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By : Mrs. G. Roy, Multicultural Worker, Delta School District.

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Presentation on theme: "By : Mrs. G. Roy, Multicultural Worker, Delta School District."— Presentation transcript:

1 By : Mrs. G. Roy, Multicultural Worker, Delta School District

2 The New Year India is a land of many festivals. Baisakhi is a festival held on the first day of the month Baisakh, which begins on the 14th of April. It is a religious festival, harvest festival and new year celebration rolled all into one. This day is the beginning of the Hindu solar new year. It is celebrated all over the country as the New Year under different names and with different rituals.

3 In Punjab, it is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm when the crop is ready for harvesting In Bengal, people take ritual baths and decorate their houses with Rangoli (floral patterns). In Assam, the young dress up in their traditional finery and dance the night away. In the South, people take out wooden chariots in a ceremonial march. In Kerala, the celebrations include fireworks, shopping for new clothes and interesting displays called Vishu Kani.

4 The Harvest Festival Harvest festivals are a time when communities come together, share and reap the benefits of the hard work of the past year and celebrate the coming of spring. Punjab is an agriculturally rich province. The main crop, wheat, is ready to harvest and sell at Baisakhi. The harvest brings prosperity to every home, and a new business season begins.

5 Baisakhi Day, 1699 Baisakhi also has special meaning for Sikhs all over the world because, while it celebrates the harvest, it also celebrates the day that Sikhs acquired their identity. The Sikhs were all given a new name and a new identity of being a nation by making them distinctively different in how they look and behave.

6 Singh and Kaur The men took on a common surname, Singh ('Lion'), a reminder to be courageous. Women took on the name Kaur ('Princess'), to emphasize dignity.

7 5 K’s – the Symbols of Sikhs Kachhera – shorts of a special design Kara – steel bracelet worn on the right wrist Kangha – a special comb to keep hair neat and clean Kirpan –a small sword that signifies the duty to Stand up against injustice Kesh– uncut hair

8 Turban Sikhs groom their long hair and then tie it in a knot on the top of their head. They cover the knot with a long piece of cotton cloth called a dastar (turban). The turban is a symbol of respect and honor. It is disrespectful to ask a Sikh to remove his turban.

9 Patka Young boys usually start wearing a turban sometime between the age of 11 to 16. Before that they tie a handkerchief over their knot to keep it intact (Patka). A patka is more practical for swimming, sports and to wear to bed.

10 Nagar Kirtan The festival is marked with a parade through the streets involving singing and dancing (“nagar” means "town” and “kirtan” means singing). The parade starts and ends at the Gurdwara. This Year the Nargar Kirtan will be held on Saturday April 12 th in Vancouver and Saturday April 19 th in Surrey

11 Nagar Kirtan in Surrey

12 Food Free food is distributed by the Gurdwara and by community members as a community service (sewa). The streets of the parade are lined with food stalls and people passing by are eagerly served. The huge amounts of food and meals are usually prepared starting the night before.

13 Gatka This is a form of Sikh martial arts using a variety of different weapons. Mock duels are performed during the parade.

14 Celebrating On Baisakhi, the cold season ends and summer begins. People shed their thick clothes and blankets and dress in bright colourful clothes to celebrate the new season with song and dance. All over Punjab farmers are happy because they have 'gathered in' the wheat, the most important crop of the season. Now they can perform Bhangra (folk dance) and sing boliyan (folk songs).

15 The folk song goes like this: "O, Jatta aayee baisakhi, Kanka di muk gayee rakhi." Hey Farmer! Baisakhi has come, Guarding of the wheat crops is over.

16 The Bhangra is the national folk dance of Punjab. Traditionally an all-male harvest dance with vigorous arm movements, it is an expression of the joy of the Punjabi farmer on seeing the strong and healthy crops ready for harvest. Bhangra

17 The men get together in an open field and dance to the beat of the dhol (a drum). A drummer carries the dhol on a strap around his neck and beats the two heads of the drum with sticks. The dancers usually move in a circle, dancing in time to the changing rhythms of the dhol. Dhol

18 Gidda The Gidda is th female equivalent of Bhangra. It is danced by women and young girls on family and festive occasions. The girls and women form a circle, with alternating pairs coming into the middle to dance to boliyan. The dholki drum provides music and the rhythm of this dance is set by the distinctive hand-claps of the dancers.

19 Boliyan The dancers enact verses called boliyan (rhyming couplets / light-hearted folk poetry). A boli expresses typical situations and emotions in village life. Usually a boli is sung and introduced by one woman, and then the other girls form a chorus.

20 Boli Translation #1 Mother oh mother, What have you done?! Your daughter is short and your son-in-law is tall, oh mother!

21 Boli Translation #2 My mother-in-law is ill tempered - she won’t let me wear high heels! Oh, I will wear high heels too! Boy(husband), be happy or mad, I am going to tease your mother!

22 Sari The sari is a “one- size-fits-all 6 metre length of fabric which can be tied in over a 100 different ways. It is worn with a small blouse and a petticoat.

23 Salwar Kameez The salwar kameez – a loose trouser and tunic - was originally worn by women in Punjab, but it has now become the national dress worn by women across the country thanks to its high comfort factor.

24 Churidar Some women may wear a churidar which is similar to the salwar but tighter fitting at the hips, thighs and ankles.

25 Lengha Other traditional attire like the lengha (a long skirt with a blouse) is still very popular and a must for ceremonial occasions like festivals or weddings.

26 Chunni / Dupatta The chunni or dupatta is a long scarf that is worn with most women’s clothing. It is a symbol of modesty and can be worn around the neck, across the shoulders, draped in the arms or to cover the head.

27 East meets West There is also a western twist on Indian fashion with pants or trousers replacing the traditional salwar.

28 Kurta Pyjama The Kurta or the top is a knee length colarless shirt which is adorned in mostly white or pastel colors. But today you will find Kurtas made out of the most wonderful and colorful of fabrics. The Pyjama is like loose trousers with a string tie at the waist.


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