TORONTO: Indian-origin MP Chandra Arya marked Canada’s first Hindu Heritage Month beginning frorm November to acknowledge and celebrate contributions made by Hindus to make the country strong and prosperous.
The Canadian House of Commons had passed a unanimous resolution moved by Arya earlier this year to have November proclaimed as the Hindu Heritage Month. “Today I marked the historic beginning of Canada’s national Hindu Heritage Month by raising a flag with Hindu sacred symbol ‘Aum’ on parliament hill,” Arya, MP from the ruling Liberal Party representing Nepean in the Ottawa area, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.
“HHM (Hindu Heritage Month) provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of 830,000 Hindu-Canadians to our country & of Hindu Heritage to mankind.”
According to Arya, members of the Hindu community started coming to Canada 100 years ago. The community has people who migrated from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Southeast Asia and even Africa. According to Statistics Canada, as reported in the 2021 Census, Hindus rose from 1.0 per cent to 2.3 per cent (close to 830,000 people) of total Canadian population from 2001 to 2021.
Hindus now comprise 4.1 per cent of the Ontario population. “This November marks the first federally recognized Hindu Heritage Month. Canada is home to over 830,000 Hindus who make immense contributions to the fabric of our country. I wish you all a Happy Hindu Heritage Month!” Anita Anand, the Indo-Canadian MP for Oakville and Minister of National Defence, tweeted.
The celebration comes months after a series of verbal and physical attacks on Hindus and their properties in the North American nation.
Arya has been a vocal critic of hate crime incidents targeting Indians, and has strongly criticised instances of vandalism at the Hindu temples, as well as desecration of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the country.
“From building institutions to being philanthropists, Hindu Canadians have excelled in all services and sectors and in all walks of life,” Arya had said, moving the motion in Parliament to get November declared as Hindu Heritage Month. In Canada, the month of May is observed as Canadian Jewish Month, October is observed as Canadian Islamic Historic Month, and April is celebrated as Sikh Heritage Month.