Dear International Students to Brampton, ON:

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This is a guest blog post by Jaskaran (Jazzy) Chahal, a proud Bramptonian, a high-school teacher, and blogger.

Before you read Jaskaran (Jazzy’s) insightful piece on the contentious issue of international students from Punjab who have gained notoriety for their disregard for Canadian laws and way of life, I want to direct y’all to the commenting guidelines of Toronto Desi Diaries. Happy reading.
This picture from 1989 is of Jazzy’s dad who came to Canada as an international student. Jazzy says, “He(dad) was 20 years old at the time and he never did any of the things that are mentioned below. Times have definitely changed.”

I want to start this off on a positive note and humbly welcome you to Canada! This is simply an incredible country to live in with plenty of opportunities to chase your dreams. I wish you all the best in your studies and careers. I praise your work ethic and I understand the sacrifices that you had to make for the pursuit of a better life. It’s not easy to pack your bags, leave your family behind, and begin a new life in a foreign country. I commend you for your determination, perseverance, and resilience. You have nothing but admiration and encouragement from me!

What follows is a special note for international students from Punjab, India, as well as other Sikh students who have chosen to come live in Brampton and its surrounding areas. I’ve been living in Brampton for over 20 years now and I have personally witnessed the influx of students within the past decade. I live in the neighbourhood right beside Sheridan College where a significant number of international students are admitted, and my family has provided accommodation to several international students over the years before they moved out and rented out their own place.

While this land welcomes you with open arms, it doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of its kindness, strut around like you own the place, and disturb its inhabitants. It is a privilege to be able to come here and be able to make a name for yourself, it is not a right. I’m probably going to sound like a grumpy old man to many of you, but my words are influenced by my genuine observations and experiences over the past few years. You don’t have to listen to me, but just know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow citizens have expressed the same sentiments as I have. I just decided to make it a bit more permanent in writing so you can refer to it. Once again, I’m not prohibiting you from doing these things because I’m obviously in no position to do so. I’m simply reinforcing the possibility that you can choose not to do them anymore! Here’s a list of things that you don’t have to do anymore in the 2020s and beyond:

  • You don’t have to buy a car as soon as you arrive here. If you do, you don’t have to buy a Dodge Charger, a Dodge Challenger, a Ford Mustang, or a Jeep Wrangler. There are thousands of other cars to choose from that are less expensive and can help you get from point A to point B.
  • You don’t have to buy a custom license plate that costs $300 and spells something absurd, such as “blackia,” “dabbka,” “bandook,” or “jatt.” You are not a smuggler, you are in no position to scold anyone, you can’t legally own a gun unless you have a valid license, and you shouldn’t be promoting an obsolete caste system here.
  • You don’t have to display an enormous silver or gold Khanda hanging from your rear-view mirror inside of your car. A bigger symbol doesn’t mean it’s a bigger and better religion. I’ve seen so many of them that I’ve begun to think it’s the new Dodge logo.
  • You don’t have to blast Punjabi music on residential streets at 3am on weeknights. Most people are trying to get some sleep and they aren’t going outside to do the bhangra with you. There are a time and place for everything.
  • Speaking of Punjabi music, you don’t have to idolize singers who promote gangs, drugs, and violence. It’s not a lived experience for 99% of them and listening to gangster music doesn’t magically turn you into one. Just a small reminder that this isn’t Los Angeles or New York City, it’s Brampton. Our nickname is literally Flower City.
  • You don’t have to drive like a maniac and have road rage 24/7. One of you once drove your car into oncoming traffic on the left side at night just so you could surpass my car in the right lane. Somebody could’ve lost their life that night, but I guess you watched one too many Fast and Furious movies.
  • Speaking of movies, you don’t have to Snapchat the opening credits of one while sitting in a theatre. Nor do you have to text or literally take phone calls while the movie is playing. It’s extremely distracting for the viewers sitting around you and its one of the reasons why some people are opting out of going to the movie theatre altogether.
  • You don’t have to continuously stare at people while walking or driving. Some of you stare at people as if you’re about to snatch their soul straight out of their bodies. It doesn’t make you look tough; it just makes you look creepy.
  • You don’t have to buy expensive name brand clothes or accessories to try and be “western.” Just be yourselves and dress accordingly. Your $600 Gucci belt holding up your pants is doing the exact same job like any other belt.
  • On the other hand, you don’t have to purposely wear flip flops and slides outside in the winter, especially when it’s snowing. In this case, I recommend investing in a pair of shoes or winter boots so that you don’t get frostbite.
  • You don’t have to use or speak the Punjabi language in a derogatory manner. Sprinkling in profanity throughout your entire conversation doesn’t make you sound tough. It ruins the purity of the language and makes it seem like you have a very limited vocabulary.
  • You don’t have to disrespect the gym environment and its equipment. This includes slamming your dumbbells or barbells down on the ground, leaving them there without putting them back on the rack, screaming your lungs out while lifting, and taking a few hundred pictures of you flexing in the mirror. I know that the Punjabi rap music playing in your headphones has you feeling some type of way, but you don’t have to boost your ego by losing your sanity.
  • You don’t have to get into physical fights with other international students because of a senseless argument or disagreement. Among other incidents, you took humanity back to prehistoric times with that fight in the Sheridan College Plaza. It literally looked like a bunch of cavemen yelling, grunting, and fighting with sticks and stones.
  • You don’t have to keep promoting this show-off culture that seems to be engrained within our DNA. Much of this is transferred from our parents, like when they feel the need to throw their child an extravagant wedding reception and invite over a thousand guests to flaunt their status. You can be the one that changes this and puts an end to this mentality of showing off because it simply doesn’t make you look cool and it’s not impressive to anyone.
  • Last but not least, you don’t have to forget about the generous hospitality and accommodation that your relatives or family friends provided for you before you moved out. Whether they allowed you to stay in their home for 8 months or 8 weeks, you owe them a debt of gratitude. You owe them a simple text or phone call to show appreciation for what they did for you, even if its just once a month. These are the people who helped you set yourself up in a new country across the globe and supported you when no one else would. If you slept in their bed, ate at their dinner table, drove their car, borrowed their money, or used their internet, the least you could do is a check-in with them from time to time to see how they’re doing. We live in an age where smartphones and social media supposedly bring us closer together, yet we drift further apart.

I don’t have any prejudice or bias against international students, nor am I trying to compromise their reputation or embarrass them. There are many of you who are amazing individuals and work extremely hard to make your families proud. Some of you work two to three different jobs in a week while still managing to attend class. I honestly look up to you and I admire your journey of establishing yourselves in this new environment. The list above is for the “bad apples” of the bunch, whose behaviour and attitude influenced me to write about what’s going on in my city. Hopefully, some of you read this and realize that you can do things a little differently and you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. For the rest of you, I wish you good fortune, success, and happiness in this beautiful country!

Sincerely,

Jaskaran Chahal, A Citizen of Brampton

You can read Jazzy’s blog – Jazzy Writes here.

Wishing you a happy Pongal, Lohri, Lunar New Year and a great 2020

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The festival of Lohri, which celebrates the winter solstice, will fall on Jan. 14, 2020 and will be celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus across the world. Photo: Flickr

This is the last blog post for 2019. Toronto Desi Diaries wishes you health and happiness for 2020.

Saturday, Jan. 4

Event: Kushi! NYE – after party

Details: Don’t put away your party shoes, yet. Besharam invites you to the Revival Bar and Event Venue, 783 College St. Toronto with DJ Amita. Doors open at 10:30 p.m.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Event: Desi Nights

Details: Desi You will be hosting Desi Nights —the hottest Bollywood party in Mississauga. All action will happen at the Kolkata Club, 488 Eglinton Ave. W. Mississauga. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. DJ Alfaa, DJ Vicious and DJ MO.D will be spinning the latest as well as retro Bollywood and Bhangra Bangers, Top 40, and Spanish tracks.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Friday, Jan. 11

Event: Barrie’s Lohri Jashn

Details: Barrie Indian Association is very honoured to host the 2nd Annual Lohri Festival in The City of Barrie. Lohri is a popular winter-time Punjabi folk festival, celebrated primarily by Sikhs and Hindus from the Punjab region of the Indian-subcontinent. This celebration will take place at the Ferndale Banquet Hall, 24 Ferndale Industrial Dr., at Barrie, Ont. at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Sunday, Jan. 12

Event: MustBeKismet Wedding Show

Details: This one-day bridal event will take place at the International Centre – Hall 1, 6900 Airport Rd. Mississauga from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The show will feature dozens of exhibitors showcasing products such as cakes, confectioneries, clothing, and services couples need to host the wedding of their dreams.
Contact: For more details visit here.

