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Colourful Sikh Parade takes over streets of Martindale
Published Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:40PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 12, 2018 6:40PM MDT
Community volunteers worked together to put on the Vaisakhi Parade on Saturday in the city’s northeast and thousands of people came out to enjoy the beautiful weather and learn a little about the Sikh culture.
The Sikh Parade in Martindale is organized by the Dashmesh Culture Centre every year and people from all cultures and communities are invited to take part in the celebrations.
“This is the day we celebrate equality and freedom and justice for all,” said Gurmeet Bhatia, event organizer.
The Sikh community says Nagar Kirtan is an opportunity to introduce others to their culture and traditions and to celebrate Calgary’s diversity.
“Basically, it’s walking around the community, singing and creating that good vibe and spirituality for everyone,” said Bhatia. “It’s a great day to enjoy it. You’ll learn more about the Sikh community, you’ll learn about the religion, history as well as there’s martial arts you can look at and there’s free food and we’re also collecting money for the Calgary Food Bank.”
The parade attracts thousands of people and is considered to be the second largest parade in the city, after the Stampede Parade.
“In the past we’ve had about 60,000 people attending it and I bet we are kind of close to that number, maybe a bit higher,” said Bhatia. “There’s a great amount of work that goes into planning it, a great number of city, fire, all of those first responders working with us to plan this big event and a lot of community support.”
Calgary has the third largest Sikh population in Canada.
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