“WE must never be ashamed of our ‘Indianness.’ Despite the difficulties and the problems faced by our Indian ancestors ,they have emerged a strong people,.. and they have shown us , that despite their battered bodies, broken bones, their pains and their suffering ….they have showed us how strong they were in spirit, how strong they were in character , how strong they were in their togetherness, how strong they were in their solidarity to each other,” uttered Region 6 Chairman David Armogan, during a stirring presentation at Plantation Highbury, East Bank Berbice, where the first batch of 128 East Indian immigrants landed on May 5, 1838. Earlier, their descendants had re-enacted the arrival of their ancestors who arrived 177 years ago onboard the Whitby to the hundreds, including Deputy Regional Chairman Mr. BhupaulJhagroo; Alliance For Change (AFC) executive member, Mr. Charrandass Persaud; Chairman of the Berbice Indian Committee Chandra Sohan; Former Minister Harripersaud Nokta, amongst other
dignitaries, who made the annual pilgrimage to the site, some eight miles from the New Amsterdam township, and which gave birth to Indians to the then British Guiana..
The East Indians’ arrival resulted in a fusion and diversity of a multi-ethnic , multi-cultural society which Guyana has emerged to be today .
Armogan, representing President Donald Ramotar , who was unavoidably absent due to the upcoming General Elections , reminded his audience of the struggles of their ancestors who remained a proud people and steadfast in times of adversity.
“That is the spirit that we have today. We have a lot to be to be proud of. That is the kind of spirit they have imputed into us , and that is why we must celebrate our achievement.. they have managed to call to the ranks of servile and the system of servitude and today Indian people all over manage the world affairs…
“…we have a proud heritage..we must never be ashamed of our heritage.We must never be ashamed of our ‘Indianess,’ because our ancestors have taught us to believe what we can achieve. They have taught us to believe that we can do and make it great .We, by virtue of our ancestor’s teaching, we continue to be a peaceful people, we continue to work very hard, we do not eat up everything that we earn.. we save to build , because we cater for our children, our grandchildren and the future generation of Guyana….
‘..We are a people who are intent on building not breaking. We must continue to do that. We must continue to hold on to our heritage. We must continue to come here every year and celebrate our ancestors.
According to Armogan , people of Indian origin occupy important positions all over the world , and as such, they (Indians) must be proud of their Indian heritage
‘… while we celebrate , we must not forget the others who came to Guyana, the Africans, the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Amerindians .., … we must continue to build …we must continue to build and develop Guyana, so the future generations can benefit…
‘Guyana belongs to every Guyanese, and while we are a peaceful people , our peacefulness must not be mistaken or taken for weakness…. we must never allow … because our ancestors worked very hard and have imbued upon us resilience, and courage ,and the ability to fight back. We must not allow people to think we are weak. We must fight back, and be in solidarity with each other ,once that time comes.
‘This is a silly time .. this is election time, this the time when all kinds of problems are raised, when ethnic problems are created , when conflicts are created, when all kinds of animosity arises, but we must remain peaceful , we must do what we have to do and relax..’