Punjabi culture deserves a Heritage Month in Canada, says Surrey MP

Published: June 12, 2013

Jasbir Sandhu, Surrey North MP, has tabled a private members’ bill to declare April Punjabi Heritage Month. PNG file photos.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

After 125 years in Canada, it’s about time the Punjabi culture is officially recognized, says a local Member of Parliament.

“They’ve made a significant contribution to Canada, so we solicited how can we highlight that,” said Surrey North MP Jasbir Sandhu, who tabled a private members’ bill to designate April as Punjabi Heritage Month. “We wanted to look at ways how you can recognize the art and culture.”

It was after consultations with communities across Canada – from Vancouver, Surrey, to Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto – that Sandhu came up with the heritage month.

“Suggestions came back from people that we needed a higher level — a federal level,” he said. “They needed a stage where they can showcase some of their arts, culture and heritage.”

And while declaring April as Punjabi Heritage Month comes at little cost, it allows the community to pull from existing funding to put on culturally relevant events.

“A lot of these guys they’re having difficulties just to rent a room to hold a meeting, or rent a room to do a little poetry gig with all the poets, or whether it’s bhangra or other forms of culture,” said Sandhu.

And it will provide a chance to highlight some of the young up-and-coming talent from the South Asian community — many who are from Canada.

“We have some of the best Punjabi writers in Canada … living in the Vancouver area,” said Sandhu. “Three or four top singers in Punjab are from the Lower Mainland, so there’s quite a bit of history that needs to be highlighted.”

“And these young artists and stuff they don’t get recognized anywhere, so this is another way of recognizing them at a federal level.”

And why did he choose the month of April?

“(It’s) the month when the South Asians got the right to vote, it’s Vaisakhi, it’s the beginning of summer, “ said Sandhu.

While he tabled the bill about two weeks ago, the decision may take up to a year to pass through the House.

Community members can support the initiative by visiting www.PunjabiHeritageMonth.ca and signing the online petition.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

Parliament hill

Soldier, gunman die in Ottawa rampage (w/photos, video) [updated]

A soldier has died after a string of shootings across downtown Ottawa that left at least two others wounded and a gunman dead. BLAIR CRAWFORD…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Soldier, gunman die in Ottawa rampage (w/photos, video) [updated]

A soldier has died after a string of shootings across downtown Ottawa that left at least two others wounded and a gunman dead. BLAIR CRAWFORD…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »

Priyanka Chopra

Why is Priyanka Chopra upset?

IANS Mumbai – Actress Priyanka Chopra had to cancel her pre-Diwali plans as she is down with an eye infection. And now she is fuming….
Continue Reading »