Saturday, Jan. 18

Event: The ’90s: Golden Era of Bollywood

Details: Saksham Entertainment will host a musical evening paying tribute to the chartbusters from the 90s (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Duplicate, Aashiqui, etc). The event is taking place at the Lester B. Memorial Theatre, 150 Central Pkwy. Dr. Brampton at 6:30 p.m. “It won’t just be a musical evening, it will be a memorable experience,” say organizers.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here.

Tamil Thai Pongal, a Tamil, and Hindu harvest festival will fall on Jan. 15, 2020. The two-day celebrations include offering prayers and thanks to the Gods for the harvest and preparing a sumptuous feast that includes several variants of rice-based dishes.

Sunday, Jan. 19

Event: Thai Pongal

Details: TSKG will be hosting its annual Taipongal Festival at the Swagat Banquet Hall, 6991 Millcreek Dr. in Mississauga at 11 a.m.
Contact: For more details visit here.

Friday, Jan. 24

Event: Bharathi Vizha in Toronto

Details: The Thamil Isai Kalaa Manram of Ontario (TCCCA) is will present: Bharathi Vizha in Toronto, a Tamil-Canadian Tribute to Bharathi, to support a project to name a park in Toronto as “Bharathi Park” after Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar. Mahakavi Bharathiyar was a poet, freedom fighter and social reformer. The group wants to host an online campaign and welcomes people to submit videos, poems, audio clips, etc.
Contact: For more details visit here.

Saturday, Jan. 25

Event: Unchained Melodies

Details: Rajdhani Sweets Restaurant and India Sajawat & Puja Hut present a Nirvana production – a live musical concert featuring Bollywood melodies from the ’90s to present. The event takes place at the Maja Prentice Theatre, 3650 Dixie Rd. in Mississauga at 6:30 p.m.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Sunday, Jan. 25

Event: My Skin is Not my costume

Details: Aadhe will explore the viewpoint of a first-generation Torontonian, and the issue of culture and race as a costume. The event will take place at 1 Carlaw Ave. at 6 -10 p.m. The evening will start with aAadhe’s showcasing their Glow Truths collection for Fall/Winter 2021, followed by musical and spoken word performances by artists from Toronto.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Event: Speed-dating

Details: This Mississauga speed dating event is geared towards young professionals with an Indian / South Asian background looking for a classy and fun way to meet other like-minded individuals within their culture. It takes place at the Port House Social Bar & Kitchen139 Lakeshore Rd. E. Mississauga at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For more information visit here.

Diwali ’19 is a month-long affair for Toronto desis with celebrations spilling into Nov. ’19

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Image shows an artist with guitar singing. The singer is a member of Junoon, a sufi-rock band.
Junoon or the “Sultans of Sufi Rock” as they are known, will perform in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 1 at the CAA Centre, 7575 Kennedy Rd. S. Brampton at 8 p.m. Photo courtesy: the web.

Friday, Nov. 1

Event: Junoon: Live in Concert

Details: Brian O’Connell, Ali Azmat and Salman Ahmed, known as “Sultans of Sufi Rock” will perform at the CAA Centre (formerly the Powerade Centre), 7575 Kennedy Rd. S. at 8 p.m.
Contact: For tickets, visit here.

Swayamvar, a singles event for South Asians looking to get married will take place at the Novotel Hotel in Mississauga, 3670 Hurontario St. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Saturday, Nov. 2

Event: Swayamvar – in Toronto

Details: This singles event for South Asian suitors interested in finding a life partner will take place at the Novotel Hotel Mississauga, 3670 Hurontario St. Mississauga at 1:40 p.m.
Contact: For more details, contact here.

Sunday, Nov. 3

Event: Royal Diwali Bash

Details: The Royalton will host its Royal Diwali Bash at 8201 Weston Rd. Woodbridge, Ont. at 5 p.m. with an indoor fire show, dancing, live music, food, etc.
Contact: For more information, visit here.

Event: Diwali Celebrations at Chinmaya Mission

Details: The Chinmaya Vedanta Heritage Centre, 8832 The Gore Rd. will celebrate Diwali with Glories of Ramayana with Swami Prakashananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission, Trinidad Soul-touching bhajans and devotional dances, preeti bhoj and fireworks.
Contact: For more information, visit here.

