Canada government greets Canadian Tamils on Pongal Day

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 January 2010, 19:46 GMT]
The Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, on Thursday greeted Canadian Tamils on the occasion of Thai Pongkal festival. The Minister's usage of the term Canadian Tamils for the greetings, avoiding any 'imposed national identity' is noted with significance by the Tamil media circles in the diaspora. Pongkal is such a unique festival uniting global Tamils and at the same time transcending them beyond the confines of the identities of India and Sri Lanka.

Full text of the greetings from Minister Jason Kenney, PC, MP follows:

Greetings from the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings on this auspicious occasion of Thai Pongal. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Canadian Tamils for your contributions to a diverse and pluralistic Canada.

As Pongal marks the beginning of the harvest season and various traditional festivities take place, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect, give thanks and anticipate the many blessings and promises which the spring will bring. As Canadians, we are very fortunate to live in a country that values peace and stability – a country that embraces the many cultures of the world and finds great strength in its diversity. Canada is a great pluralistic success story and it is a unique cultural experience such as Thai Pongal that makes our success even greater.

As Thai Pongal is celebrated here in Canada and around the world in the spirit of gratitude, we as Canadians are able to share in the various traditions of our friends, family and neighbours. As Prime Minister Harper once said, "We are proud to live in a country that embraces the many cultures and religions of the world. Our Government considers diversity one of this country's greatest assets, and we are committed to strengthening both our pluralism and our national unity.”

Best wishes for hope, peace and an abundance of opportunity.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, MP
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

 

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