Toronto to hold mini-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Nov 20, 2010: India will hold a mini-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas - a diaspora conclave - in Canada next year, the Indian high commissioner said here.
Announcing this at the delayed Diwali celebrations in the legislative assembly of Ontario province here Friday night, Indian High Commissioner S.M. Govai said Toronto will be the venue of the mini-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas next June.
"Apart from the mini-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here next year, a year-long festival of India will also be celebrated in Canada in 2011," he said.
The year-long festival, he said, will showcase the rich culture, cuisine, music, and traditional heritage of India to Canadians.
He said the million-strong Indo-Canadian community stands out in the 25 million global Indian diaspora for building India's bridges with the world.
Earlier, lighting the traditional lamp on the assembly premises, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty lauded the contribution of the Indian community to Canada in all walks of life.
Highlighting the accomplishments of his Indo-Canadian minister Harinder Takhar, who slogged for six years after coming to Canada in 1974 and then went to employ 400 people in his businesses, the premier praised the Indian community for enriching the diversity of Canada.
"In a highly competitive world, this diversity gives" Canada advantage over other nations, the premier said.
He said over 38,000 foreign students, including Indians, in his province are pumping $1.5 billion into the Canadian economy.
Referring to the next year's International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards which will be held in Toronto, McGuinty said proudly, "We are the first city in North America to hold these awards."
The premier, who has been twice to India to woo investment and sell green technology, said, "It is always great to travel to India."
Punjab-born Harinder Takhar, who as minister of government services is the first Indo-Canadian to become minister in Canada's most important province, thanked Canadians for embracing Indians and their culture, including festivals like Diwali, wholeheartedly.