Categorized | Vaisakhi Special

Happy Vaisakhi!

Posted on 14 April 2016 by admin

Sikhs across the world are celebrating Vaisakhi with a great deal of fanfare this week. Canada is no different. Sikh Canadians have played a prominent role in the growth and prosperity of Canadian fabric.

Generation Next asked elected representatives to share with our readers what Vaisakhi means to them and how they celebrate it:

Vaisakhi is a day of thanks  MPP HarinderMalhi

What does celebrating Vaisakhi means to you here in Canada. How do you celebrate it?

Every year, on Vaisakhi, my family and I visit the Gurdwara together, to attend prayers.

One of the most important observances in the Sikh religion, Vaisakhi commemorates the founding of Sikhism in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is also celebrated as a day of thanks and the beginning of a new year and a new harvest season in Punjab across India.

What is the significance of having a Sikh Heritage Month here in Ontario. What does it  mean for community?

In Ontario and throughout Canada, family and friends gather together at the Gurdwara and participate in Nagar Kirtans across the province. We speak many languages, embrace every culture and have links to every part of the world and the Sikh community has enhanced our society on many levels.

Canada is home to one of the largest Sikh communities outside of India, so having a Sikh Heritage Month, here in Ontario, is a proud moment for me, as well as for Sikhs in Ontario and around the world.

‘The story of Sikh community  … is story of Canada’

Raj Grewal, Liberal MP from Brampton East

What does celebrating Vaisakhi means to you here in Canada? How do you celebrate it?

Vaisakhi is a significant day for Sikhs and one of the most celebrated events in the Sikh calendar. It occurs during mid-April every year and traditionally concurs in Punjab annually with the first harvesting of crops. Since 1699, Vaisakhi has been celebrated to mark the creation of the Khalsa by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sikh Canadians keep the celebrations of Vaisakhi alive and well.

Each year my family and I celebrate by attending the annual Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtans, visiting our Sikh temples to partake in special ceremonies and celebrating with our loved ones. One thing is for sure you will be greeted with a smile at any Vaisakhi Celebration.

What is the significance of having a Sikh Heritage Month here in Ontario? What does it mean for community?

Sikh Heritage Month celebrates the contributions and ambitions of all Sikh-Canadians. This month gives all Canadians and opportunity to develop a greater understanding and appreciation for our diverse heritage. This month represents Sikh Canadians that have lived in Ontario since the mid twentieth century and have made significant contributions to Canada’s growing and dynamic population. Like our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said “…the story of the Sikh community in Canada is, in fact, just the story of Canada.”

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