Diversity and Equity

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

We are committed to celebrating the rich diversity of people in our community. We are guided by the principle that ebracing diversity enriches the lives of all people. We all share the responsibility for creating an equitable and inclusive community and for addressing discrimination in all forms.

Community Recreation Services works hard to build a welcoming and inclusive community.

We aim to:

  • Foster increased understanding of diverse cultures.
  • Work with and through Saanich's ethno-cultural groups.
  • Forge partnerships to create lifestyle programs and services. 

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Like many things this year, COVID changed the ability to celebrate significant cultural holidays within the community. Although there will be no gathering this year, there is a desire to recognize Diwali within the community.  The conversation led to a video project where community members recorded short video greetings which would be edited into a “community Diwali message” and shared on social media. We will continue to decorate recreation centres from November 1-5 as well.

Click here to view a compilation of greetings from members of the community for Diwali. A huge thanks to Dez, Parminder, Sri and Manish for all your help. 

Did you know?

The name of the festival comes from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning row of lights. Diwali is known as the 'festival of lights' because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called Diyas. These lamps, which are traditionally fueled by mustard oil, are placed in rows in windows, doors and outside buildings to decorate them. In towns in India (and in Britain) electric lights are often used in Diwali displays.

Diwali is also celebrated outside India mainly in Guyana, Fiji, Malaysia, Nepal, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Britain, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Africa, and Australia.

Hindus celebrate Diwali to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years exile and his victory over the demon king Ravana. It is believed that the people lit oil lamps along the way to light their path in the darkness.

Like Christmas in the West, Diwali is very much a time for buying and exchanging gifts. Traditionally sweets and dried fruit were very common gifts to exchange.

Diwali is also a traditional time to redecorate homes and buy new clothes. Diwali is also used to celebrate a successful harvest.

Diwali has one common theme no matter where people celebrate: it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair

Learn more about Diwali