese, for example, can take this opportunity to learn about the rich history of Africans coming to Guyana in learning about their culture, arts, music and ways of life. They can join in the celebration by donning African clothes and enjoying and dancing to African music with their Afro Guyanese compatriots. Afro Guyanese can take this opportunity to invite Indo-Guyanese into their homes to share a meal and good times. The two major races can reverse roles in May when Indo Guyanese celebrate Indian Arrival Day.

We should stop pretending that there is no diversity in Guyana. Strengthening and appreciating our cultural plurality and history is paramount towards national unity in our country.

Yours faithfully,

Devanand Bhagwan