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Plenty to celebrate in Burrows

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Here in Burrows, we are proud to be a very multi-ethnic community, and many of our cultures’ best-known celebrations take place as it gets colder.  

I am always delighted to participate in as many of these festivities and observances as I can.

Diwali kicked off the holiday season for many families in Burrows.  I was pleased to attend the 3rd annual Diwali Mela at Maples Collegiate last month. The 16 different performances by the students were all excellent. Diwali, celebrated in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, lauds the triumph of good over evil. It is called the "Festival of Lights" and is one of the most important festivals in these communities. I also attended a huge Diwali celebration organized by the Hindu Society of Manitoba with the Premier, The Maples MLA Mohinder Saran and many other of my MLA colleagues.

To start off observances of the New Year, Muslims marked Muharram on Nov. 5.  Recognition of the Islamic New Year often includes fasting, prayer and religious study.  For Filipino families, the Last Day of the Year is one big party! On Dec. 31, families host Media Noche, an elaborate midnight feast, to welcome the new year. In Philippine tradition, igniting firecrackers and making loud noises will drive away the previous year’s misfortunes. I always attend the Filipino New Year’s event, in addition to the Guyanese Association’s New Year’s Eve event and the Caribbean Council’s New Year’s celebration. It is a busy night!

It’s not until the very end of January, however, that Chinese-Manitobans and others will celebrate their Lunar New Year. While their festivities range quite a bit between cultures, a large family meal, firecrackers and giving gifts of money in red paper envelopes are common practices.

In January, many Eastern European groups mark Christmas and the New Year.  They traditionally celebrate these occasions 13 days after most, following the Julian calendar, which runs 13 days later than the standard Gregorian calendar.  So in Burrows, many families celebrate Christmas and New Year’s twice a year — in honour of both calendars!

Almost all parts of the world are represented in our neighbourhood, and this is just a small sample of the wonderful celebrations in Burrows . Learning about one another’s traditions and taking in diverse celebrations allows us to experience a part of every culture. This is the multicultural and accepting Burrows that we are so fortunate to be a part of.  

Thank you to our many community organizations for making Burrows a dynamic place to work, play and live. If there are upcoming events you would like to share with me, please give me a call at 204-421-9414. You can also keep up with me by visiting www.melaniewight.ca or www.facebook.com/melaniewightmla

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