On behalf of my family, and the United National Congress, I wish to extend a warm Shubh Diwali to all of Trinidad and Tobago.
This Diwali celebration is of course a unique one. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, we cannot celebrate with our friends and family as we normally would. The pandemic and the needed measures it has brought with it, is inflicting further hardships on millions of people across the world, and here in Trinidad and Tobago, thousands have been adversely affected.
I would like to pay a special tribute to the hard-working medical personnel and other frontline workers who have been battling this virus and who have been our bravest heroes this year. It is due to the hard work of these frontline workers, and the discipline of our citizens, that this virus will ultimately be defeated.
Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama and his wife, Sita, after living in exile for fourteen years. Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, was marked with rows of deyas to dispel the darkness of the darkest night of the year.
We can all take inspiration in the story of Lord Rama and Sita. It is a story of good conquering evil and the triumph of light over darkness. But it is also a tale of hope and sacrifice.
Right now, in Trinidad and Tobago, it is an especially dark time for many of us, and we are being called upon to make sacrifices, but like Lord Rama and Sita we must face these challenges head-on and with courage.
If there is any good that has come out of these past few difficult months it is the reminder that the greatest joys in life are the simple pleasures, we may take for granted. It’s an afternoon walk with a loved one. The Friday lime with friends. Or just the joy of a son or daughter returning home for a short visit while studying abroad.
It is these ordinary moments that make our lives magical. They say we are living in the “new normal”. That is perhaps true. But let’s not make the new normal not just about remembering to wash your hands. I believe we should make the new normal also about remembering to place the highest value on the things in life that truly matter: family and time spent with our loved ones.
As we continue to navigate our new reality, it is now more important than ever that we unite, and work together to create the future that we want for the next generations.
This Diwali, it is my hope that Mother Lakshmi bless us with prosperity, peace, and happiness.
On behalf of my family to yours; Shubh Diwali Trinidad and Tobago.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
14th November, 2020