Holi hai!!! The ICA Vancouver’s 2018 Holi Milan Gala reverberated the sounds of happiness and laughter, resembling the memories of colourful Holi celebrations from our home country India.
Holi is a vibrant, energetic and multi-colored festival that welcomes spring, and celebrates new beginnings filled with love and togetherness. The festival promotes multiculturalism and abandons human differences of caste, color and backgrounds. In continuation with the past tradition of celebrating Indian festivals, ICA Vancouver celebrated this joyous festival with Holi Milan Gala on March 3rd 2018 at Khanna Banquet hall in Surrey, BC.
The lively and upbeat celebration featured various cultural significances such as Rangoli- an art of colorful decorations along with plethora of other activities. This included cultural and Bollywood dances and singing performances by people of all ages. The event was graced by the presence of Abha Gosain, Consul- Commerce, Education, Culture & Information from Consulate General of India.
he event started with the Indian tradition of prayer and gratitude through “Guru Vandana”- a Bharat Natyam rendition by little Aarushi .
This was followed by a multitude of dance performances by children, teens and adults on various Bollywood and folk numbers.
Neerja Aaptikar, renowned name amongst classical singers of lower mainland zapped the audience with Holi classical songs. This was followed by “sada bahaar nagme” from Bollywood, Indi pop, Romantic and dance numbers along with “Punjabi tadka” and sufi songs by wonderful singers.
The hosts did a wonderful job of keeping the audience entertained and engaged throughout the event, making sure the event went smoothly and the mood was lively.
Photobooth, based on the traditional Holi theme, was another highlight of the event. Guests could not resist posing for the camera with the colourful props that were made and made by the dedicated volunteers.
The evening also featured traditional Indian snacks, pani-puri, and buffet dinner along with hugely popular traditional non-alcoholic drink known as “Thandai”- made of nuts, cardamom, spices and flavors with hours dedicated to make it perfect in milk.
The feeling of love, warmth and bonding was clearly evident. The sight of people dressed in their colourful attire, along with sound of the melodious songs and music, dancing and the aroma and taste of the sumptuous Indian feast – everything transpired into a kaleidoscopic rendezvous, tantalizing all human senses.
A Radha Krishna dance perfectly concluded the performances and set the stage for more dance and entertainment on Bollywood beats played by DJ. Everyone had a chance to shake their legs on the peppy bolllywood tunes and burn off some calories
The event tickets were entered into a lucky draw that incorporated gifts provided by various sponsors. The mega prize of the event was a large UHD TV, won by a lucky winner from the audience.
The event would not have been complete without the gesture of giving back to the community. A 50/50 raffle draw was held and the proceeds went to the two projects “Gift a Sight” and “Gift a Vision” initiated by Yogesh Bhatia from Friends for Cause . In the last 8 years, they have performed 1000 eye surgeries and provided eyesight to more than 2000 underprivileged people in India.
The huge success of the event was manifested when the social media (facebook) was filled with colourful pictures with #icavanholi2018.
ICA would like to take this opportunity to thank all its members, volunteers for their hard work and sponsors for believing in us. Without the inevitable support from everyone in the community it would not be possible to pull off such a mega successful event.
About ICA (Indian Cultural Association of Vancouver)
ICA Vancouver was setup as a non-profit society in January, 2017 to provide a common platform to Indian expats in Vancouver to share the festive spirit and celebrate together. Apart from that, ICA Vancouver is also actively involved in promoting health and wellness through Yoga. ICA Vancouver offers free yoga classes frequently, which are open and advertised to general public.
With strong presence of social media, ICA has over 2000 associated members in just over a year. For additional information on the society and its role, please visit www.icavancouver.ca