The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is proud to recognize Hindu Heritage Month during the month of November as the Board of Trustees voted to pass a motion in April 2018 to mark this time. On December 8th, 2016, the Province of Ontario passed the Hindu Heritage Month Act by declaring that the month of November in each year is proclaimed as Hindu Heritage Month.
The Hindu Heritage Month Act states, Ontario is home to a large and vibrant Hindu community. Since the first Hindu immigrants arrived in Canada at the beginning of the 20th century, Hindu Canadians from across Ontario have made significant contributions across all fields: science, education, medicine, law, politics, business, culture and sports. Hindu Canadians have helped build Ontario into the multicultural success story that it is and have helped to build this province into the best place to live, work and raise families. They continue to help foster growth, prosperity and innovation throughout Ontario. Hinduism is one of the oldest living religions which have flourished for over 10,000 years. It is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the rich tapestry of traditions, teachings and values that are integral to Hinduism and practiced by millions around the world today. November is an opportunity to celebrate the Hindu way of life, examine its impact and contributions to the world culture, and recognize values which promote compassion, tolerance, and inclusion.
The theme this year selected by the TDSB Hindu Heritage Month Volunteer Planning Committee is Sri Rama: Epitome of love, compassion, duty, and service. Sri Rama, who lived thousands of years ago, was the 7th avatar or reincarnation of Vishnu. Rama is known as Maryada Purushottam, or a man of perfection who took birth as a human to rid the world of some evil forces who were disturbing the peace. Rama was the ideal son, ideal husband, ideal brother, ideal friend and above all the ideal king. Rama, along with his wife, Sita, are role models for how to live life full of love, compassion, duty and service. The Ramayana, the story of Rama’s life, is a great Hindu epic representing the rich cultural heritage of India. The Ramayana is also celebrated across Asia – in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Japan and China as a social and cultural icon. For Hindus the word ‘Rama’ is a mantra (a sacred chant) and ‘Rama Rama’ is a common greeting, instead of ‘Hello!’.
We are excited to share the winning images from our Hindu Heritage Month Poster Contest that was held during the month of October where all students across the system were invited to participate. We’re also delighted to share with you a video on the Ramayana.
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