A Recap of our South Asian Cultural Heritage Fest

The South Asian Cultural Heritage (https://lnkd.in/gyZ5P2yn) Fest was born from a simple bedtime routine with my children. During one of our conversations, I realized my 9-year-old had no idea where Assam or Bengal is. Despite frequent trips back home, she was unsure of her true identity, who she was, and where she had come from.  She questioned everything from textiles to languages to whether culture actually shapes identity.

https://monvoyage.in/cultural-heritage-fest/?_gl=1*1sqv9od*_gcl_au*MTU0NjQ5OTgwNy4xNzEzMjczMjQ2*_ga*OTg5NTkxMzc1LjE3MDUwMDQ4NDI.*_ga_TF7DEY3Q5J*MTcxNjk1MTM2MS4zNS4xLjE3MTY5NTI4MDQuNjAuMC4w

There are many India’s within India, each with its own unique culture, language, and traditions. My child, being raised here in Canada, was absolutely clueless about this diversity. She often spoke about inclusivity, diversity, and heritage (thanks to her school) but didn’t truly grasp the depth of these words. This realization inspired me to create South Asian Cultural Heritage Fest by Monvoyage (www.monvoyage.in) that would bring the rich, vibrant cultures of South Asia to life, allowing her and other children to understand and appreciate the vastness of their roots. 

The intention was not to hold yet another event—those are happening enough now. Giving immigrant children a stage and a visual representation of the vivid colors of our neighborhood was the aim.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nobzsZk4H4

Intersection of food and fashion

We wanted to create an event that celebrates and educates about the rich diversity of South Asia. And what better way to celebrate than with the vibrant flavors of our culinary fare and the colorful displays of our ethnic bazaar?

Program Schedule

Textiles and local cuisines quickly became a central part of the fest.
To enhance the experience, we included meditation stalls, offering a space for peace and reflection amidst the festivities. Immigrant children performed Shloka chanting, beautifully juxtaposed with Urdu poetry, creating a true reflection of diversity and community.

Dance, Song, and Poetry


Adding to the excitement, a local band performed popular Bollywood and regional numbers, getting everyone on their feet. Local artists and mothers’ groups brought their passion to the stage with heartfelt performances. The fashion show was a hit, with people walking in traditional attires from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and beyond, displaying the incredible variety of our heritage.

Recognition


We were honored to have the Counselor Dipika Damerla running to be a Mayor of Mississauga, as our guest of honor. Her presence underscored the importance of supporting and celebrating our multicultural community. We also had Moushumi Chakraborty, an Immigrant Author, among us as our guest. She spoke briefly about her journey. As a token of encouragement, the children were given certificates and goody bags for their performances.


It was a beautiful, enlightening experience for all, bringing our heritage to life and connecting our community in meaningful ways. Join us in celebrating the diverse and vibrant hues of South Asia at our next festival!

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