Canadian Prime Minister Celebrates 10 Years in Power With Visit to Sikh Temple

October 25, 2003

Source: Brunswick News

On October 25, 2003 the Brunswick News ran a CP World News article that reported, "[Canadian Prime Minister] Jean Chretien took off his shoes, wrapped his head in a Sikh ceremonial kerchief and celebrated a political anniversary Saturday he won't soon forget. Chretien marked a decade in power by celebrating an Indian holiday [Diwali] in [the Golden Temple in Amritsar - the holiest site in Sikhism] with tens of thousands of locals struggling to touch him or just get a glimpse... the bare-footed prime minister later hopped into a car and told advisers he couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate his 10th anniversary since taking power on Oct. 25, 1993...a local government authority called the moment an expression of the close ties between Canada and the Indian region of Punjab. The proportion of Sikhs living in Canada - 600,000, or two per cent of the national population - is about the same as the percentage of Sikhs living in India, where two per cent of one billion residents, or 25 million people, adhere to the faith."