Arrival Day 2024 Messages

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Reflect on sacrifices of our foreparents to advance Guyana, better our lives – PPP 

Arrival Day, designated a national holiday in 2004, is of tremendous significance to our country and all of its people. It is a day that brings into focus the rich history of strength, determination, and innovative spirit brought by our ancestors who came to the shores of our dear land from various parts of the world. It also reminds us of the sacrifices and immeasurable contributions made by them to develop our communities and our country and emphasizes for us the duty we have to build a better country for our children.

Once again, as we observe this occasion, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) takes this opportunity to extend greetings to all Guyanese, home and abroad.

As we commemorate this day, all Guyanese are urged to reflect on the many sacrifices our foreparents made to advance our country and better our lives. We are urged to recognize that the sacrifices of all our ancestors will be in vain if those who wish to divide us are allowed to succeed.

After their grueling journeys at various points in our history to arrive here and despite the hardships they faced, they were selfless in their efforts to not just build for our betterment but remained steadfast in ensuring the preservation of the various cultural traditions, which continue to instill values, enrich and shape our lives.

Those deliberate efforts have led to the creation of this multi-cultural and multi-religious society of ours where there is immense pride in diversity imbuing us all with strength as we share and participate in the various festivals that have come to identify us as a people. Over time, those events have served to strengthen bonds of togetherness among our people.

The sacrifices and achievements of our foreparents will remain a source of inspiration for our efforts to build a prosperous and unified nation that is home to all of us.

Happy Arrival Day to All!


“We now celebrate our heritage as one people” – ERC

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) extends greetings to all Guyanese on the occasion of Arrival Day 2024.

This observance commemorates the historical and extensive indentureship period that began in 1834. May 5 also marks the anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors, who reached these shores on this day in 1838, while on May 3, 1835 the first batch of Portuguese arrived. The first batch of Chinese arrived in 1853, and some of our African ancestors also came as indentured servants.

Together, we now celebrate our heritage as one people, bestowed with the diversity embodied by Arrival Day.

Central to Arrival Day are the enduring contributions made by our forebears, whose resilience, perseverance, and untold sacrifices have shaped the fabric of our nation and contributed to our unique mosaic of cultures.

As we commemorate Arrival Day, the ERC reaffirms its commitment to fostering harmony, understanding, and respect among all ethnic groups in Guyana. We recognize the importance of embracing our diversity as a source of strength and unity, and we call upon all Guyanese to promote tolerance, inclusivity and mutual respect in our communities.

Let us honour the sacrifices and contributions of our ancestors by building a more just, equitable and inclusive society for future generations. Together, let us celebrate our shared heritage, and continue to work towards a brighter, more harmonious future for all.

Happy Arrival Day!


Arrival Day is a reminder of Guyana’s rich cultural tapestry – GAWU 

Our rich cultural tapestry is one of the features that sets Guyana apart from many of its contemporaries. As a people, we take great pride in our diversity and the coexistence of our several cultural groupings. It is against this background that the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) extends best wishes to all Guyanese, both at home and further afield, on the occasion of Arrival Day. This important observance is another reminder of what makes Guyana special and what plays a role in our renowned hospitality and welcoming spirit.

While Arrival Day – May 05 – though largely associated with the arrival of East Indians, the day reminds us of all indentured immigrants brought to our land. Our research advises us that outside of the East Indians, the Madeiran Portuguese came in May 1835, the Chinese in 1853, as well as a few other ethnicities during that phase of colonialism. We are aware that the colonialists also brought labourers from Malta, Ireland, Germany and England.

Arrival Day also reminds us of the reasons for the indentureship system. The then immigrants who replaced the emancipated slaves were made to toil in the fields of the sugar plantations to enrich the foreign owners of the plantations. Indentured labourers and their families were forced to exist in inhumane and atrocious conditions. And, like their compatriots, they were forced to engage in several struggles, which gave us several martyrs, in order to bring about small improvements and meagre benefits in their lives and work conditions.

As we observe Arrival Day, the GAWU is constrained to remind us that our unique culture has a common thread in the sugar industry. It is that historical industry which bounds a great lot of our people. We are reminded that it is the very industry on which modern Guyana is built through the labour of many of our people. As Arrival Day is once again commemorated, we remain saddened over the affairs of this important industry. At this time, a legacy of mismanagement has invoked severe setbacks and undue pains. We recognise and appreciate efforts to breathe new life into the industry, as we consider significant interventions to move further along the road of turnaround. Critically, given the linkages between Arrival Day and sugar, we urge the need to strengthen the current management with skilled and capable personnel. We believe this would be an appropriate tribute to those who toiled in the fields and factories and on whose contributions today we proudly stand.

As we celebrate Arrival Day, the GAWU urges all Guyanese to spare a moment to reflect on how far we have come as a people, the challenges we overcame, and the successes we have recorded. At this time, when we ought to be looking to reach new and higher plateaus, we see concerted efforts that will very likely reverse much of the progress we have made and rightly can take pride in. Let us resist such efforts and get back on the development track.