Saturday, Nov. 9

Event: Sapan Vermal & Angad Singh

After touring across the world and raking in over 50 million views on the internet, East India Comedy’s Sapan Vermal and Angad Singh Ranyal are bringing their laughs from India. The show takes place at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. at 7 p.m.

Contact: For tickets and more visit here.

Sunday, Nov. 10

Event: Lavish Dulhan: Bridal Show

Details: Lavish Dulhan Bridal Show, a bridal show will take place at the Embassy Grand Convention Centre, 8800 The Gore Rd. Brampton, Ont. at 12 noon to 7 p.m. and will include: 100 vendors, an interactive are, couture fashion show, etc.
Contact: For more, visit here.

Well-known Indian mystic Sadhguru will be in Toronto to deliver his course, Inner Engineering on Monday, Nov. 11-12 at the Metro Convention Centre, Toronto.

Monday, Nov. 11-12

Event: Inner Engineering by Sadhguru

Details: As there is a science and technology to create external well-being, there is a whole dimension of science and technology for inner well-being ~ Sadhguru. Inner Engineering is a technology for well-being derived from the science of Yoga. It is offered as a comprehensive course for personal growth that brings about a shift in the way you perceive and experience life, your work, and the world that you live in. This two-day event will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd. Toronto.
Contact: For tickets, course details, etc. visit here.

Saturday, Nov. 16

Event: Atif Aslam Concert

Details: Pakistani playback singer/composer Atif Aslam, well-known for his Bollywood chartbusters such as Bas ek pal (Tere Bin), khair Mangda (A Flying Jatt), Hoor (Hindi Medium), etc. will perform at the Paramount Centre, 5600 Rose Cherry Pl. Mississauga at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets, etc. visit here.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Event: Taj Express: Bollywood Musical Revue

Details: Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue will run at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. There are several shows. The musical is set to the soundtrack featuring the songs of  A.R. Rahman. It’s a show filled with colour, high-energy music and dance, choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant and directed by Shru Merchant.

Contact: For showtimes and tickets, visit here.

Event: Expressions: An evening of geets & ghazals

Details: This musical evening will take place at Swagat Banquet Hall, 6991 Millcreek Dr., Mississauga at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and more, visit here.

Atif Aslam, well-known Pakistani singer, composer and actor will perform at the Paramount Centre, 5600 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga, on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Wishing you a very Happy Diwali, Toronto!

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A copper idol of Goddess Lakshmi in midst of red flowers

Hindus worldwide will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 7. The festival is marked by prayers to Goddess Lakshmi.

Friday, Nov. 2

Event: Diwali Dhamaka

Details: Celebrate Diwali Dhamaka with the KC Group. Celebrations are happening at the Bombay Palace, 200 Advance Blvd. in Brampton at 6 p.m.
Contact: For tickets to Diwali Dhamaka visit here

Saturday, Nov. 3

Event: Diwali Dance Night

Details: Head to the party room at the Greenbriar Recreation Centre, 1100 Central Park Dr. at 7:45 p.m. Organizers are promising music, food, and fun to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Contact: For more information visit here

Event: Hindu Heritage Month Celebrations

Details: November is Hindu Heritage Month. Commemorate the month at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd. on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Contact: For more details visit here

Event: Anokhi Media anniversary event

Details: Anokhi Media will celebrate its 15th anniversary in a two-day event taking place at the Sheraton Centre, Toronto Hotel at 123 Queen St. W. on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Contact: For more information visit here

Friday, Nov. 9

Event: Standup Comedy Live

Details: Indian comics Rahul Subramanian and Kunal Kamra will perform at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, John Bassett Theatre, 255 Front St. W. Toronto at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets visit here

Saturday, Nov. 17

deepavali

Hindus and Sikhs in Toronto will celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali, Nov.7.

