University

Topics: Singapore, Diwali, India Pages: 3 (850 words) Published: August 19, 2013
SPEECH BY MR THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM, MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, AT DEEPAVALI LIGHT UP SWITCH-ON CEREMONY ON FRIDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2004, AT 7.00 PM

Mr Heng Chee How,
Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and
Mayor, Central Singapore CDC
Mr Lim Neo Chian,
Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board Mr V R Nathan,
Chairman, Hindu Endowments Board
Dr Uma Rajan,
Adviser, Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good evening.
 
1.      It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening at the 2004 Deepavali Light Up Switch-on Ceremony. 2.      Deepavali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over dark.  The slaying of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna is commonly cited as the origin of the Festival of Lights.  But the values and principles that Hindus affirm when they commemorate Deepavali are of relevance to all peoples.  They have much in common with the values promoted by our other religions in Singapore. 3.      Further, Deepavali has become an occasion for social togertheness, both within the Hindu community and between neighbours and friends of all races and religions in Singapore.  Friends from other races are often invited to the homes of Indian Singaporeans to share in the joyous atmosphere. 4.      This evening’s occasion is indeed one way in which we come together as a multi-ethnic community to celebrate the Festival of Lights.  During the Candle Lights Procession each year, it is not unusual to see individuals from various ethnic groups walk together in procession, bearing lights for peace and unity. 5.      This is the sixth year that the Deepavali Light-Up is being held.  In an effort to bring the joy of the Festival of Lights to Little India, for both Singaporeans and tourists, many new initiatives have been planned.  Gracing the festivities for the first time is the colourful and vibrant “Utsav”, a street procession showcasing an array of ethnic dances...
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