Amid warm welcome and hospitality, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid obeisance at Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday.
Covering his head with a saffron-coloured cloth and wearing white kurta-pyjama, the visiting premier was accompanied by his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and two of his three children, who were also clad in traditional Punjabi outfits during the hour-long visit to the shrine.
The Canadian PM and his family tried rolling out rotis at the Guru Ram Das Jee Langar hall, where devotees do voluntary kitchen work for feeding visitors.
They greeted devotees with folded hands while scores of visitors could be seen holding up their mobile phones to take pictures and videos of the Trudeaus.
Later, the PM also visited world’s first partition museum in Amritsar hearing stories about displayed objects carried by people while they migrated in 1947.
The Prime Minister spent about 25 minutes in the Partition Museum. He visited the Gallery of Migration and heard stories of those days.
He also paused at the well installation in the Gallery of Divisions, dedicated to the women who were lost at the time of Partition.
He spent maximum time in the Gallery of Hope, which focuses on love and reconciliation.
He left a note on the Tree of Hope that the Museum is “a poignant reminder that dividing people is never the answer, we must learn to live together and love our differences”.
Mallika Ahluwalia, chief executive officer (CEO) and curator, Partition Museum, later said, “We are very grateful to PM Trudeau for visiting the Partition Museum.
As Canada has a vibrant Punjabi community, the Museum is very keen to record and include the stories of Punjabis settled there.”
During his meeting with the Canadian PM, Punjab chief minister Amrinder Singh presented him his own book Honour and Fidelity ~ World War I and History of Sikhs by Khushwant Singh.
He also presented a traditional Phulkari dupatta- an ethnic creation of Punjab’s famous weavers, and a shawl, to Trudeau’s wife. Amarinder Singh presented several gifts to the PM’s three children.
Meanwhile, Punjab police officials and Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) task force volunteers formed a security ring around the dignitaries.
Canadian security officials were also part of their security cover. Trudeau, along with a delegation of his ministers and MPs, reached the Golden Temple straight from the Amritsar international airport at around 11.55 a.m.