"I hope the coming year brings all the blessings you wish for," says Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he extends Vaisakhi greetings to the Sikh community in Australia.
Vaisakhi is the most important festival in Punjab. It marks the annual harvest festival, as well as the birth of the Khalsa (the pure), in the Sikh religion. It is usually celebrated on April 13 or 14 every year.
Prime Minister greets the Sikh community on Vaisakhi:
Extending his 'warmest wishes' on the auspicious occasion, Mr Morrison took the opportunity to thank the Sikh community in Australia for their acts of "extraordinary generosity and selflessness" during the summer of bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Monday, the prime minister said Sikh communities could not observe this most important holiday with traditional splendour last year in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic, but "they chose to put family, neighbours, community and country first."
"It was in keeping with your community’s beliefs, character, and values," Mr Morrison said in his statement.
"During our Black Summer of bushfires, Sikh volunteers dropped everything and began cooking hot meals for bushfire-affected communities in Victoria.
"Likewise, when the pandemic hit, Sikh groups right across the nation leapt to the task of preparing and delivering food and groceries to international students, the elderly and the isolated," he said.
Here's the prime minister's full statement:
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