Event: Music Festival

Details: The Vraj Canada Intercultural Music Festival will celebrate Canada’s multiculturalism through performances by several artists. The event will take place at the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr. Toronto at 6:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here

Sunday, Nov. 18

Event: The Kishore Kaka Show

Details: Kishore Kaka aka Smit Pandya is an actor, radio jockey, comic and YouTube sensation with more than 100,000 subscribers. The well-known standup will be performing at the SVBF, 80 Brydon Dr. Etobicoke at 6 p.m. Sanjay Raval is the special guest.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here

Event: SOCH workshop

Details: Supporting Our Community’s Health (SOCH) an initiative aimed at educating and creating awareness about mental health will be hosting its workshop, “Addictions- A Rising Concern in the South Asian Community,” at the Cyril Clark Library (20 Loafers Lake Ln.) in Brampton at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18
Contact: For more details visit here

Wednesday, Nov. 28

Event: Mental health conference

Details: Supporting the Mental Health of South Asian Youth and Families: Navigating Intergenerational Challenges within the South Asian Community, a one-day conference will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the YWCA, 87 Elm St.
Contact: For more information visit The Collaborative for South Asian Mental Health

All month-long

Event: Plays/workshops

Details: Under Artistic Director Ravi Jain, Managing Director Owais Lightwala and Executive Producer Kelly Read, Why Not Theatre presents a season of award-winning, pioneering, and thought-provoking theatre, created in Canada and around the world, for 2018/19.

In November, Mouthpiece will begin the final leg of its international tour. The award-winning play recently premiered as a feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the 2018/19 theatre tour begins in Halifax and ends in Berkeley, CA!
November sees a new incarnation of Like Mother, Like Daughter, a funny and emotional show where real mothers and daughters create and perform it, using their own lives and stories in an improvised format. Originally conceived in Montreal by Why Not Theatre and Complicité London UK, Like Mother, Like Daughter is being produced all over the world with local mothers and daughters. There will be eight performances of Like Mother, Like Daughter at the 918 Bathurst Centre, each one culminating in a communal meal, presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts.

For more information visit Whynot Theatre, visit here.

 

 

Thanks to SOCH, South Asians in Toronto, are now talking about their mental health

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First off, apologies to Toronto Desi Diaries readers, for my inconsistent posts lately.

I was juggling at least half-a-dozen projects and these blurred my priorities and tested my resilience. Suffice to say, I did not emerge from it all unscathed. I am emotionally exhausted.

Which brings me to the conversation I had with a remarkable woman a few months ago.

Photo of Jasmeet Chagger and Maneet Chahal, two Brampton nurses who co-founded SOCH, a mental health initiative for South Asians in Toronto.

Maneet Chahal, 28, (L) seen here with her best friend Jasmeet Chagger, 28. The two nurses co-founded SOCH (Supporting our Community’s Health), an initiative to educate South Asians in the GTA about the resources and mental health system. Photo courtesy SOCH.

Jasmeet Chagger, 28, is a nurse working with the Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team.

In 2015, Jasmeet and Maneet Chahal, 28, a nurse as well, started SOCH (Supporting our Community’s Health), an initiative to educate the South Asian community in the GTA about mental health.

Jasmeet and I talked about self-care, and how it was important for folks— caught in the frenzy of life—to take time to recharge, refuel and reset their emotional wellbeing.

“SOCH has a lot to do with our passion for mental health,” Jasmeet told Toronto Desi Diaries. “When Maneet and I work on SOCH stuff, it doesn’t feel like we are working. It’s something that we really want to do. What SOCH has taught us was; we preach self-care but we need to practice it ourselves. So, in a sense, it has been a learning curve for both of us…”

Let’s rewind this story and start from the beginning, shall we?

SOCH: Two nurses/BFFS wearing many hats

“Soch” in Hindi and Punjabi means, “thought.” An apt name for a mental health initiative that has strived to tirelessly untangle complex layers about mental wellbeing to the South Asians in Toronto by demystifying terms such as counselling, psychology, depression, physical health and its connection to mental health and more.

The two advocates—who live in Brampton—carve time from their hectic life to host workshops and events while managing full-time jobs and studying for their master’s degrees.

Maneet and Jasmeet, who are childhood BFFs, said SOCH was borne from the realization that even after being in the system for five, 10 or more years, many South Asians had no clue about the resources available to them or tools they needed to manage their symptoms. Worse still, there was no culturally relevant information available to family members, who helplessly watched their loved ones suffer.

“SOCH started because growing up both Maneet and I have seen mental health issues within our families and friends,” Jasmeet explained. “As teens and young adults, we struggled on how we could help people navigate the system. And when we became nurses, we thought about how we could help both individuals and families.”

