HSS urges promoters to desist from using Diwali as FETE

Dear Editor,
The integration of the people of the Caribbean (primarily the Guyanese society) allows persons from various religious and cultural backgrounds to be a part of traditional celebrations such as the Hindu festival of Diwali.
While it is good to have flavor and inclusiveness that may play a significant role and contribute to nation-building – many people began various practices that often tamper with the rich, deep-rooted origin of culture and tradition, sometimes resulting in the reduction or misconception of the actual significance of the festival.
For the first time in a couple of years, we are able to come together and celebrate Diwali unlike the past couple of years when COVID and other challenges prevented such gatherings.
In recent times, new practices have emerged in the celebration of Diwali in Guyana where the fashionable Diwali celebration began taking precedence over tradition and including completely inappropriate actions such as alcohol and meat consumption.
While we are not against Fete and J’ouvert, because it is a significant part of our culture HSS joins with the Hindu Community in strongly denouncing the usage of the words Diwali and Deepavali for all promotions that have alcoholic beverages, meat consumption, and sexual vulgarity. Let us all come together as one Guyana and celebrate Diwali for what it is, ‘Celebration of lights and the victory of good over evil’. Let us understand the traditional significance of Diwali, why and how it started, and continue to uphold our traditions for future generations.

Hindu Swayamsevak
Sangh (HSS)