Momentous Vaisakhi celebration in Canada

| Canada | 11 April 2016 | Asia Samachar |

The reading of the Guru Granth Sahib in the Canadian parliament and the prime minister making an appearance at the a Vaisakhi event were just of the unforgettable events in Canada in the past week.

This surely makes the Sikhs in Canada proud to call it their home.

Many feel lucky to be living in a country where the leadership of the nation appreciates the rich contribution of all its communities and have made all efforts to ensure that immigrants and citizens thrive in a wonderful spectacle of diversity.

“I have travelled all corners of this country and seen first hand how our Sikhs Canadian community embraces these values. They are an integral part of our national fabric,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Pierre James Trudeau in a Vaisakhi greetings release via Youtube.

SEE ALSO: Canadians share Khalsa Panth ideals: Justin Trudeau

It was great to see Canadian elected members of parliament (MPs) celebrating Vaisakhi this year with the complete reciting of the Sri Akhand Path at the Parliament Hill in Ottawa from April 9-11, 2016.

“Great to be at Vaisakhi on the Hill today! I’m proud to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Sikh Canadians,” Trudeau said in a Facebook posting after attending the function.

Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton North, opened the doors of Parliament Hill to celebrate Vaisakhi with her fellow Parliamentarians and Canadians.

“This is the first time we are celebrating Vaisakhi, here in the Canadian Parliament, on such a large scale” she said. “I am looking forward to sharing my culture, traditions and language with my fellow Parliamentarians and all Canadians.”

Sikh’s have a growing presence on the political scene in Canada. With this past election, Punjabi became the third most spoken language by members of the House of Commons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet consists of more Sikh minister’s than the Cabinet in India.

The Akhand Path concluded on Monday morning followed by kirtan, and langgar served by Sikh MPs.

In the evening, a Vaisakhi Cultural Reception took place, featuring the musical talents of Satinder Sartaj and a Bhangra performance by a local Toronto group. The evening concluded with Punjabi music and dancing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the guest-of-honor for the celebrations, where he commented during his televised Vaisakhi speech earlier that the Liberal party and all Canadians stand with Sikhs in Canada to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa Panth.

Canadians share the same values of fairness, respect and equality for all, which were instilled by Guru Gobind Singh, when Amrit was administered to the Panj Pyarey.

PM Trudeau said that he has travelled throughout Canada to notice how the Sikh community “embraces the above ideals and form an integral part of the Canadian fabric.”

On Monday, the Sikh MPs, represented by Surrey Center MP Randeep Singh Srai, presented the Hon. Prime Minister with a ‘keseri Hazooria’ and a Sir Sahib to acknowledge the respect and support the Sikh community has received from him.

The appointment of five Sikh ministers, some in key ministerial positions, is testimony to the trust and respect he has for Sikhs in his cabinet.

Trudeau also took the opportunity to announce that he will offer a full apology for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which hundreds of migrants from India, mainly Sikhs, were denied entry to Canada.

The Komagata Maru was a chartered ship that sailed into the Vancouver harbour on May 23, 1914, with 376 people from Punjab, India on board.

“The passengers of Komagata Maru, like millions of immigrants since, were seeking refuge and a better lives for their families,” Trudeau said Monday. “With so much to contribute to their new home, they chose Canada and we failed them utterly”.

“As a nation, we should never forget the prejudice suffered by the Sikh community by the hands of the Canadian government of the day.  “That is why next month, on May 18th, I will stand in the of Commons and offer a full apology for the Komagata Maru incident.”


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