Chilliwack residents flock to support targeted restaurants

Published: March 8, 2013

 

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Sumit Gulati can finally feel at ease in the city he’s called home for the past three years.

Gulati, owner of Chilliwack’s The Bay Leaf Indian Buffet, spent most of last week afraid for his home and his family after he was attacked by an anonymous email filled with racial hatred suggesting his “people” should clear out because Chilliwack doesn’t “need folk from India and Surrey to pollute this city.”

His was one of three businesses to be targeted.

The email claimed it spoke “on behalf of citizens of Chilliwack.” Local residents have since proved it wrong.

Diners flowed in and out of Gulati’s restaurant on Vedder Street Friday to show their support in a cash mob organized by local residents Scott McVetty and Dale Johnson. (A cash mob is similar to a flash mob, but “without the singing and dancing” — it’s a “shop-local” initiative, but Friday’s was dual purposed to also show support of The Bay Leaf.)

“I really appreciate the Chilliwack people — they support me,” Gulati said, while taking a short break from his busy day. “I feel comfortable (now).”

Not only did Friday’s event put him at ease, but he’s been receiving phone calls, emails, letters and cards of support since the incident.

Chilliwack resident Marilyn Hornelle came in — to the restaurant she already eats at often — with the “whole family” to support the cash mob. Her granddaughter even helped serve.

Sumit (Lucky) Gulati and his wife Sonia were humbled by the Chilliwack community’s support after their business, the Bay Leaf Indian Buffet, was sent racial hate mail. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

“I feel sorry for the person who wrote (the letter),” Hornelle said as she finished her lunch. “(But) we’re not happy because that’s not the way people feel in Chilliwack . . . (there’s) no need for (that behaviour).”

Also sitting at Hornelle’s table was building owner Jagjit Toor who’s lived in Chilliwack for 32 years and owns several businesses across town.

“I love Chilliwack, the people are very good,” Toor said. “They’re behind us.”

Just a look around the bustling restaurant was telling enough.

“You can see it for yourself,” McVetty said, looking around the room. Johnson added:  “So far (Friday has been) above and beyond what we thought it would be.”

About a 10-minute drive away, Shandhar Hut on Young Road — the other restaurant victim to the racist attack — was just as busy and feeling the love.

“It’s been insane,” part-owner Paul Atti said. “It’s been one of those days that you won’t forget.”

His restaurant has been open for eight years, and Sunday’s hateful letter was the first he’d ever received.

“The Chilliwack community just responded beyond what we thought was going to happen,” he said. “There was a line-up all the way out the door for us … all the tables were packed — take-out was flying. It looked like a Friday night for us.”

The anonymous emailer sent messages apologizing to the businesses on Monday, but RCMP continue to investigate the case.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute






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 »