January is celebrated as Tamil Heritage Month 2019 in Canada. Various events and programs are organised promoting Tamil cultures and traditions in the country. The Canadian Parliament voted to designate January as Tamil Heritage Month in October 2016. January was chosen, as Pongal, the Tamil harvest festival falls in the same month. Tamil community officially celebrated January as Tamil Heritage Month for the first time in Canada. Dances, music, cultural exhibitions, fashion shows, networking opportunities and other programs are held throughout the month.
Canada declared January as Tamil Heritage Month after different municipalities in the country including Mississauga, Durham, Ottawa, Toronto, Markham, Ajax and Pickering, as well as the Toronto District School Board and Province of Ontario declared January as Tamil Heritage Month. Pongal 2019 Calendar: Know Dates And Significance of the Harvest Festival Celebrated in Tamil Nadu.
While passing the motion, the Canadian Parliament said it is to "recognise the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of Tamil language and culture, and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Tamil heritage for future generations by declaring January, every year, Tamil Heritage Month."
Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park had said, "This is a historical milestone that recognizes the incredible contributions of Tamil-Canadians to our society and the richness of the language, heritage and culture from coast to coast to coast."
Earlier this month, Canadian Minister Pablo Rodríguez while wishing the Tamil diaspora said, "Canada is home to one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world. Adopted unanimously by Parliament in 2016, Tamil Heritage Month provides Canadians with a great opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contributions of Tamil Canadians that have enriched Canada's social, cultural, economic and political fabric."
He added saying, "This January, let us all draw inspiration from the strength and resilience of the Tamil community. Their stories of courage in the face of adversity are truly inspiring. As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, I invite all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn more about the Tamil community in Canada and celebrate their culture. Happy Tamil Heritage Month!"