BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 11 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary
ON January 26, 1950, India became a republic and its constitution replaced the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. (The Republic Day should not be confused with the India’s Independence Day that falls on August 15.) January 26 is celebrated across the world where individuals of Indian descent reside.
I had the opportunity to attend Panorama India’s Republic Day celebration in Mississauga at the Pearson Convention Centre. I really enjoyed the event and also had the opportunity to witness some classical folk dances by various groups based in the GTA.
At this event, I was given the opportunity to hold a booth for my youth group Peace Welcome Club (PWC) and represent World Vision as a youth ambassador. As the founder of PWC, I talked to individuals that came by the booth and explained how this was solely youth based. I even got to influence some youth that attended the event to come out to our shoreline cleanups for the spring. Being the figure to represent World Vision, I discussed with people about the Gift Catalogue that runs year round to help other families in nations that are deprived of certain necessities for life such as food and water. I also promoted the neat World Vision branded sunglasses and gave out the “Watch us Lead” packages for youth to get into the programs World Vision has to offer.
At the event I got to meet the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, as well as other politicians such as the MP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, Wladyslaw Lizon, and the federal Minister of Sports Bal Gosal. They were all kind enough to even take a picture with me at my booth and were all extremely interested in my initiative of Peace Welcome Club and my role in World Vision.
All of my great experiences at the event and awesome people that I met wouldn’t have happened without the effort that Panaroma India made. They were a tremendous help in waiving the fee for the booth as I was a youth representative for both of the groups there. I also would like to thank my mentor Natasha Armstrong who came out to the event in guiding me on how to let people know what World Vision does in the community and abroad.
On another note, I really enjoyed the food that the program had to offer and after a pretty long time I tried a famous South Asian dish. The name of this amazing food was called “Vada and Idaly with Samber” and I can tell you right now that it was very tasty. I’m a pretty big fan of Indian food and this dish just brought the expectations of my own mother’s cooking very high.
All in all, I really loved being a part of the celebration of the Republic Day of India. It’s so great to see that this was celebrated in Canada and how there were many supporters and other members of the community that came out to celebrate. Not only does it strengthen the bond that Canada currently has with India but it also gives a new meaning to the friendship that these two great nations have with each other. If you do have a chance next year, be sure to come out and celebrate the Republic Day of India’s celebration in your local municipality.