Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Punjab Day spotlights East Indian culture

  • Print
The dance group Hollywood Bhangra performs on the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks during Punjab Day festivities Sunday.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

The dance group Hollywood Bhangra performs on the Scotiabank Stage at The Forks during Punjab Day festivities Sunday. Photo Store

A Punjab celebration with performances from local and travelling musicians, singers and dancers drew hundreds of Punjabi families in their traditional folk costumes Sunday to The Forks.

The event, called the Punjab Day Mela, served as the first public debut for an annual celebration that previously was held in schools or community centers and catered mainly to immigrants and their families of East Indian heritage.

"The main raison for it is to put a spotlight on our culture," said event organizer Ricky Brar. "Even the pizza has a kick to it," he laughed. "The main message is that it is a large community and we are all united and we’re showing that by coming out today," Brar said. The public debut also gives Winnipeggers with no connection to the culture a chance to see it being celebrated, he added.

Brar said he was delighted to see entire families come out, dressed in their traditional clothes and settling in for a day of celebration at The Forks with grandparents, mothers and children.

"Nothing like this as ever happened in our community before," Brar said.

The Punjabi/Hindi community is estimated to number 40,000 people in Winnipeg.

Brar and the drivers with his business, the Hollywood Limousine Service, spent months learning the steps of a Bhangra dance to perform Sunday. Bhangra is a traditional set of folk dances that originated in the Indian subcontinent to celebrate the harvest.

Many other acts were performed by professional dance troupes that travel Canada’s highways every summer to similar events, which is one reason the event is separate from Folklorama, the city’s summer festival for multiculturalism.

Dozens of performances were showcased at the Scotia Main Stage at The Forks Sunday. The event started with traditional prayers at 10 a.m. and was due to wrap up after 8:30 p.m.

In addition to Punjabi/Hindi music, dances and songs, there were performances scheduled by Caribbean, First Nation and Filipino dance groups.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The Whiteboard - Jets' 5-on-3 penalty kill

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

With the Canadian junior team off to such a great start, will you be watching the World junior hockey championship?

View Results

Ads by Google