It was water and colours galore in many communities across the country and it was no different in the villages surrounding the Wales Estate for last week’s Phagwah or Holi observance.However, while the youth and many of the adults participated in the festivities, depleted finances and reduced economic prospects were on the minds of manyBoys in Vreisland, WBD enjoying a game of cricket on Sundayhousewives and their spouses. On a visit to Vriesland, West Bank Demerara (WBD) on Sunday, residents told <<>> that while they did celebrate, their celebrations were curtailed and diminished as they did not have enough money to make merry to the fullest as in the case when the Wales Sugar Factory was operating.Apart from adorning each other with coloured powder and abeer, Phagwah, is one of the occasions when Hindus would make sweetmeats like mettai and sweet rice and share with fellow community members and relatives. The wife of fish vendor Daybie Harripaul told this publication that while many persons showered each other with water and played with powder, people could not fully observe the festivities as they did not have enough money.“People celebrate yea, but not to the fullest because people ain’t really got much money this time,” the housewife noted.Her neighbour, Ryad Khan, while Muslim, shared similar sentiments and he observed the plight of his fellow villagers, who were still finding difficulty gainingThe festival of colours: This year’s celebrations at the Everest Cricket Groundconsistent work. He too was a laid-off sugar worker, but said he could not receive severance pay as he only had three years of service.“People still celebrate whatever lil’ they got,” he noted.When this newspaper visited the area, several young men, many of whom who would have eventually depended on Wales Estate, were playing cricket on the main road. Near them were several men living in the area who noted the hardship of sending children to school. Father Rahem Seepersaud explained that he did notThis greens vendor hopes to sell his producecelebrate the holiday this year.“If you ain’t have money to eat, how you gan celebrate Phagwah? Just de big one eat and all de small ones suffering. All de Ministers dem play Phagwah and on de road for Mashramani, but we got to deh home,” Seepersaud claimed.He, along with other villagers, stressed that with increasing living expenses and bills, he does not have money for luxuries. A 58-year-old shop owner told <<,Guyana Times>>>> that businesses were continually being affected by the reduced finances of residents. Some 375 Wales workers are without their benefits after they refused to take up employment at the Uitvlugt Estate, contending that they cannot be compelled, under law, to travel 22 miles from their original place of work to the Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara Estate. Phagwah is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil and is enjoyed by many Guyanese regardless of colour, race, and creed.