Canada Post’s new stamp celebrating Diwali was created with the help of a business owner with deep roots in Surrey.
Kamal Sharma was an advisor for the creation of the special rangoli-patterned stamp, which was designed by Seung Jai Paek.
The Diwali stamps and collectibles are available at canadapost.ca and post offices across Canada starting Oct. 19.
“Layers of symbolism are woven into the eye-catching rangoli pattern on this stamp heralding the arrival of Diwali on November 4,” the website notes. “A time to reflect, overcome negativity, and spread light and love, the five-day festival is observed by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and others around the world.”
A Vancouver resident, Sharma runs Surrey-based KVP Entertainers, which stages local concerts and produces television shows. He also operates the long-established Kamal’s Video Palace, on Scott Road.
“Canada Post asked me to be involved about six months ago, on an advisory board with other people across Canada,” Sharma told the Now-Leader. “It was quite an honour, and in return they acknowledged us on the stamp book cover.”
Sharma tweeted photos of the stamp and also posted on KVP Entertainers’ Facebook page.
“I’ve gotten such incredible response to the stamp, with hundreds of people complimenting it and congratulating me, saying it’s the most beautiful stamp ever,” Sharma said. “I think it’s very, very beautiful.”
Designer Paek layered the commemorative stamp’s rangoli pattern with meaning, and studied hundreds of rangolis before “devising this clever concept to convey the spirit of Diwali,” according to Canada Post.
“A lotus flower, symbolic of new beginnings, forms both the outline and inset of the rangoli,” the website notes. “A ring of heart-shaped lamps or diyas, commonly lit during the festival, expresses love and gratitude. In the centre, an Indian spice box called a masala dabba alludes to the food shared during Diwali. The rich golds in the design evoke a sense of wealth, while the stream of light in the background represents the gods illuminating the path to peace and prosperity.”
Rangolis are an important part of Diwali celebrations. Drawn on floors in entranceways, living rooms and courtyards using flower petals, coloured sand and other materials, these temporary works of art are traditionally created to invite Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune, into celebrants’ homes.
The new stamp is Canada Post’s third Diwali stamp since 2017. The first release was a joint issue with India Post.
The 2021 stamp is available in 10-stamp booklets with a print run of 80,000 booklets.
Canada Post’s 2020 Diwali stamp, designed by Entro Communications, featured a diya and a geometric background evocative of a traditional rangoli.