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, MLA Radisson
June 6, 2013

Vaisakhi Mela

Mr. Speaker, every April, people throughout the world gather to enjoy one of the most important holidays in the Sikh religion, Vaisakhi. Through festival activities, the community celebrates the new year and the new harvest. On Vaisakhi Day in 1699, the tenth and last living guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, who was born in the state of Bihar which is also my birth state, laid down the foundation of the Khalsa Panth.

This year’s Vaisakhi celebrations were held at the Burton Cummings Theatre. I was pleased to join the Premier, my colleague the member for Concordia and the 800 guests who participated in Vaisakhi Mela. Organized by Punjab Entertainment and MC’d by Sharon Tappia, the evening was full of excitement and fun. The program began with rejoicing through song and dance. During this time, the Maples Collegiate girls group performed the festive dance gidha, and the Maples Bhangra, Shere-Punjab and Anmol Tare performed the folk dance bhangra. Also among the night’s performers were Mahi Arora and her group, Devinder Sarangal and Anmol Jammu.

For the second half of the program, Gurchet Chitrakar and his team took to the stage in the comedic play titled, “Jija Ji NRI.” Gurchet Chitrakar and his team traveled from India to present their play to audiences across Canada and Winnipeg was one of those lucky locations. The play was humourous and educational, helping to bring to light many serious social issues occurring in India in an approachable way.

Mr. Speaker, the Vaisakhi Mela at the Burton Cummings Theatre was full of joy and laughter. I’m pleased that people from all walks of life and many different cultures were able to come together in celebration of this cultural tradition. I would like to congratulate all performers and organizers of the event. In particular, I would like to mention Ken Rakhra, Harkamal Saggi, Tony Panchhi and the many others who volunteered their time to make Vaisakhi Mela such a success.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.