“We wanted to use our knowledge to educate the community on the basics: what’s the difference between mental health and mental illness, how do you access the system? How can you get help? etc.”

The Brampton duo were the proud recipients of the Brampton Board of Trades’ 40 Under 40 for 2018 for their work.

Jasmeet Chagger and Maneet Chahal stand next to the signage.

In this photo, Maneet Chahal, 28, and Jasmeet Chagger, 28, (R) co-founders of SOCH celebrate Maneet getting a nursing research award for her thesis. SOCH (Supporting our Community’s Health)is an initiative that educates South Asians in the Greater Toronto Area about mental health through workshops and events. Photo courtesy SOCH.

So, what does SOCH do?

SOCH hosts monthly workshops in Punjabi at community centres and Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Brampton and surrounding areas.

When they first launched, they wanted the topics to resonate with the South Asians as well as the general population. With some help from LAB-B co-founder Harman Grewal, Maneet and Jasmeet found a physical address (LAB-B) from which they could host the information sessions.

The workshops are designed to be more facilitator- style than lectures.

In Feb. 2017, SOCH did its first South Asian-focused event and took the conversation into the Gurudwaras. Since then, the sessions are held in Punjabi/Hindi.

“Instead of presenting a deck, we try and get the audience engaged by asking questions, listening or having them discuss a topic or issue amongst themselves first and we fill in the gaps,” Maneet explained.

  • SOCH’s main mandate is to offer linguistically and culturally-appropriate information.
  • SOCH acts as a bridge or conduit connecting and educating individuals from the South Asian community to information and resources available in the community.
  • More importantly, SOCH has been instrumental in getting people (South Asians) to openly talk about mental health.

 “There’s a negative connotation with mental health,” Maneet explained. “Through SOCH we are trying to promote that everyone has a mental health and you can take steps to take care of your mental health and by practicing self-care, people can prevent themselves from reaching the rock-bottom.”

Some takeaways

Maneet and Jasmeet shared a few insights they had learned as mental health advocates.

“Change takes time and it’s not going to happen overnight,” Jasmeet said. “We noticed, the community does want to talk about mental health. For example, we did a One Brave Night initiative where we partnered with the Sikh Heritage Museum. We had over 100 South Asians. People were telling their stories, crying and supporting each other. The key thing to remember is people do want to talk about mental health, they just need a platform.”

One Brave Night, an initiative by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) happens during April. Participants stay up all night to experience what someone with mental health challenges is going through.

 

 

Toronto desis celebrate 2018 Navratri with Garba, Golu and so much more

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Navratri

Saturday, Oct. 7

Event: Disco Dandiya Dhamal

Details: Sonal Vala will belt out foot-tapping Garba tunes in this event taking place at the Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and other information, visit here

Event: Brampton Robotics Disco Dandiya Fundraiser

Details: Team Disco Bots is organizing a Dandiya fundraiser in Brampton at the Harold M. Braithwaite Secondary School, 415 Great Lakes Dr. at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Sunday, Oct. 8

Event: Mahaloya 2018

Details: Bangladesh Canada Hindu Cultural Society will be hosting its Maholoya 2018 at 16 Dohme Ave East York, Ont. M4B 1Y9 at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more details

Thursday, Oct. 11

Event: Odissi dance recital

Details: Odissi Dance, is a temple dance style, performed in honour of Lord Jagannatha. In this concert taking place at the Downward Dog Yoga Centre, 735 Queen St. W., GuruJi Devraj as well as well as Malini Guha will perform Shyameshwari. There’s a special debut solo performance by Meenakshi.
Contact: For more information

Friday, Oct. 12

Event: Diwali Razzmatazz

Details: Indo-Canada Arts Council will present its 4th annual Diwali Razzmatazz at Mississauga’s Celebration Square, on Friday, Oct 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13. The event includes Bollywood dance performances, food vendors and kids’ bazaar.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Saturday, Oct. 13

Event: Brampton Navratri Festival

Details: Friends of Gujarat will be hosting a Navratri/dandiya event at the Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. at 6 p.m. with well-known singer Nilesh Parmar.
Contact: For tickets contact here

Event: Parmesh Nandi’s Raas Garba

Details: This dandiya/Garba event is taking place at the Trio Sportsplex (Turf grass), 01 Cityview Boulevard Kleinburg, Woodbridge, Ont. 4H 0T1 at 7 p.m.
Contact: For information about this

