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Divali Nagar Sustains Trinidad's Cultural Diversity

on 2001/11/19 8:48:02 ( 1187 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today Correspondent Paras Ramoutar

TRINIDAD, November 19, 2001: The 15th Annual Divali Nagar ended with an inspirational observation by the President of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency President A.N.R. Robinson. He was among a host of dignitaries who included Prime Minister Basdeo Panday and Mrs. Oma Panday. Prime Minister Panday who visited the Nagar on Saturday night November 10, used the occasion to refer to the original Educational Concordat which was signed in 1960 by the then Premier Dr. Eric Williams Government and the Catholic Church which outlined how denominational schools were to be managed. In 1998, when the concordat was first revised a Cabinet Committee was appointed to ensure more involvement by other major religious groups including Muslims and Hindus. Prime Ministers Panday assured that a new concordat would ensure that the, "widest ever religious spectrum [would] be embraced in the operation of our education system." But the Divali Nagar platform also heard from Minister of Education, and also Minister of Human Development, Culture and Youth Affairs, Ganga Singh that the orthodox method of education has failed to teach citizens about harmonious living, and suggested that yoga exercises would be introduced into the physical education curriculum in schools, "to add spiritual discipline in that subject area and to help attack the problems of social deviance at their roots." MP for Chaguanas, Minister of Community Empowerment, Sports and Consumer Affairs, in an address at the closing night, that, "our cultural diversity in a multi-ethnic nation state has succeeded by preserving the identity of our indigenous people."

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