Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been promoting religious harmony and participating in events ever since he took office. So it was no surprise when he performed Hindu ritual pooja at a temple in Toronto and shared how Canada values its “special relationship” with India.
Dressed in an emerald green kurta and crisp white pyjamas, the Canadian premier was accompanied by the spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan mandir, Mahant Swami Maharaj, Hindustan Times reported.
“The relationship between our two countries is truly a special one. It’s a relationship our government and our ministers both deeply value and actively cultivate,” Trudeau said at the event to celebrate the temple’s 10th anniversary, which was attended by more than 7,500 devotees.
He said he wanted to “recognise the importance of the bond between Canada and India. The more than one million Canadians of Indian origin have made countless contributions to our national fabric.” The event served as an outreach by the Canadian premier to the Hindu community in Canada.
“I myself have great memories of my many meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Trudeau, who recently met his Indian counterpart on the margins of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
When the temple was originally consecrated in 2007, the inauguration celebration had featured Trudeau’s predecessor Stephen Harper.
Trudeau, who started his remarks with ‘Jai Swaminarayan’ and then a ‘kemcho’, said the temple perfectly represents modern, diverse Canada.
Trudeau pointed out that the temple, which was constructed without the use of steel, was built “according to principles outlined in ancient Hindu scripture. It is without a doubt one of Canada’s architectural wonders with its intricate stone and wood carvings.”
The temple is considered Canada’s first traditional Hindu place of worship.