Georgetown, Guyana – (February 23, 2018) Thousands of Guyanese from all walks of life tuned up at the D’Urban Park today, to witness the traditional Mashramani Float Parade as the country celebrates 48 years as a Republic. President David Granger, First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, who is performing the functions of Prime Minister and several other Government Ministers were on the scene, admiring the costumes and floats displayed by the 25 bands, which entered the parade this year, many of which depicted the common themes of celebration of Guyana’s natural patrimony, sustainable development, national unity, food security and technology and innovation.
In a brief comment, the Head of State said that was pleased with the massive turn out and extremely impressed with the creativity of the floats and energy of the revellers. “The floats are very good, they depict not only our cultural heritage but also our economic prospects… This is a form of national and social cohesion where our people have come together; this is really a national celebration in which different people from walks of life are celebrating as one,” he said.
The President noted that majority of the floats recognise ongoing programmes and initiatives by the Government and represent economic progress and cultural and social cohesion. He also called for this level of creativity and celebration to be replicated in all of the other regions of Guyana.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the First Lady, who was very happy that good weather had prevailed after the heavy showers during last evening’s flag raising ceremony. She lauded the designers of the costumes and floats, noting that “it’s great how they are using their initiative and imagination to express national sentiments… It builds cohesion and helps people to express themselves.”
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister said that he is one of those people, who, traditionally, would line the Vlissengen Road route to watch the parade and said how impressed he was at how much the parade has transformed over the years, in terms of creativity and variety. “It is an opportunity to show that we are part of one culture… Mash is a distinctive product of West Africa… but we have made Mashramani something special because we have added all the different cultures and for that reason it is a great platform and a great opportunity to show Guyana to the world,” the Minister said.
The Minister reminded Guyanese that the country is on the brink of being able to achieve great things and said it is important that they recognise their responsibility to direct their energies and their enthusiasm to doing something better for Guyana. “It is your responsibility to help to build a national spirit and a national mood so that we can achieve our destiny,” he said.
Mashramani 2018 was celebrated under the theme “Let’s Cooperate and Celebrate Republic 48.” In his Republic Day Message, President Granger said, “Guyanese, in the exercise of our sovereignty, are defending the Republic. We are protecting our patrimony. We are ensuring that future generations will be able to inherit this beautiful country, to live in peace and to enjoy the good life and prosperity which this bountiful country has to offer.”