With about 65% of the Sikh community residing in Canada I recently witnessed one of the most talked about Sikh Event in Canada which I have only heard of so far.
Yes, Nagar Kirtan, better known as Sikh Parade in entire Canada gets in own share of attention in this land of whites.
Thousands of Canadian Sikhs get together to celebrate their culture, walking in a huge procession from one Gurdwara to the other.
This year’s procession was in its 14th or 16th year and celebrated Baisakhi marking the initiation of Sikh followers. The procession comprised of the traditional dance, Gatka marshal arts, music and not to forget lots of free food. Who doesn’t love free food after all?
Be it the Sikh Canadians or the native Canadian, seems this events is a live example of prospering brotherhood as everyone comes to cooperate and support each other in any possible way they can in a country which is full of communities from across the world.
All dressed in the most glittering salwar kameez, as it seems to be one occasion that all have been waiting for, to get their most loved traditional attire out of their closets, which they hardly get a chance of.
Safforn turbans or bandanas on all males and dupattas on all women display the deep rooted respect towards the community even being far away from their original roots. However, the giggles and gossips in accented Punjabi, ensures you do not forget that you are not in Punjab.
This colourful parade provides tremendous insights into Sikh traditions with a potpourri of Punjabi music and traditional or religious hyms in the background.
While the parade might help you shed a few kilos the end of it might help you add a few additional kilos with the lip smacking free food being served at a Gurdwara. Quite traditional and routine keeping in mind the Sikh communities long standing tradition of Langar (serving free food). However in Canada it is with a twist, I will call it the Canadian way. A mix of Pizza, Burger, to Chole Bhature, Paneer Chawal, Jalebi to Halwa, to free cans of Coke, Sprite and many more.
Ensure you keep your apetite alive to experience the vast variety of traditional and modern cuisine laid out at its best.
While, my first Nagar Kirtan was a super hit experience on a bright, sunny and a pleasant day, I now eagerly wait for the next one.