Mash on Monday instead? To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
January 16, 2002

The issue of the clashes of the holidays has sparked many heated debates within our society. I find it sad that we cannot implement the art of compromise and tolerance in this day and age.

Just recently, President Jagdeo at his press conference said words to the effect that we have been a people who have been able to live harmoniously despite the unique cultural differences.

The CIOG has highlighted quite relevantly in my opinion that the route of the costume parades will have a tremendous effect on religious celebrations because of the proximity of the Queenstown Masjid and the Muslim Youth Organisation. Additionally, the route will be blocked to vehicular traffic causing further logistical problems in transporting people and meat from the Masjids.

Bishop Juan Edgehill also highlighted relevantly that Saturdays and Sundays are days of worship and Church Street is home to many churches. The costume parade on Saturday, February 23, will hamper hundreds of people from celebrating their Sabbath.

Therefore, here is the compromise. What stops us from celebrating the costume parade on Monday?

It is not engraved in stone that the parades have to be on February 23. There have been instances in the past when the celebrations have overlapped.

Mr President, you have indicated that you are seeking advice on this issue. I am recommending that the Mash celebrations be on Monday, February 25. It is a wonderful message to send to the young people and the wider public on the issue of tolerance and the art of compromise.

On the issue of Phagwah and Good Friday clashing, I consider the wider debate to be irrelevant, since persons will be celebrating each even in their own way. People should have respect for each otherís belief. The only persons who may suffer from this clash would be the beer gardens and rum shops, which are traditionally closed out of respect on Good Friday. But this will be a good thing since it will force persons to observe Phagwah with the reverence and respect it deserves.