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‘Vanakkam!’ Tweets Canadian PM: Justin Trudeau Joins over 200,000 People at the Biggest Tamil Diaspora Festival in Toronto

According to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, the Tamil community has enriched Canadian multicultural society in a short period since its first arrival in large numbers in the 1980s

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Tamil Fest
Justin Trudeau attended the Tamil Fest organized in Toronto. Wikimedia
  • A Tamil Fest was organized in Toronto to celebrate Tamil culture, cuisine, and heritage.
  • The festival was also attended by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
  • The month of January has been officially declared as Tamil Heritage Month in Canada.

Toronto, August 29, 2017:  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined over 200,000 people here at the biggest Tamil diaspora festival that showcased Tamil culture, heritage, and cuisine.

Toronto’s Markham Road turned into a little Tamil nation on the occasion as hundreds of vends came up to treat visitors to rare tropical Tamil cuisine, displaying cultural items and offering rare glimpses into Tamil way of life.

Some rare forms of Tamil dances were also performed.

“People generally associate Tamil dance with bharatnatyam. But there are over 50 old forms of Tamil dance which very few know. These were showcased here for our future Tamil generation and Canadians,” said Canadian Tamil Congress spokesperson David Poopalapillai.

A big attraction at the festival was one the two lifeboats in which first Tamil refugees (numbering 155) fleeing the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict had reached Canadian shores in August 1986.

It was the first time after 1912 that Canada accepted boat refugees who happened to be Tamils, Poopalapillai said.

“These refugees had reached Germany from Sri Lanka. From Germany, they took a ship, but were dumped in the ocean in two lifeboats to fend for themselves. Luckily, they drifted into Canadian waters off Newfoundland and were saved by Canadian fishermen,” said the Tamil spokesperson.

The Canadian Prime Minister posed with some of those who were on the two lifeboats.

Trudeau said Canada consistently raised its voice in support of Tamils during the ethnic war in Sri Lanka. Though the conflict has ended, he said, the long-term solution to Tamil grievances is yet to be reached.

He said the Tamil community has enriched Canadian multicultural society in a short period since its first arrival in large numbers in the 1980s.

In recognition of this contribution, Trudeau said amid applause, his government has declared January as Tamil Heritage Month in Canada.

ALSO READ Justin Trudeau’s Government Selects Indo-Canadian Rana Sarkar as Consul-General to San Francisco

Numbering about 350,000, Tamils are one of the youngest and fastest growing communities in Canada, with their major concentration centred around the Greater Toronto Area. (IANS)

 

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India and Canada to Jointly Issue Two Sets of Diwali Themed Postal Stamps

The stamps will be released on September 21 as per a MoU signed between the postal departments of the two countries

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Diwali
Diwali does not mean you will have to compromise on your health, Wikimedia
  • India and Canada have a long-standing close relationship based on shared values of democracy
  • The presence of a large Indian Diaspora in Canada provide a strong foundation for the relationship
  • The theme of Diwali was chosen considering the large presence of Indian Diaspora in Canada

New Delhi, August 31, 2017: India and Canada will jointly issue two sets of commemorative postage stamps on the theme of Diwali, the government announced on Wednesday.

The stamps will be released on September 21 as per a MoU signed between the postal departments of the two countries.

“India and Canada have a long-standing close relationship based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, equality for all and rule of law. Strong people-to-people contacts and the presence of a large Indian Diaspora in Canada provide a strong foundation for the relationship,” said a statement from the Indian government.

It said the theme of Diwali was chosen “considering the large presence of Indian Diaspora” in Canada. (IANS)

 

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Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai bestowed with honorary Canadian citizenship

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image from facebook

Toronto, April 12, 2017: Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai was bestowed honorary Canadian citizenship on Wednesday.

Yousafzai was greeted on the steps of the Centre Block by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as a parade of dignitaries, cabinet ministers and diplomats inside the rotunda beneath the Peace Tower, The Toronto Star reported.

Moments later, Trudeau presented her with a certificate documenting her as an honorary Canadian, making her the sixth and youngest ever person to receive the honour.

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“It is not just an honorary citizenship of Canada; it is also being Canada’s friend, and I warmly accept it,” Yousafzai told the gathering afterward.

“I want to thank Canada for its passion for girls’ education, for its passion for humanity, for refugees, and for standing up for women’s rights, and for peace.

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“You are a true example to the world of what it means to stand up for humanity, and I’m hopeful you will inspire many more countries and many more leaders to follow your footsteps,” she said.

At the ceremony, Trudeau said that Malala’s story was inspirational.

“All the violence you survived at the hands of the Taliban didn’t deter you as it would have so many others,” Trudeau told the ceremony. “You stood even stronger in the face of oppression; your passion for justice only intensified,” he added. (IANS)

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Canada’s Ontario declares October as Hindu Heritage Month to Recognise Contributions by Hindu Canadians

The bill recognises important contributions that Hindu Canadians have made to Ontario's social, economic, religious, political and cultural fabric

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Picture of Ontario Legislative Assembly in Toronto. Wikimedia

Toronto, October 27, 2016: A bill to proclaim October as Hindu Heritage Month annually in Canada’s Ontario province has been introduced in the provincial assembly here.

Ontario is home to more than 700,000 Indo-Canadians.

Introducing the bill in the Ontario assembly here, Joe Dickson, who is a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP), said that by proclaiming the month of October as Hindu Heritage Month, Ontario will recognize the “important contributions that Hindu Canadians have made to Ontario’s social, economic, religious, political and cultural fabric.”

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Dickson said the first Hindu immigrants began to arrive in at the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, they have made big contribution in all fields – science, education, medicine, law, politics, business, culture and sports.

“Right from the start, Ontario’s Hindu communities helped build our province into the greatest place to live, work and raise families. We’re all proud of the achievements of the Hindu community and how they have helped each other and enriched our province,” the MPP said.

Dickson said October held a special significance for Hindus.

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“Each year, three important festivals that members of the Hindu community celebrate occur in and around October. These festivals include Navratri and Durga Puja, which were celebrated earlier this month, and Diwali, the festival of lights, which will begin next week.”

He said if his bill is passed, the “Hindu Heritage Month would give all Ontarians an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Hindu Canadians and the important role that they have played to date and continue to play in communities across Ontario.”

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Interestingly, the Ontario assembly has just passed another bill to proclaim October also as Islamic Heritage Month.

April has already been proclaimed as Sikh Heritage Month in Ontario.

In a bigger victory for Tamils, January has been proclaimed as Tamil Heritage Month across Canada. The Canadian parliament passed a motion in this regard earlier this month. (IANS)