Sikh Heritage Month in B.C.

At Surrey Vaisakhi Parade last April.
Photo by Sukhwant Singh Dhillon

LISA Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism, said in a statement in honour of Sikh Heritage Month that British Columbia is privileged to be home to one of the largest Sikh populations outside of India and added: “Our government is proud to dedicate this month in acknowledgement of the many significant ways the Sikh community has strengthened and enriched our province since first arriving more than 100 years ago.”

They said: “April also marks the celebration of Vaisakhi, when Punjabis celebrate the harvest and the start of a new agricultural year, and when Sikhs commemorate the founding of the Khalsa – which accentuates the values of equality, selfless service and social justice – by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699. Vaisakhi is the holiest celebration in the Sikh faith that is widely celebrated in communities throughout the world, including B.C. Taking part in this celebration is an excellent way to promote inclusivity, embrace multiculturalism and increase understanding of B.C.’s diverse cultural traditions and perspectives.

“Our government is committed to building a province free of discrimination, prejudice and hate. By recognizing and celebrating our rich multicultural heritage, we contribute to a positive environment that encourages inclusiveness, cross-cultural dialogue, and mutual respect for all people.

“We hope everyone in British Columbia will join us in honouring Sikh Heritage month, and will take time to reflect how our province has been made better by the valuable contributions of the Sikh community.”