Whilst India’s government continues to grapple with questions surrounding the use of regional languages, the Canadian parliament witnessed a historical moment this week as MP Chandra Arya delivered a speech in his native tongue, Kannada.

“This is the first time Kannada is spoken in any parliament in the world outside of India,” explained Arya in a tweet. The Trudeau-allied Liberal Party MP, who represents the district of Nepean in Canada’s capital city Ottawa, thanked the parliament for their strong show of support and inclusivity, something several governments the world over could learn from.

“It is a matter of pride for 5 crore Kannadigas that a Canadian MP from Sira taluk of Karnataka’s Tumakuru district is speaking in Kannada,” he stated, referring to his home district on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Arya capped off his speech with a few lines from 20th century Kannada poet Kuvempu. “Elladare iru, enthadaru iru, nee Kannadavagiru”, he said, which translates to: “Wherever you are, however you are, always be a Kannadiga”.

The MP’s words touched millions of Kannadigas around the world, and plenty of support and appreciation poured in since his video went viral:

According to Hindustan Times, Chandra has a strong background in social work for immigrants: he is on the board of Invest Ottawa Unity Non-Profit Housing Corporation Ottawa and was the Vice President of Ottawa Community Immigrants Services Organization. He is also the Chair of Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber and founder-director of Federation of Canadian Brazilian Businesses.

(Featured Image Credits: @AryaCanada/Twitter, https://chandraarya.liberal.ca/)