B.C. Premier Horgan’s Vaisakhi greetings

B.C. Premier John Horgan on Monday issued the following statement in honour of Vaisakhi:

“Today, people in B.C. and around the world are celebrating Vaisakhi, the holiest day in the Sikh faith.

“While Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi as a celebration of the formation of the Khalsa over 300 years ago, Hindus mark the day as the solar new year and celebrate it in various forms all over the Indian subcontinent.

“These are extraordinary and difficult times. Normally in B.C., this day would be celebrated through worship in the Gurdwaras and big, colourful parades in the streets of communities all over British Columbia. Friends and families would come together to eat, dance and sing.

“This year, Vaisakhi events will look different. People will find new ways to celebrate and connect with each other – by video chat, phone or visiting from a safe physical distance. I know spending this day apart from loved ones is very hard. I will miss walking in the vibrant Vaisakhi parades and experiencing the generosity and kindness of the Sikh community. But, now more than ever, we must do everything we can to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe.

“The Sikh community has always shown compassion and generosity to those who are struggling. Now, when people around the province are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the community is providing free meals to low-income families, supporting seniors in isolation and raising money for workers who have been laid off.

“I would also like to acknowledge the national blood drive campaign that the Sikh community is holding with Canadian Blood Services to help save lives. I am deeply grateful for this selfless community service.

“Today, and through Sikh Heritage Month, I wish health and happiness to the Sikh community and to all British Columbians celebrating this day.

“Vaisakhi Diyan Lakh Lakh Vadhaiyan!”