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Diwali celebrated at Saik’uz First Nation

Chief Mueller said its important to learn and respect everyone’s cultural heritage
Roohi Talwar, right, with Chief Priscilla Mueller during Diwali celebrations in Saik’uz on Nov. 4, 2021. (Photo submitted by Ashish Talwar)

A Vanderhoof resident and his family celebrated Diwali with Saik’uz First Nation this year.

Diwali is the festival of lights and is one of the biggest and most important holidays of the year for Indians. The festival symbolizes the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus, as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. Diwali is celebrated over five days and every day has its own importance.

Ashish Talwar, director of Talwar’s Hygiene First Cleaning Services Ltd. and his friends, family, cherish the idea of celebrating Diwali with members of the community.

This year, the Talwar’s reached out to Saik’uz First Nation, to share the festival with the Indigenous community.

He said the idea to share the culture with the band office was to give respect to the people “whose land we live, love, laugh and care on.”

“A beautiful blend where east meets west,” Talwar said.

The Talwar’s did henna for band members, along with rangoli decoration, and distributed traditional Indian sweets on Nov. 4.

Saik’uz Chief Priscilla Mueller said she had a great time.

“It brought a really good atmosphere in the room. And I really appreciate that we had the chance to learn about somebody else’s culture. It was a beautiful experience, and I really enjoyed myself. I needed that,” Mueller said.

The Talwar’s have celebrated Diwali in Vanderhoof in previous years, and have hosted the Mayor and other local dignitaries in an effort to share Indian culture with the community.

Aman Parhar
Editor - Vanderhoof Omineca Express, Caledonia Courier

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Henna done for Saik’uz band members on Nov. 4. Henna is a powder derived from crushing the leaves of the henna plant. Other than its use for adornment, in India henna is used for multiple purposes. Its a cooling agent during summer; used to treat various types of skin issues; and can be used as a hair dye as well, amongst a list of other uses henna has. (Photo submitted by Ashish Talwar)
Chief Priscilla Mueller getting henna on her hands by Roohi Talwar. (Photo submitted by Ashish Talwar)