Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean, celebrated Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.
These events marked a historic first for a Canadian Prime Minister attending festivities at both the Hindu temple of Ottawa-Carleton and the Gurdwara Sahib Ottawa Sikh Society, spending over three hours addressing and speaking with the crowds.
Trudeau was received at the Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton by temple dignitaries. A traditional Hindu tilak was applied to the PM’s forehead by temple priests upon his arrival and a special prayer was held in the temple mahamandapa. After the prayer, the Prime Minister was draped by a traditional shawl by MP Arya and temple dignitaries.
He said that Diwali is no longer just a Hindu festival but a Canadian festival celebrated around the world. He also articulated a core campaign message that Canada is strong not in spite of its diversity, but because of it.
They were received at the Gurdwara Sahib Ottawa Sikh Society by the office bearers of the Gurdwara. Following a reading from the Guru Granth Saheb, Sikh community leaders spoke to the Prime Minister about pertinent issues that they wanted to bring to his attention.