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Community Speaks - Significance of Nagar Kirtan

Darpan News Desk, 12 Apr, 2018

    Vaisakhi Messages from the Community

    "The festival of Vaisakhi has a unique significance for the entire Indian community but the people of Punjab and the Sikh community in particular share a historically exceptional social and religious perspective with it," says Satbir Singh Cheema, CEO of PICS. Here's what a few noted members of the community shared with DARPAN about the significance of Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan. 
    “Vaisakhi diyan lakh lakh vadhaiyan – to all celebrating, Happy Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi is the harvest festival and marks the solar New Year as well as the establishment of Guru Granth Sahib ji as the eternal guide for the Sikh community. It is a time to come together and celebrate; to reflect on our values of fairness, respect and equality for all; and to give thanks for all we have and to pray for future prosperity. As a Canadian Sikh, I am proud to live in a country that is guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As our Prime Minister says, in Canada, diversity is our strength and for me, the Vaisakhi procession is a celebration of exactly that.” 
    – Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism
    “The festival of Vaisakhi has a unique significance for the entire Indian community but the people of Punjab and the Sikh community in particular share a historically exceptional social and religious perspective with it. Vaisakhi primarily signifies the festive mood of the farmer symbolized by exultation in anticipation of the opulence bestowed by an exuberant crop. A potent inclination of the cosmopolitan Indian diaspora towards nurturing a connection with the roots finds a global expression on this occasion evidenced by the cultural depiction through various evocative events and splendid parades organized in different parts of the world including here in Surrey and Vancouver.” 
    - Satbir Singh Cheema, CEO of PICS 
    “The celebration of Vaisakhi marks the birth of Khalsa and the progress of the teachings of Sikhism. While we celebrate these triumphs, it is also a moment to reflect on the progress that Canada has made to become a mosaic of equality and freedom and the contributions that Sikhs have made to this progress. The prosperity, vibrancy, and multiculturalism that identifies us in the world stems from Canada’s universal belief that are differences make us stronger, and Vaisakhi stands as a reminder of that strength, and the importance to preserve it. 
    - Sukh Dhaliwal, MP for Surrey-Newton
    “Vaiskahi is a time for our community to come together and celebrate. In addition to the religious significance, Vaisakhi parades form part of our social lives. It is so nice to see people of all ages come together and celebrate. Businesses and individuals come forward with donation, service and free meals. It showcases our culture of giving and sharing. All communities are welcome with open hearts and those are our core values. Let’s continue to love, share, give and welcome all. Happy Vaisakhi!” 

    – Sonia Virk, co-founder of Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers
    “The colours, the energy, the food (of course!)—the Vaisakhi parade is just a wonderful experience for all to share in. It is a chance to come together, celebrate our faith and our history, and embrace the diversity of our communities, our country. It is a time to be thankful for peace, joy and prosperity in our lives!”
    - Jati Sidhu, MP for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon
    “The Vaisakhi parades provide us with the ideal opportunity to share and celebrate the birth of Khalsa with the rest of the world. Other cultures, races and ethnicities can immerse themselves in our rituals and practices for a day, which provides them with greater insight and a deeper understanding of our religious roots and identity.” 

    - Kal Dosanjh, founder & CEO of Kids Play
    “The parade is a great way to celebrate our culture, spend time with our family, and pass on our traditions to the younger generations.” 

    - Anoop Virk, youth leader & co-founder of Project L.O.V.E   
    “Vaisakhi is a festival of harvest which has now come to mean much more than just that. It is a time to rejoice the accomplishments of the Sikh religion. In line with this festival the Sikhs living in Canada have now created the largest Vaisakhi parade outside of India. This is of immense significance as it shows the unity, peaceful harmony and love all the Sikh people have come to live by. It shows the unison that the people of this faith have. They are forever giving and have the worlds’ respect for that!” 

    – Mayur Arora, realtor & owner at One Flat Fee Realty
    “I have made attending the parade with my husband, Jeevan Khunkhun, and three children a priority. It is a wonderful celebration of Punjabi culture and Sikh values. We joyfully walk the parade route, meet old friends, make new ones, eat delicious food, and do some seva. Jeevan and I also help our children with a speech and presentation about Vaisakhi to their classrooms. It is inspiring to see other cultures learn from and embrace the powerful stories of courage and community.” 

    – Dr. Shimi Kang, psychiatrist & parenting author

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