BC NDP’s Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, was elected as the MLA for Vernon-Monashee in the Oct. 24 provincial election. (Black Press - file photo)

BC NDP’s Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, was elected as the MLA for Vernon-Monashee in the Oct. 24 provincial election. (Black Press - file photo)

VIDEO: Vernon-Monashee MLA encourages safe Diwali celebrations

Harwinder Sandhu reminds people to “keep circles small” while celebrating the Festival of Lights this year

Vernon-Monashee’s newly minted MLA is encouraging residents to have a happy, and safe, Diwali 2020.

Harwinder Sandhu, elected to the Victoria Legislature in B.C.’s snap election, shared a video to Facebook to mark the Indian festival of lights, which is being celebrated around the world today (Nov. 14).

“I would like to wish happy Diwali to everyone who is celebrating Diwali today,” said Sandhu, who was born in India before moving to Canada in 2001.

Diwali usually falls in either October or November, as its date is based on the Hindu lunar calendar. It celebrates victory of good over evil, light over darkness. The festival typically involves gatherings in homes or banquet halls, with food, candles and people in abundance.

In keeping with public health recommendations around large gatherings during B.C.’s second wave of COVID-19, the Vernon registered nurse implored those celebrating to keep festivities small this year.

“I request you all to please celebrate Diwali safely this year by keeping your circles small,” she said. “Be safe, keep others safe and once again, happy Diwali.”

There appear to be fewer Diwali events taking place in the local area this year, but Okanagan College (OC) is holding a virtual light-up contest to mark the Hindu festival. Students at OC campuses in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke Centre can illuminate their home with candles and submit a photo to kelownarec@okanagan.bc.ca until Nov. 16 for a chance to win a gift certificate.

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: Sandhu wins Vernon-Monashee riding

READ MORE: New Canada Post stamp celebrates Diwali, festival of lights


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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