Parliament Celebrates Diwali

October 23, 2005

Source: Hindustan Times,004300140005.htm

On October 23, 2005 the Hindustan Times reported, "Last Thursday, the festival of lights [Diwali] was celebrated in the Canadian Parliament where the prime minister, Paul Martin, and the Leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper, joined the Indians on the joyous occasion.

In this sixth edition of this festival in the nation's Parliament, more than 300 people, including ministers, MPs, diplomats and dignitaries joined in to partake of the festivities.

Held in the West Block of the House of Commons, the show began with 'deepmala'. 'Diyas were all over the place. And then began the show with a five-minute puja as the prime minister, the leader of the official opposition and others stood to watch the spectacle of light. The leader of the other two national parties were also there as were Canadian Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and the Indian High Commission in Ottawa. In fact, we had representatives from all groups,' Deepak Obhrai, the Indo-Canadian MP from East Calgary, tells 'The prime minister was effusive in his praise of the Indo-Canadians, as was the leader of the opposition, Stephen Harper. He said the celebration of the festival in the nation's parliament was reflective of the Canadian mosaic of multiculturalism. Canada has come a long way,' says Obhrai."