Today is the Hindu festival of lights celebrating the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. Happy Diwali!
Every year, people gather with friends or family to celebrate this celebration, which usually lasts for a few days. Sometimes during the festival, we light candles, share good food and give gifts to each other.
I celebrated Diwali this weekend with my friend Jadinder, a young Punjabi man who came to Canada three years ago, and it really felt like Christmas. Her apartment was full of love, the atmosphere was warm and everyone was happy to see and talk to each other.
As laughter erupted among the guests, between two mouthfuls of puri, Indian roti, I realized one thing: open up to other cultures and finally realize that we are not so different.
Not everyone is lucky enough to get a friend from India. A few years ago my friend Jatinder allowed me to open up a new culture that I didn’t know about.
He spoke to me at length about his religion, Hinduism, which allows him to stay connected to his values even while living in a place different from his country of birth. I went with him to several Indian shops in Montreal to buy perfumes from his country. I tasted his various spicy dishes. Every time he introduces me to a part of his culture, my eyes light up.
A country like Canada, a province like Quebec, has every interest in welcoming these immigrants with open arms.
Because all Quebecers deserve a friend like Jatinder: another friend who speaks the same language as the heart.
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