The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statements today on Vaisakhi and Puthandu:
“Today, Tamils in Canada and around the world celebrate Puthandu, and welcome the beginning of a new year.
“While this year’s celebration will be a bit different as we practice physical distancing and stay home, away from family and friends to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Puthandu is an occasion to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. We express our solidarity to Tamil communities in Canada and across the globe as we confront an unprecedented global health and economic crisis. We will get through these challenging times together.
“As Tamil Canadians celebrate the New Year, let us also take the time to recognize the important contributions they make to the richness and diversity of Canada.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a prosperous New Year.
“Iniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal.”
Today, Sikhs in Canada and around the world will celebrate Vaisakhi.
“The holiest day of the year for the Sikh community, Vaisakhi celebrates the creation of the community of the baptized Sikhs, known as the Khalsa Panth, by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699.
“In years past, families and friends would celebrate Vaisakhi by gathering at their local Gurdwaras to pray, read from the sacred scripture, and take part in vibrant parades and processions known as Nagar Kirtans. This year, as we continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Sikh community is celebrating differently, following the recommendations of our public health experts. Please continue to stay at home. And if you have to go out, remember to keep a safe distance of at least two metres from others to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
“Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh populations in the world. For all Canadians, Vaisakhi is a time to celebrate the important contributions that Canadians of Sikh faith make to our country, and to learn about Sikhism’s rich traditions and teachings of equality, unity, selfless service, and social justice.
“On behalf of our family, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating a joyful Vaisakhi.
“Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”