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

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

gambling-civic elections

Majority of Surrey mayoral candidates flat-out opposed to more casinos in the city

CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — Looking back at late 2012 and early 2013, the hot topic in Surrey was a controversial casino and entertainment…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA ATTACK-TERRORISM

Canadian Muslim groups denounce violence, brace for backlash following Ottawa rampage

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM Representatives of major Canadian Muslim groups gathered in Ottawa today to reiterate their denunciation of terrorism in the name of Islam…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper: Attack by ‘terrorist’ on Parliament Hill won’t weaken Canada’s resolve

JOAN BRYDEN THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA – The gunman who staged a deadly attack Wednesday on Parliament Hill was a terrorist whose despicable crime will…
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 »

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 »

India-weird news

Rudaali: India’s professional ‘weeping women’ demand higher pay

CEN AGENCY Professional mourners who are hired to turn up at people’s funerals in India, beat their breasts and wail, are going on strike for…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Narendra Modi to attend Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding?

HINDUSTAN TIMES If all goes as per plan, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi just might be attending the wedding of Salman Khan’s sister, Arpita Khan….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood kiss

Bollywood’s king of kisses Emraan Hashmi refuses to dance with the queen of sex Sunny Leone

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood’s serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has refused to share screen space with porn star-turned Bollywood-actress Sunny Leone, Indian tabloid Mid-Day reported. Hashmi, who…
Continue Reading »

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »