Vancouver celebrates Vaisakhi with a hearty parade (with video, gallery)

Published: April 13, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Vancouver Vaisakhi parade

The annual Sikh Vaisakhi parade rolls through Vancouver, B.C. to the delight of thousands of onlookers and participants Saturday, April 13, 2013. Jason Payne/PNG

Always go hungry to a Vaisakhi parade.

Saturday’s Vancouver Vaisakhi parade — the annual celebration of the Punjab harvest time and the birthday of Sikhs (dating back to 1699) — went down in the festival’s trademark style: a slow-paced parade of trucks and floats from 20 different groups within the South Asian community, all alongside food tents and volunteers doling out delicious — and not to mention free — plates of hot meals and treats on every corner.

Pakoras, samosas, rice and curries, jalebi, chips and even pizza was available in endless amounts — there wasn’t an empty hand in the crowd.

Tens of thousands of people braved the damp and cool weather to enjoy the food and celebrations that spanned nearly 10 kilometres from the starting point at the Ross Street Temple, down Southwest Marine Drive, up Main Street to 49th Avenue, east to Fraser Street and back down south to the temple.

Douglas College student Jasleen Minhas took a break from studying for finals to take part in the event she attends every year.

“I have, like, two finals coming up this week and I’m skipping studying to come here,” she said excitedly as she scoped out the parade along Main Street. “That’s how important (Vaisakhi) is.”

Minhas chalks up the excitement to the equivalent of a New Year’s celebration for Sikhs.

“It’s basically the birthday of our religion,” she said.

And while the food is definitely a highlight for Minhas and friends, it’s still an event with big religious significance.

“It’s one way that I can stay intact with my religion, even though I am born here — it’s still something that keeps me rooted,” she said. “You don’t realize how many Indo-Canadians are here until you see this.”

Langara student Anamica Mehta agreed and said Vaisakhi is a way to keep the younger generation “in touch with our roots that are all the way in India — and our family’s heritage.”

But it’s also great to see those from different backgrounds getting involved, she said.

“It shows acceptance of how everyone can still participate in something that’s not maybe theirs,” she said. “And they can kind of learn about it, too.”

For Niranjan Garbe, who just moved to Vancouver in September from Pune, India, to study at the University of British Columbia, the Vaisakhi parade was a refreshing taste of home — even though he’s not Sikh.

“It ignites memories associated to the home country,” he said, adding that similar festivals take place in different states all across Punjab.

“It reminds me a lot of where I come from,” he said. “It’s nice.”

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Vancouver Vaisakhi 2013


Picture 1 of 25

Vaisakhi parade preparations get under way at the Ross St Temple with Capt Sidhu, Daljit Uppal , Kashmit Lasoda, Amarjit Rai and Sohan Singh Deo (l-r) in Vancouver, BC., April 11, 2013. (Nick Procaylo/PNG)

 


Tags: , , ,





Featured

MINOR ATACKED

Surrey RCMP to announce development in investigation into sexual attack on 9-year-old

VANCOUVER DESI Surrey RCMP plan to release “significant” details Tuesday afternoon on the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl six days ago. A press release…
Continue Reading »

kabaddi

Vancouver Lions win first match in World Kabaddi League, beat Sonakshi Sinha’s United Singhs

VANCOUVER DESI Man of the match : Gagandeep Singh Sabrawa (Vancouver Lions) Best Raider: Gagandeep Singh Sabrawa, Vancouver Lions (18 raids) Best Stopper: Sandeep Singh…
Continue Reading »

BEHEADING-MILITANTS-ISIS

Second beheading plunges Obama into top crisis

ARUN KUMAR IANS Washington – Just two weeks after beheading American photojournalist James Foley, the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation sent what it called…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

MINOR ATACKED

Surrey RCMP to announce development in investigation into sexual attack on 9-year-old

VANCOUVER DESI Surrey RCMP plan to release “significant” details Tuesday afternoon on the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl six days ago. A press release…
Continue Reading »

education

Gallery: Ten schools you need to see to believe

ASHLEY CSANADY CANADA.COM It’s back to school for kids across Canada on Tuesday — well, except in B.C., but they can still drool over these…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Gallery: Shreya Ghoshal, Shiamak’s dance team rocked Bollywood fans in Vancouver

VANCOUVER DESI Shreya Ghoshal, the singing sensation of Bollywood and Shiamak Davar’s dance team thrilled their fans with popular numbers and the latkas and matkas…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

education

Gallery: Ten schools you need to see to believe

ASHLEY CSANADY CANADA.COM It’s back to school for kids across Canada on Tuesday — well, except in B.C., but they can still drool over these…
Continue Reading »

carleton-university-phd-student-selvan-mohan-is-trying-to-ra

International student in Ottawa launches campaign to raise money for new prosthetic leg

MEGHAN HURLEY OTTAWA CITIZEN A Carleton University PhD student from Malaysia has launched a fundraising campaign to replace his worn-out prosthetic leg. Selvan Mohan, 24, was born without a…
Continue Reading »

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

India

Man proudly wears world’s largest turban weighing in at 100 pounds and 645 metres long unwrapped

VANCOUVER DESI A 60-year-old devout Sikh in northern India appears to be the proud owner of the world’s largest turban – weighing in at 100…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood sex

Gallery: Shreya Ghoshal, Shiamak’s dance team rocked Bollywood fans in Vancouver

VANCOUVER DESI Shreya Ghoshal, the singing sensation of Bollywood and Shiamak Davar’s dance team thrilled their fans with popular numbers and the latkas and matkas…
Continue Reading »

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Gallery: Top 10 Bollywood celebrities who own sports teams

VANCOUVER DESI India’s love for cricket and Bollywood is world famous. When you try and bring the two together, you find the Indian Premier League…
Continue Reading »

Ranbir Kapoor-sports

Ranbir Kapoor: Bollywood’s link with sports is great

IANS Mumbai – Actor Ranbir Kapoor, who has stakes in the Mumbai City Football Club (FC) franchise of the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament,…
Continue Reading »