Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): Sikhs in Victoria and around the world are celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji today.
Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab, commemorates the birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 gurus, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. To mark the auspicious occasion of his birthday today, buildings and landmarks around Melbourne will be lit in saffron tonight, including the Bolte Bridge, the Victorian Arts Centre, the Melbourne Museum and AAMI stadium.
Victoria is home to Australia’s largest Sikh community, and as part of our support the Andrews Labor government has delivered $200 000 in funding to assist Sikh organisations in Victoria to host local celebrations. Our Premier, the Honourable Daniel Andrews, shared a very touching message through his members statement, relating to the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. As mentioned by our Premier, the Sikh community have made significant contributions to Victoria, and they have assisted with making our state a better, fairer and more generous place to live. Guru Nanak’s teachings are as relevant today as they were centuries ago. Let us all be inspired by his teachings of unity, selflessness, equality and social justice.
Over the weekend I attended the Harmony Walk, Nagar Kirtan, and was delighted to see the community gather in huge numbers at the Treasury Gardens in Melbourne. It was an honour to celebrate this occasion with our vibrant community. To all Sikhs in Victoria and abroad I say, ‘Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurab di lakh lakh vadhai’. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.