Arrival Day Messages!

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

People’s Progressive Party 

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) takes this opportunity to extend greetings to all Guyanese on the occasion of Arrival Day, observed today, May 5.

It is a day of much significance to our country and all of its people, as it brings into focus the invaluable contributions of our ancestors who came to these shores from various parts of the world.

It is also a day to commemorate their arrival and monumental achievements.

Arrival Day also affords us the opportunity to be imbued with a tremendous sense of pride and reflect on the selfless and invaluable contributions our ancestors and their descendants made to the development of our nation.

Their untold sacrifices and resoluteness, which must not be allowed to be forgotten, led to the building of a strong nation and improved standards of living for future generations.

The determined efforts of our ancestors, despite the hardships they faced, to remain steadfast and preserve their cultural traditions have led to the creation of a rich and colourful mosaic, which is our multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural Guyana.

This diversity has become our hallmark.

As we all observe this day, our Party urges reflection on the valiant efforts of our ancestors so that we can all continue to be inspired and be better able to contextualize the value of our gains.

Inspired by the sacrifices and achievements of our ancestors, we must remain determined to build upon the gains that have been made to: ensure that our country remains a place for all of its sons and daughters; to safeguard our hard-won freedoms; to ensure that peace is not compromised, and to ensure that the safety of our people is paramount.

Recognizing the value of the gains we have made to date, we must continue to work together as one people to further advance the development of our nation for the betterment of all Guyanese.

Our Party would also like to commend all who have worked steadfastly over the years, as well as those who continue to do so, on the promotion of activities designed to foster greater awareness and preservation of our history, values, and cultural traditions.

Happy Arrival Day to all!

Peoples National Congress Reform 

The PNCR extends best wishes to the entire Guyanese nation on the occasion of Arrival Day 2022. For this year’s observances, the PNCR has chosen the theme, “SAFEGUARDING AND BUILDING ON OUR RICH HERITAGE.”

May 5th has been designated as the special occasion when we pay homage to the arrival of Indentured workers to these shores regardless of their origin. It also marks the anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors on this day in 1838. The arrival of these various Guyanese ancestors has added to the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural magnificence of Guyana. This rich diversity today is rooted and given unity in our shared experiences, shared goals, and shared destiny as One Nation.

The untiring efforts and enormous sacrifices of these ancestors have helped to build a nation that today we are proud to call home, that we are ready to represent and defend, and that we are willing to keep building.

True, much more work remains to be done as we today undertake, in the words of the preamble of Guyana’s constitution, “our collective quest for a perfect nation.” Arrival Day therefore should cause us to recommit to the charge in the very preamble to “safeguard and build on the rich heritage, won through tireless struggle, bequeathed us by our forebears.”

To strengthen national integration and social cohesion by according due respect and recognition to the various ethnic groups in our multicultural society, the former Leader of the PNCR and President of Guyana, David Granger, issued two public notices: (i) on February 27, 2017, he designated May 3rd each year as PORTUGUESE ARRIVAL DAY; and (ii) on January 6, 2017, he designated January 12th each year as CHINESE ARRIVAL DAY.

Given these changed circumstances surrounding the original purpose of Arrival Day – coupled with the fact that Guyanese of African and Amerindian origin have designated days or months to celebrate their distinct heritages – the PNCR hereby joins the call for the May 5th observances to be officially recognized henceforth as INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY.

Designating May 5th as INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY also respects the historic 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 the shaping of its rich cultural tapestry.

Separate Arrival Days for Guyanese of Indian, Portuguese, and Chinese descent; a Heritage Month for Guyanese of Amerindian descent; and Emancipation Day for Guyanese of African descent should all be seen as occasions to celebrate our distinct ethnic identities and cultural expressions, while at the same time embracing our unity in diversity, our mutual respect, our common understandings, and our shared destiny.

Ethnic Relations Commission 

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) extends greetings to all Guyanese on the observance of Arrival Day 2022. It commemorates the arrival, at different historical points, of numerous indentured servants in a hodgepodge of diverse cultures to replace slave labor on the sugar plantations.

The role of the colonial power, without argument, was responsible for facilitating a labour supply made up of different faces who made unique contributions. The ERC reiterates the need for Guyanese of all ethnicities to remember their history which has irreversibly shaped our country.

Today, we celebrate the enrichment of diversity that Arrival Day embodies in the shaping of modern Guyana. Arrival Day is most significant for what it represents in the context of the multi-faceted mosaic it created and for which our country is known.

We are multi-ethnic as a result of the untold sacrifices, desires and steadfastness of our ancestors, to practice and preserve their rich and colourful cultural traditions. As One Guyana, it is evident that many participate meaningfully in each other’s festivities that have become truly national observances.

Over time, that rich, beautiful and vibrant diversity has become our strength and common bond in the process of becoming one people, working towards a common destiny.

Happy Arrival Day to all!