Feature address by Dr. the Honourable Lincoln Douglas, Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
On the occasion of Divali Celebrations 2012
Good evening. I am extremely pleased to be present at this Divali ceremony this evening. I feel honoured to share in the celebrations with you as we observe, yet again, this national holiday and religious festival.
I would like to especially acknowledge the individuals who extended the invitation to me.
The observance of the Festival of Lights is a deeply rooted tradition among members of the Hindu faith, not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but throughout India and other parts of the world.
Over time here in Trinidad and Tobago, however, we have witnessed how several aspects of the celebrations have been avidly supported by non-Hindus and non-Indians alike. Almost everyone I know has lit a deya at some point in their lives, and stood spellbound by the sheer beauty of the lights that dot the landscape of our country during the festival.
That alone, ladies and gentlemen, is testimony to our distinct leaning toward the values of respect and acceptance of all within our culturally diverse nation. They are just some of the positive attributes which have served us in good as we journeyed toward nationhood over the past fifty years or so.