Saturday, April 15, 2006


Today I had the fun of walking in the Vaisaikhi Parade in Surrey. Vaisaikhi is one of the larges Indian celebrations that takes place here in the lower mainland. Somewhere around 90,000 people from all over the province as well as some from the US come here to celebrate in the various parades that take place in various Indo Canadian communities here. I can not tell you how many took part in just the one parade that I was in today, but it was in the thousands! For miles all you could see was a sea of happy faces and bright turbans and colorful ladies suits.. Unlike western parades, people do not stand neatly on the sidelines watching an orderly procession. On the contrary, the parade, by caucasion standards, is total confusion and the people who one would think should be watching the parade are busy dishing up free platters of roti and curried chickpeas, samosas,pakoras,chips, soda pop, fruit juice, ice cream and well... just about anything you can think of. Meanwhile the people in the parade slowly make their way along the route while gorging on all this food! The parade ends in as much chaos as it started in a school field where everyone who is anyone from around the province are invited to get up on the podium and speak. The cold wet weather did not seem to dampen the excitement for anyone and everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their face. Next year I am not going to eat breakfast before I go!

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