Divali Greetings by Minister Gadsby-Dolly at the 5th Sitting, 5th Session of the 11th Parliament

October 22, 2019

I wish to extend warm greetings to our Hindu community as well as the national population as we celebrate the inspiring and joyous occasion of Divali. There are several religious accounts associated with Divali, each carrying the same underlying principle that light, a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness, will always prevail over its negative counterparts. There is no other time in the Hindu calendar that rejuvenates the spiritual light in all of us, more than Divali. As one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most beloved festivals, Divali climaxes with thousands of earthen lamps or deeyas lighting the dark night, symbolising the ever popular message of light prevailing over darkness. As such, the message of Divali is a victory of self-knowledge and moderation. To celebrate Divali means to enjoy inner bliss, reduce our personal needs, light the lamp of wisdom in the community, and share our gifts with those in need. It is the occasion where citizens of this multi-ethnic society celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. So as we celebrate Divali, let us remember the significance of this important festival and its values and traditions. Let us keep foremost in our minds that it is these values that have made us truly blessed; a model to the world of how citizens holding vastly different ideologies can exist side by side in harmony. The blessing of unity and harmony of the many races sharing our shores must never be taken for granted. Ours is a nation of diversity and differences which form a divine tapestry that delights the creator. This principle message is especially relevant around this time of the year, and we, the leaders of this great nation, must through our actions, inspire light and positivity in the hearts of our communities. On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Shubh Divali to the Hindu Community and the wider citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago. May we always gravitate towards truth, wisdom and prosperity in each and every endeavour.

I thank you.