Friday, Oct. 19

Event: JSK Cricket Camp

Details: Do you love cricket? Well, then head to the Brampton Sports Centre Oct. 19 – 21 for the JSK Cricket Camp. You can get professional coaching and tips from yesteryear cricket star Mohammad Azharuddin and others.
Contact: For more information, visit here

Saturday, Oct. 20

Event: Thoda Saaf Bol (Stand-up Comedy)

Details: Abishek Upmanyu will be performing a stand-up routine at the John Bassett Theatre (Metro Convention Centre), 255 Front St. Toronto at 7 p.m.
Contact: For tickets visit here

Saturday, Oct. 27

Event: Hindustani Classical Music Recital

Details: Raag-Mala Music Society of Canada will be hosting a classical music concert with Josh Feinberg (sitar) and Manjiri Asanare (vocal), Ashok Dutta (table) at the Glen Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. Toronto at 7 p.m.
Contact: For more information

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Event: Speed dating

Details: This Mississauga Speed Dating event s geared towards young professionals with an Indian / South Asian background looking for a classy and fun way to meet other like-minded individuals within their culture. It will take place at The Port House Social Bar & Kitchen, 139 Lakeshore Rd. Mississauga from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Contact: For more information

For a complete list of Dandiya events happening in the GTA, visit here.

Wait, it’s only September, but how is it that there’s Garba in Toronto already?

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garba dance

Saturday, Sept. 1

Event: Rahat Fateh Ali Concert

Details: Paramount (formerly Hershey) Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Pl. Mississauga is the place to be with well-known singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The Pakistani singer (nephew of Nusrat Ali Fateh and son of Farrukh Fateh Ali) is known for several chartbusters such as Jag Ghoomeya, Tere mast mast do naain and more. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets to Rahat Fateh Ali concert, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 2

Event: Krishna Janmashtami Festival

Details: Celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday at the Shree Jagannath Temple, 9893 Torbram Rd. Brampton at 6 p.m.
Contact: For more details on Janmashtami, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 9

Event: Seerat Fashion Show + Expo

Details: A global fashion show + expo featuring Indian as well as international designers is taking place at the Galaxy Grand Convention Centre, 200 Advance Blvd. in Brampton from noon to 6 p.m. Highlight will be a special ramp walk endearing bijis (Grandmas) will walk with their granddaughters in threads by Dinesh Ramsay, Anshul Mathur, Kesaj Couture and more. The event is by Laadliyah.
Contact: For tickets to Seerat, visit here.

Saturday, Sept. 15

Event: SNA ONAM Celebrations

Details: Sree Narayana Association (SNA) Toronto will be hosting its annual multicultural event to support Kerala Relief Fund. Festivities will take place at Chinguacousy Secondary School, 1370 Williams Pkwy. At 5 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and more visit here.

Event: 6th Annual Arohi Festival

Details: Malhaar Group Toronto is hosting an evening of classical music and dance at 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army Meadowlands, 187 Church Rd. Ancaster.
Contact: For more details on the Arohi Festival, visit here

Sunday, Sept. 16

Event: Gujarati Jalso

Details: Swar Sadhana is hosting a jalso at Castlebrooke Secondary School, 10 Gardenbrooke trail, Brampton at 5 p.m. The event will feature Gujarati folk music, sugam sangeet as well as Navratri/Dandiya.
Contact: For tickets to the jalso, visit here

Saturday, Sept. 22

Event: Garba Dhamaal 2018

Details: Sur Prem Entertainers are taking over Brampton Soccer Centre, 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. E. starting at 7:30 p.m. for the Garbaa Dhamaal 2018.
Contact: For tickets to the Garba Dhamaal, visit here.

Wednesday, Sept. 26

Event: South Asian Speed Dating

Details: Single in the City is hosting a speed dating event for South Asians at the Duke of Somerset, 655 Bay St. Toronto at 7:30 p.m.
Contact: For tickets and other information about the South Asian Speed Dating, visit here.

Sunday, Sept. 30

Event: Must Be Kismet wedding show

Details: Must Be Kismet, a South Asian wedding show is happening at the Universal EventSpace, 6250 Hwy. 7 in Vaughan from noon to 6 p.m.
Contact: For details about the wedding show, visit here.