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Wishing the VCC community a joyful Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas

Posted on November 8, 2023

VCC President Ajay Patel and family
VCC President, Ajay Patel and family at Diwali festivities

Dear VCC community, 

Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas are celebrations are upon us again, and a testament to the richness of our region’s South Asian cultures.  

Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Beyond its vibrant celebrations, Diwali embodies a universal message of hope, resilience, and the strength and beauty in unity.

Bandi Chhor Divas commemorates the victory of the Sikh freedom struggle in the 18th century for the betterment of human society and, symbolizes freedom and justice for all.

In both festivals the diyas—a special oil lamp used in both celebrations—shine as symbols of hope amidst challenges, strengthening our resolve to come together, understand, and pave a path forward filled with mutual understanding, inclusivity, and boundless potential.

From my own Gujrati heritage, I've witnessed how both festivals transcends boundaries—bringing together people from diverse backgrounds in a shared spirit of celebration. At Vancouver Community College, we deeply value equity, diversity, and inclusion, and I believe festivals like Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas remind us of the strength found in our collective differences.

As my family and I light our diyas, each one becomes a testament to hope. Every gift we give tells a story of love, and the laughter over shared meals echoes our spirit of togetherness. And while the scent of festive meals and the sounds of celebration fill our homes, we must also pause and listen to the silent calls of those less fortunate. The essence of both festivals is not just in the grandeur of celebrations but in the simple acts of kindness, in sharing what we have, and in lighting up the lives of others.

Let the spirit of Bandi Chhor Divas and Diwali guide us in fostering environments where every voice is heard, every culture is celebrated, and every individual finds a place of belonging. Our actions, no matter how small, can paint a brighter future and bring the spirit of both festivals to every corner of our community.

From my family to yours, I wish you all a joyful Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.

Celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas with VCC! SUVCC and VCC’s International Education department are hosting a fun-filled celebration with interactive activities, traditional music, and, of course, delicious snacks and sweets. All students, staff, and community partners are welcome. November 14 at the Broadway campus and November 15 at the Downtown campus.