MPP Anand’s sixteenth Members’ Statement was on the topic of “Vaisakhi”, delivered on 15 April 2019.

See full transcript below:

“This past weekend, I had the opportunity to celebrate Vaisakhi. On the day of Vaisakhi in 1699, the 10th Sikh guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji, created and initiated the Khalsa, a warrior with a duty to protect the innocent from any form of religious persecution. Sikhs all around the globe come together to commemorate and reflect on this significant historical event.

Vaisakhi is a day of celebration, the beginning of the harvest period. Families gather at their local temples with flowers and offerings to thank God for this year’s plentiful crop and to pray for future prosperity.

It is also believed that the goddess Ganga descended to this planet, and devotees take the ritual dip in the holy waters of the Ganga.

This festival is also celebrated amongst the Tamil community as Puthandu, by the Nepalese community as Nepalese new year, and by the Buddhist community as Vesakha or Buddha Purnima to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.

Irrespective of religious belief, it is an occasion for celebrating the community’s growth and for remembering a set of shared values and united memories. In both its cultural and religious context, Vaisakhi is essentially about community, progress and celebration.

Mr. Speaker, I believe festivals are stress relievers and help us balance our emotions. More positivity naturally lowers negativity and brings us together.

On this auspicious week, I’d like to urge everyone: Let’s celebrate each other’s celebrations and festivals together. Let’s build a better world full of happiness and joy.”