President Patel with his family celebrating Diwali.
I want to acknowledge that Vancouver Community College (VCC) is located on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples who have been stewards of this land from time immemorial.
The season of joy, festivities, bright colors and lights, snacks and sweets are here! Diwali, the festival of lights, (also known as Deepavali) is celebrated over a period of 5-day long festivities. According to ancient Hindu mythology, Diwali is celebrated in honour of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and brother Lakshman’s return to their home, Ayodhya, after defeating evil King Ravana. Upon his return, the entire kingdom was illuminated with festive diyas and lights.
Continuing this very tradition, people celebrate Diwali by decorating their houses with traditional diyas and candles and making sure every entrance is twinkling with lights. To share in the festive spirit, people also visit their family and dear friends, exchange sweets, gifts, and plan gatherings.
In my family, Diwali is one of the most awaited festivals of the year. I am privileged to live in a community which celebrates the diversity of our cultures and beliefs and honours our shared values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
At VCC, we are celebrating Diwali with our college community at both the Broadway and Downtown campuses on Monday, October 24 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Student Union of VCC and the International Education department are collaborating on a special event filled with interactive activities, traditional music, and, of course, delicious snacks and sweets. We encourage all students, staff, and community partners to take part in the festivities.
This year, I invite everyone to celebrate Diwali in the true sense by spreading joy and lighting up the world of others. On behalf of the college, I wish all students, faculty, staff and community a Happy Diwali. May the light of diyas fill your home with health, happiness, and success that brings you joy!
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College