Ottawa, October 23, 2014 — The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to recognize Diwali:
“Today Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists in Canada and around the world are celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights. As one of the most important days of the year for South Asians, many will gather with their friends and family to spend time in prayer, light diyas (lamps), watch firework displays, and exchange gifts and sweets.
“The lighting of diyas symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and is a reaffirmation of hope and a shared commitment to friendship. As it occurs at the end of the harvest, Diwali is also a time to be thankful for the prosperity and health of the past year and to pray for the renewal of wealth in the year ahead.
“Diwali serves to strengthen our communities, by bringing together Canadians of many different faiths and cultural backgrounds. I encourage all Canadians to take part in local festivities with their South Asian neighbours and friends.
“As Minister for Multiculturalism, I wish all Canadians celebrating today a happy and healthy Diwali.”