Diwali, the festival of lights and one of the most important celebrations among Sikhs & Hindus is being celebrated this week in India and around the world.
Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
Unlike last year, friends and families will be gathering for this very special occasion. Homes are decorated with diyas/candles, lights, new clothes, fireworks, this is a festival filled with joy with family and friends, they gather together to enjoy great food and exchange gifts.
Diwali is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past year, to look forward and plan the future with renewed optimism. As we reflect on this past year, fraught with uncertainty, challenges at every turn, we need to consider what we have learned. We have missed out on so much and have been impatient with the everchanging new normal. Diwali is a time to reflect on what life in a pandemic has shown us. This past year has shown us the importance of being kind, patient and grateful. It has reminded us the significance of family, friends, community and taught us to appreciate the smaller things and look out for each another.
Diwali celebrates the light within each of us and to focus on the good within each of us, to open our hearts and minds towards a better understanding of others. We need to raise each other up. As we plan for the future, let us listen more, judge less and learn from each other
Alongside Diwali we celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, a Sikh holiday when Guru Hargobind Sahib’s led 52 prisoners out of captivity and returned to Amritsar. Let us be inspired by how Guru Hargobind Sahib embraced an unpleasant situation and turned it into an uplifting moment that helped others.
I wish those celebrating in Surrey-Panorama, British Columbia and around the globe a very Happy Diwali, Deepawali and to those celebrating a day of liberation, Happy Bandi Chhor Divas!