There will be an open casket during public viewings of President George Maxwell Richards and at his State funeral on Wednesday at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA).
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Another good year
Divali Nagar 2017 culminated with a 15-minute firework show that was much appreciated by the thousands who attended Tuesday’s closing ceremony in Chaguanas on Tuesday night.
Members of the audience who had been anticipating the presence of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley were left disappointed when the news spread he was not coming. This, however, was the only negative news on the night and for the entire event.
Booth holders, who feared that slow first day sales would have continued, were put at ease when the crowds started picking up thereafter.
Denise Chinpire, a retailer at the Nagar who is also on the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, said Hindus and non-Hindus alike did not hold back from spending when it came to Divali. She said despite price hikes on imported items, consumers parted with their hard-earned cash on deyas, religious items and gifts. She said new products such as the floating wick, Divali-themed gift paper and gift bags were hot sellers since many people had started exchanging gifts on Divali Day.
Commenting on this year’s event, National Council of Indian Culture PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said, “I am very pleased with the attendance of the everyone, persons of every creed, colour and race attended the Nagar. This shows that we want to be united as a people and not divided and furthermore we would not allow certain politicians to divide us.”
Mangaroo said Nagar was also incident free this year as the police managed traffic better than in previous years.
He said he was hopeful the NCIC would soon get a $1 million subvention from Government to offset some of the $5 million it cost to stage this year’s production. One of the best changes this year was the impressive stage lighting and décor.
Mangaroo said: “This came at a cost of $250,000, including the sound system. We aim to keep improving and we got tremendous feedback about stage lighting.”
He said Divali Nagar 2018 is carded for October 29-November 6.