President David Granger: Thank you for your welcome. As you know, I keep coming back here every year at Easter time and also at Christmas time so you all have to make me an honorary member of the Lusignan-Good Hope Learning Centre. How about that? You can give me an honorary number or make me an honorary member, okay? Anybody here who is Muslim? Let me see your hand. Any Hindus? Let me see your hands. Any Christians? Let me see your hands. Why do you think I asked you? Any Guyanese? Let me see your hands. I asked you the question because this is a Guyanese thing. It’s a Guyanese festival.
A few weeks ago I went to the Chinese New Year festival, that’s a spring festival when people in that part of the world celebrate spring, and then at State House we had what we call Phagwah or Holi, that’s the Hindu spring festival. Easter is also a sort of spring festival too. That is when people come out of winter and celebrate the spring, but here in Guyana we have a special custom that children like to fly kites. Now kites were invented by the Chinese and when the Chinese first came to British Guiana a hundred and sixty years ago, the English people saw them flying kites and they wanted to stop them from flying kites and so they told the English people, “Oh, we’re flying kites because Christ is risen” and that is how people started associating kite flying with Christians because you go to Christian countries and they don’t fly kites but we fly kites in Guyana… but whether you are Hindu, Muslim or Christian, children in Guyana like to fly kites. So if you go to Anguilla, you go to Antigua, you go to Belize, you go to The Bahamas- the people you see flying kites are Guyanese.
Some of those people don’t even fly kites themselves. So here at the Lusignan-Good Hope Learning Centre; here in Guyana; here on the East Coast, I am very grateful to this centre and the Shivdat family – I don’t think the Shivdats are here today- for establishing the centre for helping the children of Lusignan- Good Hope and for having this festival every single year. We in the government, the Minister of Legal Affairs, the Minister of Social Protection; Minister within the Ministry of Public Health – we’re here to share this important festival with you… you are the reason we’re here, you, the children of the East Coast. This is a place we want to come to Good Hope-Lusignan and the purpose is to help you to enjoy this important festival which brings all Guyanese, Hindu, Muslim and Christian together. Let’s get some kites going again.
Thank you very much and may God bless you all.