Surrey’s desi community gets “Happy” (w/video)

Published: June 5, 2014

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey-based actress and model Mesha Toor got tired of seeing negative news stories associated with the South Asian community.

Surrey community video

Surrey’s desi community gets “Happy” with Pharrell William’s hit song. YouTube screenshot

“I just feel like there’s so much negativity going on — things like shootings and a lot of issues that we’ve been hearing in the news, violence against women things like that,” Toor told Vancouver Desi. “I was just kind of tired of seeing the repeat negative stuff.”

Those incidents and reports don’t accurately reflect the South Asian community across Metro Vancouver, she said, so she decided to rally people together to spread some much-needed positivity. And when she saw a YouTube video of a group of Muslims in Britain dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song Happy, she got the idea for #HappyVancouverDesi.

“I thought, you know what, why aren’t we doing this?” she said.

So she partnered with local videographer Adam Dosanjh of Triple7Films and dedicated three days to shooting members of the local South Asian community dancing, clapping and singing along to the song.

“We’re so focused on our own thing and weren’t really coming together, so I wanted to kind of change that,” said Toor. “I wanted to shed a more positive light — we are happy people, we’re a positive community making change and coming together.”

The video features local businesses and community members like Vancouver’s DJ A-SLAM, Surrey City councillor Barinder Rasode, Vancouver Miss Universe Canada contestant Mina Khtaria, Surrey pediatrican Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji and many others.

“I just basically wanted to spread happiness and create positivity in our community,” said Toor.

And it seems the video is doing just that, as it’s steadily gaining views since it was posted to YouTube Wednesday.

“Just working with everybody and kind of seeing them laugh — it did make me happy, because everybody was kind of letting loose and being silly,” said Toor.

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