The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark Bandi Chhor Divas:
“Today, Sikhs in Canada and around the world will celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas.
“This holiday commemorates the story of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, and his release from prison. According to Sikh history, the Guru refused to leave captivity unless 52 long-imprisoned kings were freed alongside him. His devotion to peace and the freedom of his fellow prisoners is a reminder to Sikhs – and to all Canadians – of the importance of helping those in need.
“Bandi Chhor Divas is a time of celebration, where family and friends traditionally gather to read the Sikh holy book – the Guru Granth Sahib – feast, and adorn their homes and Gurdwaras in colourful lights. This year’s festivities will look different due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, as we follow public health guidelines to keep each other and our communities safe. While Sikhs adapt to a new form of commemoration, this important holiday will continue to inspire us and serve as a reminder that justice and peace will prevail.
“This celebration is also a reminder of the values Canadians hold dear – freedom, inclusion, and respect. It gives us an opportunity to thank Canadians of the Sikh faith for their contributions to our country, and to learn more about their traditions. Canada’s diversity is our strength and has helped shape our country for the better.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I wish a happy Bandi Chhor Divas to all those celebrating.”
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Diwali:
“Today, we join Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist communities in Canada and around the world to celebrate Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights.
“This joyful holiday celebrates the triumph of light over darkness – good over evil and right over wrong – and the power of freedom, hope, and knowledge. On this special occasion, families and friends would typically gather to feast, exchange gifts, and pray, as they light up their homes with diyas. This year, as we continue to follow public health guidelines to keep each other and our communities safe, I know that people will find alternate ways to celebrate at home and commemorate the new beginnings at the heart of this joyful festival.
“For all of us, Diwali is also an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and promote inclusion that help us build stronger and more vibrant communities, and to recognize the important contributions that Canadians of Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist faiths make to help build a better, fairer, and more inclusive country.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I wish a happy Diwali to everyone celebrating, here in Canada and around the world.”
To everyone celebrating, happy Diwali! As we work to finish the fight against COVID-19, this festival celebrating the victory of light over darkness - and the power of hope and knowledge - will resonate more than ever. My statement: https://t.co/esJwkPon6V pic.twitter.com/MxbeuDHq6e— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 4, 2021