“It is the duty of every citizen of Guyana wherever he or she may be and of every person in Guyana to respect the national flag, the coat of arms, the national anthem, the national pledge and the Constitution of Guyana, and to treat them with due and proper solemnity on all occasions.”
It is sad that 50 years as an independent state has not resulted in us, as Guyanese, being proud of and having respect for our national symbols. These symbols of nationhood represent one of the first steps we took following the casting off of the shackles of colonialism. They are proof that we are a free nation and are no longer ruled by any other…
Over the years, I have observed their misuse, especially that of the national flag. People paste the national flag on backwards as a form of decoration, they use it as a table cloth or curtain, they wear the flag as an item of clothing (sometimes cutting the flag for specific fittings) and throw the unwanted flags on the grounds after celebrations, (where people walk on them). Whenever possible, I intervened and had positive results the majority of times which highlights that not everyone who uses the flag inappropriately is aware of the disrespect. There is a need for education on the proper use of the national symbols – particularly the flag. It would be helpful if we can have a Guyana Flag Code similar to that of the United States of America or the Republic of India which can be consulted so that the dishonor does not occur time and again. Note: I couldn’t find any documentation about the use/misuse of the national flag, if you are aware of any such documentation I would appreciate it if you can forward me that information.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I love to see the Golden Arrowhead as I feel a sense of pride. However, this should be done in a proper manner. If people want to create a feeling of ‘oneness’ and togetherness, especially at national events, then use the symbols appropriately. Maybe the colors of the flag can be used, in proportion to how they are represented on the flag, however, the actual use of the flag inappropriately (I’ve given a few examples above) needs to be condemn.
Do you remember that line from our national pledge? It goes like this, “I pledge myself to honor always the Flag of Guyana…” To me, the use of flag instead of coat-of-arms or any other national symbol means something. The design and colors of our flag all have deep symbolism and when I say the national pledge and look at the flag I get this feeling which screams ‘I am a proud Guyanese.’ By making a pledge to the Golden Arrowhead, flying high and proud in the winds, I am making a commitment “…to be loyal to my country, to be obedient to the laws of Guyana, to love my fellow citizens, and to dedicate my energies towards the happiness and prosperity of Guyana.”
The flag is important, it is symbolic; to the world it says GUYANA. Let us treat it with the respect it deserves.
I come from a Hindu family, a very Hindu family that boasts of two pandits (priests) and numerous members who are very learned about the scriptures and traditions associated with Hinduism in Guyana. I would like to think I’m rather a strong person where my religion is concerned as I take part in different aspects of prayers associated with Hinduism.
Apart from be very familiar with the traidions, etc., I’m naturally curious about the whole aspect of Hinduism since it is more often than not considered to be ‘a way of life’. I love the colours and the vibrancy associated with this religion and the wide variety of different ways in which the events are observed and practised – the different activities used to focus on different aspects of God through different ways of making offerings.
As such, it was quite easy for me to select the event from which my image for Week Fourteen would come from. However, due to the wide array of different elements in the worship ceremonies, it was hard to narrow down my 600 images to just one. I finally selected this one because it sums up the season for me. This image shows a devotee pouring Durga dhar (a special offering comprising different grind elements being mixed in milk) into a tally (tray) with a cut lime and nutmeg that have been covered with sindoor (red powder used by married women in their head) and camfor (used to create fire) on top of the lime. All of these elements scream ‘Naav-raatri’ for me and it truly is a season I enjoy.
Some background to my image: Week Fourteen saw the beginning of the first ‘naav-raatri’ period for the year; this one leads to Raamnaavmi (birthday of Lord Ram). Naav-raatri is basically the worship onto God in the female form and spans three sub-periods where you focus on certain general aspects of Maa. The first three nights – workship with a focus on Durga Maa, the second three nights – workship with a focus on Latchmi Maa and the final two nights (this would be three nights for the naav-raatri period before Diwali later in the year) – worship with a focus on Saraswati Maa. The final day, the ninth day, is celebrated as Raamnaavmi.
Here are some more favourites from this week.
Looking up in the Shiva Mandir
Offering prasad to Lord Shiva
Clasped hands with flowers to offer
The altar in front of the mandir during meditation
Family at the sea-side
Final step – Raamnavmi offering at the seaside
Offerings made at the sea-side (all biodegradable)
Some weeks I need to really think about a theme or a picture to take to ensure I stay in the game. Other weeks, it’s as simple as staring out of my window.
For this week, the first image I took was of a bird outside my window. The next day, as I was working on notes for my classes, I heard some sweet singing outside my window so I looked out – low and behold, more birds. This set the tone for the week and I realised that it’s not a bad theme for the week.
I liked this image the most from this week due to the contrast. It might look like a very simple ‘point and shoot’ image but I did spend some time (as much as a moving bird can give you) ensuring it was composed the way I wanted it. Also, I had some problem with processing it initially – there was a purple glow about the fence. The good thing about it is that I’m part of a photography group, Guyana Photographers, and once you upload an image the others aren’t too shy about pointing out ways to improve the image.
In summary: Week Thirteen challenges included (1) being restricted to using a window frame as my ‘movement area’, (2) shooting moving objects – I lucked out when they landed and (3) processing.
Here are some more images I shot during this week with a focus on that window!
Phagwah/Holi/Festival of Spring (whatever you want to call it) is an AWESOME time of year for my friends and I. There isn’t another holiday in Guyana that I enjoy more – this is saying a lot since we have Mashramani and Christmas that are also rather big with the celebrations.
This is a time for us to start a new year (not the Roman Calendar but the Hindu year) and to truly enjoy all the fun and amazing things that spring brings with it – colours, life and happiness.
I still haven’t completed processing the pictures from Holi 2014 (I’m such a procrastinator recently) but I have managed to get some of my favourites processed for this blog post. Apart from all the celebrations surrounding Holi this year, I managed to get a few others in for this week.
Enjoy the rest of my images for Week 11 below:
Old time fireside
Cuppa Coffee 🙂
Holi 2014 – Powder Fun
Holi 2014 – Puja
Holi 2014 – Burning of Holika
Holi 2014 – Brown Capuchin 🙂
Holi 2014 – Tradition – End the morning fun in my Vat!
I think the picture for this week can be described as ‘serendipitous’ in nature. I was taking a driving on the Railway Embankment Road, East Coast Demerara, Guyana (going towards Georgetown) when I saw this beautiful scene and couldn’t resist pulling over and getting a shot. It was rather lucky I had my camera on me this afternoon.
The colours were just amazing and caught my attention straight away. I love the darkness with the bit of light near the horizon. I also like the added amount of interest the street lights and oncoming cars’ head lights added to the this scene. All in all, I knew straight away that THIS was the image for week 10.
I know some might question why I gave this post such a title. I’m not quite sure why myself but as soon as I saw the image after processing I thought about a good night kiss. Mind you, not the totally sweet kinds but the ones that hold a bit of mystery to them and a bit of sweetness at the same time – provocative in nature.
Week 10 was a bit activity packed for me: I took a drive up to the county of Berbice with my friend Tana and, it being the ‘Holi’ season (see my next blog post for more about this), our family hosted a ‘chowtal singing’ session at our home. I find the other images pleasing for this week but not as striking as the one I selected in the end.
Enjoy some more from Week 10, Project 52, 2014!
CLIHS Chowtal Goal
Too quick for the camera
Memories of special moments…a Quest of a lifetime…