Extracts from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s festival statements:
Statement on Vaisakhi
“Today, the Sikh community in Canada and around the world will celebrate Vaisakhi, the holiest day in the Sikh faith.
“For more than three hundred years, Sikhs have come together on this day to mark the creation of the Khalsa Panth – the community of baptized Sikhs – by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
“In Canada, this day would be celebrated in Gurdwaras …and through colourful Khalsa Day parades, from coast to coast to coast….we can find inspiration in Sikhism’s teachings of equality, compassion, and selfless service. …The spirit of seva teaches us that, even when we are apart, we can still be of service to one another.
“Canada is proud to be home to one of the largest Sikh populations in the world. I hope all Canadians join me today in taking a moment to recognize the significant contributions Sikh Canadians have made, and continue to make, to our country.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a joyful Vaisakhi. “Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”
Statement on Ramadan: “Tonight at sunset, Muslims in Canada and around the world will mark the start of Ramadan. This month-long journey is a time of spiritual contemplation, and an opportunity to show gratitude for the many blessings we share, through fasting, prayer, and charitable giving.
“…I invite all Canadians to recognize the many contributions Muslim communities have made to our country since the pandemic began, as they have for many generations… Muslim Canadians will turn to virtual ways to come together and enjoy iftar with family and friends. Many will also take this time to reflect on the values of gratitude, compassion, and generosity at the heart of Islam. These values …are central to building a safer, healthier, and stronger country for everyone.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish all those celebrating a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.
“.Mubarak Ramadan /كرابم ناضمر”
Statement on Puthandu: “Today, Tamils in Canada and around the world celebrate Puthandu to welcome the beginning of a new year, and look forward to the year ahead with optimism.
“On this day, family and friends gather to enjoy traditional food, exchange gifts, and visit places of worship. This year, Tamil Canadians will come together using virtual ways, as many did for the Thai Pongal celebration I was able to join in January. Today is also a day to recognize and honor the many contributions Tamil communities continue to make throughout Canada. …Tamil Canadians make our country a better place to call home every day.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a very happy New Year. “Iniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal.”