Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Khalsa Day in Toronto

Of all the news reports on Khalsa Day in Toronto, I liked this one the best as a result of its simplicity. It didn't get into any politics, just the facts.
About 60,000 take part in Khalsa Day parade

About 60,000 residents marched downtown on Sunday as part of the annual Khalsa Day parade honouring the Sikh religion and new year.

The day marks the 305th anniversary of the founding of the Sikh Order of the Khalsa.

Participants were met with gorgeous sunshine and warm temperatures during Toronto's 22nd annual celebration.

Marchers banged drums and danced atop floats while displaying the sights and sounds of India. Traditional food was also served during the celebrations.

Organizers said the event has grown by leaps in bounds since its inception, when only 2,000 took part. The parade is now the city's third largest.

"Sikhism believes in universal brotherhood and we believe in peace," said one participant.

There are more than 250,000 Sikhs living in the Greater Toronto Area.

"All our cousins get together and we have lots of fun," said one young girl.

"We all pray for God to give us happiness for the whole year," added another.

A number of dignitaries were in attendance, including Mayor David Miller, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

"This is a sign of immense devotion to values and spirituality and also a devotion to community, and the Sikhs have set a great example for the rest of us," said Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory.

The day began at 9 a.m. with prayers, music and a community breakfast and closing ceremonies were held at Nathan Phillips Square.

The one group noticeable by their absence......... the feds. The feds didn't bother to show up, even though they had confirmed, based on my information. The federal and provincial Libs and NDP were there, the provincial Conservatives were there, the police services and the mayors of the GTA were all there. Where was Jason Kenney? or Stephen Harper?

I'll be posting all 50 or so of my photos from the parade in a day or so ...

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