President: Divali Light a Powerful Symbol after Covid

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

AS deeyas all over the country are lit on Divali night, it will be a signal of optimism that times of adversity will be followed by triumph and abundance.

This is the Divali message from President Paula-Mae Weekes.

She referred to the story in the Hindu holy book the Ramayana when the deeyas were lit upon the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita to the city of Ayodhya,

Weekes said, “At Divali, we have the opportunity to engage in a process of self-improvement, enabling us to become lights to others in our various circles, dispelling the darkness of ignorance, injustice and fear.”

Light was a powerful symbol and especially after the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic was much needed and the resurgence of the Divali Nagar and Ramleela celebrations signified that, she said.

Weekes said, “The resumption of the Nagar and Ramleela after the period of pandemic gloom embodies the essential message of Divali – that light will always conquer darkness and good will overcome evil. Light is a powerful symbol, often used as a metaphor for knowledge, goodness, guidance, purity and the divine.

“Light can also illuminate and lead the way, expose danger, alleviate fears, warn or repel from danger, reinvigorate and reassure or reveal truth. When juxtaposed with darkness, it represents hope. Darkness cannot dispel light, but a single flame can illuminate the blackest night.”

The President also said that every creed and race joins in the Divali celebrations and in the lead-up to Divali, schools and workplaces have been heavily involved in the preparations, distributing delicacies, organising informative programmes and hosting lively celebrations. 

“Schools are the ideal environment to foster tolerance and appreciation at an early age of the customs and practices of other faiths—all intrinsic and indelible pieces of our multicultural and multireligious mosaic,” Weekes said.


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