Tomorrow (April 14) the Sikh community is cordially inviting you to celebrate Vaisakhi at Mehtab East Indian restaurant.

The annual festival known as Vaisakhi, Baisakhi, Vaishakhi, or Vasakhiis is celebrated all around the world and is the largest historical and religious celebration in Sikhism. 

Dating back to April 13, 1699, Vaisakhi occurs on April 13th or 14th depending on the Nanakshahi Calendar, and it marks the foundation of the Khalsa community of Sikhs. Marking the New Year and the spring harvest, Jag Thind, Owner of Mehtab East Indian Restaurant says they are hoping to see all ethnicities drop by tomorrow's celebration planned at Mehtab. "On Sunday we have some Guests of Honour coming in like our Mayor, some Councillors, Chamber of Commerce Directors, and a special guest Michael Hawley who is a professor at MRU who is doing studies on Sikhism."

Building awareness for the Sikh community and the annual celebration, Thind shares snacks along with traditional Indian drinks will be served. "We want to have all different cultures of people; it is not Sikh only. In Canada and especially in Alberta we have many multicultural events, and we end up celebrating things like Christmas too. So it is just another way to celebrate and get together with people."

Paul Singh, Cochrane's Citizen of the Year 2018, says it is important to learn about another culture's significant holidays or festivals if we want to have an inclusive community. "Celebrating different ethnic backgrounds not only helps us to learn about different cultures, religions, race, ethnic origin & so on ... but most importantly helps the newcomers or people from diverse ethnic backgrounds feel accepted in society. We feel comfortable and confident when the community appreciates who we are as a person and we all have a role to play when it comes to building our community. Celebrating and participating in cultural celebrations encourages newcomers to participate more freely in the community. It increases our sense of belonging, makes for a safer community, more volunteerism, and a good relationship between local governments and community members."

While Vaisakhi will be celebrated all day, if you are hoping to meet some of the more prominent guests, Thind shares drop by Mehtab around  2 pm.

Mehtab is located at Unit #2008 120, 5th Ave W.

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