OTTAWA: The first ever Holi celebrations at the parliament complex here took place on Thursday with a number of parliamentarians joining members of the Indo-Canadian community to play the festival of colour.The event – an initiative of Chandra Arya, a liberal MP with his roots in Karnataka – was organised with the support of the High Commission of India and was attended by over 300 people. The venue was decorated with Indian motifs and Holi visuals and the guests were adorned with Holi colours upon their arrival. A message of spreading friendship and love from Canada PM Justin Trudeau was read by MP Ramesh Sangha, shortly after a peace-incantation by a priest from the local Durga temple here. “(Holi is)… an opportunity to renew friendships and celebrate peace, but it is also a time to reflect on traditional notions of good and evil, and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness,” read the message from PM Trudeau.
Indian High Commissioner Vishnu Prakash also spoke of friendship, love and harmony, while explaining how Holi is played by 1.3 billion Indians regardless of age, gender, caste and religion.
The evening’s main highlight was a dance-drama based on the origin of the festival and it was followed by a reception where guests enjoyed popular Indian dishes.
Melanie Joly, minister of heritage, was also amongst the guests here and took the opportunity to commend the contribution of the Indo-Canadian community in enriching the socio-economic vitality of multi-cultural Canada.