Arrival Day: an appropriate occasion to build on rich heritage of our ancestors – PNCR

The PNCR extends best wishes to the entire Guyanese nation, especially those of Indian ancestry, on the occasion of Arrival Day 2023.
For this year’s observances, the PNCR has chosen the theme “CELEBRATING OUR CULTURAL AND RACIAL DIVERSITY, WHILE STRENGTHENING OUR UNITY.” This theme is reflected in the Guyana Constitution.
On May 5th, we pay homage to the arrival of Indentured workers to these shores, regardless of their origin. Of special significance, however, today marks the anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors in 1838. The arrival of these various Guyanese ancestors has added to the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural splendour of Guyana.
The untiring efforts and enormous sacrifices of these ancestors have helped to build a nation that today we are proud to call home and that we are prepared to represent, defend, and develop.
True, much more work remains to be done. The Guyanese people are yet to fully enjoy a comfortable standard of living and a high quality of life. Widespread poverty and inequality still stalk our land. Arrival Day, therefore, provides an appropriate occasion for us to recommit to the call in the Preamble of the Constitution to “safeguard and build on the rich heritage, won through tireless struggle, bequeathed us by our forebears.”
Let us take this opportunity to restate our support for May 5th to be officially recognized henceforth as INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY. Designating May 5th as INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY respects the historical fact that the date specifically marks the arrival of the first Indian Indentured labourers to these shores. May 5th therefore should be wholly devoted to celebrating the valuable contribution that our East Indian brothers and sisters have made to the development of our country, and to the shaping of its rich cultural tapestry.
Separate days to recognise the various ancestries and heritages of the Guyanese people should be seen as occasions to celebrate our distinct ethnic identities and cultural expressions, while we, at the same time, embrace our unity in diversity, our mutual respect, our shared values and beliefs, and our shared destiny.