I think this may be a bit of a controversial post however I think it’s one that needs to be addressed.
I’m sure some of you have seen/heard that there is a petition going around at the moment to make Eid and Diwali a public holiday. I’m sure some of you are thinking YES! Another public holiday! but is that enough reason to have two more public holidays??
Let’s just start with defining what a public holiday is; countries observing holidays based on events of significance to their history or can be a religious celebration.
As a Hindu, Diwali is important to me, it signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and the opportunity to spend time with family. But, do I think Diwali should be made a public holiday? No. I live in the UK, dominated by the Christian religion, our public holidays are significant to Christians and to the history of our country. Making Diwali and Eid a public means another two days of not trading, and with the state our economy has been in recent years, can we really afford to add two more public holidays to the equation? Not only that, what about people of other religions such as Buddhism who celebrate Vesak, celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death? Should that not be made a public holiday?
Allowing two faiths to declare their religious festival a public holiday in the UK can be deemed unfair to the other religions present in the UK.
However, I do feel that companies should allow their staff paid holiday to celebrate significant religious events, such as Eid and Diwali. Living in a country as diverse as the UK I respect all faiths and cultures, but we should also respect the origin of the country we live in, it’s history and religion.
This is just my opinion and does not mean I’m right, but I don’t believe that these religious festivals should be made a public holiday. If we start imposing changes because of religious beliefs, where do we stop?
I’d love to hear all your thoughts, so comment below!