Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vaisakhi a time to celebrate and give

Vaisakhi celebrated world wide with colour &pagentry

Now that the Times of India Film Awards are a wrap in Vancouver the next big celebration that awaits the South Asian community is Vaisakhi, which is around the corner.
The colourful festival is celebrated across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially in the Punjab region and across the globe by the Sikh community. For Sikh's this season commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa.
Vaisakhi has great significance for the Sikhs, due of the fact that in the year 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa, that is the Order of the Pure Ones.
This day is especially important to the farmers whereby they pay tribute thanking God for the abundant harvest and also praying for future prosperity.
According to the Surrey Khalsa Day Parade website ". . . around 1650, the Punjab region was in vast turmoil; the rulers were corrupt and there was no rule of law and rights for the common people were nonexistent . . ."
"The weak suffered constantly and quietly; there was misery everywhere.
"It was under these circumstances that Guru Gobind Singh rose to the occasion and chose to create the Khalsa.
"The Guru was looking for people within the community who would take on the challenge and rise above the weakness, to be strong and fearless, to be prepared to face these challenges without reservation and to uphold justice, to be fair and even handed at all times; to be prepared to die for the truth."
All of these being the founding principles of Sikhism.
Vaisakhi is usually celebrated between April 13-14 depending on which region you are in the world.
An estimated 200,000 people come out annually to participate in one of the largest family events in Western Canada - the Surrey Vaisakhi parade, which has been held for the past 12 years and is currently one of the largest Vaisakhi parades outside of India.
In Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association is hosting its 26th annual Vaisakhi luncheon today at Abbotsford Banquet Hall, 33738 Laurel St., starting at noon.
This is a free event which includes a vegetarian luncheon and is always well represented by the mainstream community.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji from Surrey.
- Kulwinder (Ken) Herar writes about community diversity in Abbotsford and Mission. Contact him at