The Birds Nest
Chirhian Da Chamba – The Birds Nest
Presented by Punjabi radio program Fulkari, the event Chirhian Da Chamba-The Birds was put together as an inspirational show at Dreams Convention Centre on Sunday November 27th. The shows mission was to bridge the gap between generations, provide a voice for young women growing up in Canada, and bring mothers and daughters closer together.
The venue was beautifully decorated with birds, folk items, bright colours, and whimsical trees; the atmosphere was perfectly set for an afternoon of inspiration. With almost 900 people in attendance, Fulkari’s 1st Annual Chirhian Da Chamba event was a great success. This year’s honourees were commended for their Positive Representations of South Asian Women in Mainstream Canadian Media. The official honourees include CP 24′s Pooja Handa, OMNI’s Bollywood Boulevard host Veronica Chail, singer Prita Chhabra for her single “Roots” which celebrates her background and heritage, and online YouTube Comedian with over a million views Superwoman Lilly Singh.
Chirhian Da Chamba-The Birds Nest featured a Fulkari Bazaar in which people could buy food, jewelry, folk art, and also receive information on some amazing non-profit organizations. Sikhcess, Seva Food Bank, Guru Gobind Singh Children Foundation, and Sikh Activist Network shared their work of good will and educational awareness with the people in attendance.
Nahar Aujla’s play “Dollaran Di Daur” told the story of a Punjabi family in Brampton on the brink of falling apart. The family in the play told a story of so many immigrants to Canada, that have been caught up in the daily grind to provide for their families when the most vital thing their families need is time and attention.
Fulkari Dance Group performed traditional Punjabi folk dance that celebrated women, honoured family relations, and preached the need for equality among all. 7 Arts Dance Company’s colourful performance provided a fusion element with classical dance to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and other top Bollywood hits.
The message of humanity, women’s rights, and understanding was felt throughout the evening, especially as Superwoman Lilly Singh took to the stage for her motivational speech. Her own struggle with trying to break stereotypical shackles so often put on young women who have a passion for dance and the arts fuelled her need to become a voice for so many girls that are afraid to stand up for their dreams. Lilly Singh’s talk not only had the entire audience laughing with her witty retort from a Punjabi young woman’s perspective but addressed girl-on-girl hate, confidence, and self-esteem issues.
Harjot Ghuman-Matharu and Rick Matharu screened parts of their documentary that analyzed the different issues young women growing up Punjabi in Canada face. The documentary acknowledges that the ultimate goal for equality among genders in a community that’s history is entrenched with patriarchal traditions is difficult, but very necessary. Although the cultural difference between parents and children in immigrant families in Canada is inevitable, events like Chirhian Da Chamba-The Birds Nest can open up lines of communication to create dialogue and raise awareness of the hurdles young women growing up in Canada face while trying to negotiate between their own feelings and their parent’s expectations.
Fulkari Radio Host Raj Ghuman thanked all in attendance and beautiful closed the ceremony with the iconic words from the Punjabi folk song: “Sada Chirhian Da Chamba Ve, Babul Asa Udd Jana. Sadi Lambi Udaari Ve, Babul Kehrhe Des Jana” meaning “This is our birds nest, but one day we will have to fly away. We have a long journey yet ahead of us, and father we don’t know which land we will end up in.”
To see highlights from the event, please see below: