Year of India Celebration a success

By: Shaunna Grandish January, 2012

The Bright Colours of the Saskatchewan East Indian community were proudly on display this past year in celebration of culture and friendship between this province and India.

Over the course of this past year, there were over ten events – almost one event every month -- taking place around Regina in celebration of the Year of India in Canada 2011. Some of the main event highlights over the past year were: Fusion Dance, Writer’s festival, Puppet Dance Theatre, India in the Park and Bollywood musical Storm.

According to Renu Kapoor, chairperson, Year of India in Canada 2011, all the events showcasing east Indian culture, traditions, fashions and cuisine were well attended. “India in the Park was the biggest highlight and the evening ended with a grand display of fireworks. It also coincided with India’s Independence Day celebrations,” says Kapoor, which SaskCulture was a major sponsor.

“India and Canada share core democratic values and growing economic relationships,” says Kapoor. “2011 was declared the year of discovery between the two great countries to foster the bond of friendship, better understanding and economic ties.” The celebration enhanced opportunities to further social, cultural and economic power between Canada – and Saskatchewan in particular – and India. This was the main goal of having Year of India in Canada 2011, according to Kapoor.

Regina was one of only eight Canadian cities that were chosen by the High Commission of India in Canada to be honoured as a site for the Year of Indian in Canada 2011 celebrations. Along with displaying the economic and trade ties between Canada and India, the Year of India events showcased part of the multicultural fabric that makes up Saskatchewan.

“I believe celebration of multiculturalism is very essential in our lives regardless of caste, colour, creed, faith and ethnic background,” Kapoor says. “Multiculturalism is, who we are, what we have, and what we can become by sharing. We need to develop respect for our values.”

She adds that, peaceful co-existence and international understanding are the two main pillars of multiculturalism and because of this it teaches us how to live together peacefully and to have respect for each other’s values and cultures.

The India Canada Association of Saskatchewan was founded in 1975 on the main premise to promote social, cultural and educational understanding between East Indian community and other residents of this province. “The year-long celebrations in 2011 have made our association stronger and provided more visibility. We had many partners and sponsors who contributed to the success of the celebrations and promoted our organization and culture,” says Kapoor. The Association is also seeing a rise in membership with new immigrants settling in Regina and all over this province.

According to Kapoor, the City of Regina has also passed a motion embarking on an exciting initiative to twin the city with a sister city in India. “This is a bold statement about the City of Regina’s optimism, not only toward India’s growing economy, but also toward our shared governance structure,” remarks Kapoor.

“Our association’s future looks very promising!”

To learn more about the Indian Canada Association of Saskatchewan, please visit: