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Guyana's 40th Independence Anniversary celebration was officially launched on Friday at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport under the theme "Celebrating our proud Heritage".

Minister Anthony Xavier and members of the broad-based committee on Independence launched the activities in the Conference Room of the ministry.

Representatives from the Ministries of Culture, Youth and Sport, Education and Local Government, the Government Information Agency (GINA), and the President's Youth Award/Republic of Guyana (PYARG) were present.

This year's observances will be celebrated with more regional activities throughout the month of May to emphasise the proud landmark, GINA reported.

These activities are expected to be quite different from the previous years since government ministries, companies and organisations will be playing their part in the celebration.

Minister Xavier said that as Guyana prepares to celebrate this significant national milestone, all Guyanese should reawaken that sense of patriotism and national unity that existed 40 years ago in order to overcome this difficult and trying period of Guyana's national history, GINA said.

He noted that historically, Independence activities were organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Joint Services and the major focus was on flag-raising.

"This year will see us having more than one month of activities being held nationwide and spearheaded by both government, the Private Sector and other organizations," Xavier is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture will mount a three-week exhibition at the National Museum under the theme "The struggle for Independence - 40 years as a Sovereign Nation".

The exhibition will begin tomorrow and will include historical artefacts and recollections from the National Museum, National Archives and the Guyana National Trust. Xavier said the ministry has invited the Gujarati Folk Dance troupe from India to perform in Essequibo, Berbice and Georgetown, from April 30 to May 7. Their visit will coincide with the Indian Arrival Day celebrations which fall within the anniversary period.

The ministry will also be hosting numerous sporting activities in the 10 regions, including a triathlon on May 28 and a World Harmony Run. The World Harmony Run promises to be a historic event in Guyana, as it will see several persons running with a torch from Charity in Region Two to Mahaica in Region Four.

Director of Sports in the ministry, Carl Brandon said the Guyana leg of the World Harmony Run will begin on May 24, and is part of an international activity organised to promote harmony and relationship-building.

Stabroek News