On Saturday, April 12, the David Suzuki Foundation took part in Vancouver's annual Vaisakhi, the annual harvest and New Year's festival that also commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa—the global collective of devout Sikhs. If you've never attended, we encourage you to experience it at least once in your local area! Here are a few reasons why:
1. Sense of community Our digital world provides instant information and global connection. Yet studies show people feel increasingly isolated. Vaisakhi parades illustrate how communities can work together, including hundreds of local families preparing and serving free food for a day of celebration—a great lesson on how we can come together and give back without sitting in front of a computer.
2. Yummy food Vaisakhi parade food is amazing—mostly home-cooked, vegetarian and free. There are also local efforts to encourage recycling and use of biodegradable utensils.
3. Music and dance For the parade, the David Suzuki Foundation partnered with RJ1200 and South Asian Arts. The result: we got to march with the city's best dhol players and 50 Chinese bhangra dancers from Simon Fraser University. How is that for cross-cultural celebration?
4. Connecting with nature The average Canadian spends more than 90 per cent of his or her time indoors and more than six hours in front of a screen (i.e. computer, TV). The Vaisakhi parade provides an opportunity to get outside, spend time with family and friends, and get immersed in Sikh culture. To learn more about the benefits of nature, please check out our Punjabi by Nature Challenge.
Enjoy candid shots from Vaisakhi 2014 by Adam Bhinder from Vivid Dreams Vancouver