Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

October 16, 2009 10:31 ET

Minister Kenney Issues Statement Recognizing Diwali

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2009) - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement recognizing Diwali:

"Namaste.

"Tomorrow marks one of the most important Hindu holidays of the year, and a significant festival for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists around the world. It is a time to celebrate the victory of good over evil, and the uplifting of spiritual darkness.

"Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is traditionally observed by lighting small oil lamps called diyas. Homes and public places are decorated with these and other lights, which are said to represent the victory of light over darkness.

"Diwali is also a time marked by prayer, worship, and the exchange of gifts and sweets.

"In Canada, Diwali is celebrated as a cultural festival by South Asian and non-South Asian communities alike. By bringing different faith and cultural communities together, and spreading a message of peace and friendship, it is a celebration that can truly serve to strengthen our country.

"For all Canadians, this important observance provides an excellent opportunity to take part in local festivities, and to reflect on the tremendous contributions that members of Canada's South Asian communities have made to this country's rich and diverse heritage.

"As Prime Minister Harper has said, 'Pluralism is the principle that binds our diverse peoples together.'

"As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I want to take this opportunity to offer my best wishes for a happy Diwali to all those celebrating tomorrow.

"Namaste."

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