Closeted observance yet Diwali is in great spirit

Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan (INL Photo)

Priyanca Radhakrishnan
Wellington, November 2, 2021

Tena koutou katoa, Namaste

As your Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, it gives me great pleasure to wish you a very happy Diwali.

Aap sabhi ko, Diwali ki hardik Shubhkamnayen!

The message of Diwali is one that we can all celebrate. The triumph of light over darkness symbolises the victory of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, truth over falsehood and hope over fear.

Diwali is an important festival for many of us. For some, it is a religious and spiritual celebration. It is also a special time for families and friends to celebrate together.

For Diaspora communities like ours, it is an opportunity to celebrate our Indian heritage and to showcase the beauty of Indian food, music, dance and attire to the rest of New Zealand. For new migrants, it is a welcome taste of home.

This year, Diwali will look a bit different as we all continue to work as a team to get vaccination numbers up so we can return to doing more of what we love while ensuring our community, especially those who cannot get vaccinated, are protected from Covid-19.

Thousands of people get together to celebrate Diwali throughout New Zealand (Auckland Diwali 2020 Photo)

I want to thank everyone who has already been vaccinated and contributed to our high vaccine numbers – and our Asian communities are doing well.

However, we need to keep going so I encourage anyone who has not yet had their 1st or 2nd dose, to talk to a medical professional or someone you trust so you can get vaccinated in time to enjoy summer – and so that we can celebrate together in person again soon.

However you choose to celebrate this year, I wish you and your family a very happy Diwali!

Priyanca Radhakrishnan is Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Community and Voluntary Sector and Youth.

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