Mela Vaisakhi da 2012 by PCSSD/VAPIE
Lake Skinner, May 22, 2012
On May 12, 2012 over More than 600 community members and over 200 participants, program coordinators, and volunteers of all ages from San Diego County, Riverside and neighboring counties packed enjoyed open air Mela style gathering to celebrate Vaisakhi festival on. Though this was not the first mela hosted by the Punjabi Cultural Society of San Diego (PCSSD it was the first collaboration with the Virsa American Punjabi Club Inland Empire (VAPIE).
“I would like to share our joy at commemoration of the anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa and a very Happy Vaisakhi to all members of the Punjabi community of San Diego, Riverside and neighboring counties. I am also pleased at the impressive turnout and would like to congratulate the committee members of Punjabi Cultural Society of San Diego and Virsa American Punjabi Club for impressive arrangements at Lake Skinner grounds for this event,” said Jaswinder Sapal in his Welcome speech to the gathering
The mela’s entertainment began with recital of “Adi Gur eh Namah Jugad Gur eh Namah” by Gurdeep Grewal, proceeded by a Jaswinder Bhalla’s children performing “Guru de Lal” . Community members from as far as South San Diego all the way up to Riverside, Orange county and Los Angles sat under the tundi shawn watching children and eventually prestigious college teams perform their routines with the occasional laughter that came from the MC’s jokes. “It reminds me of Punjab,” said Karmjeet Kaur of Escondido as she ate warm naan from the Tandoori Hut. Many vendors lined the field and surrounded the main stage with great foods, clothing, and jewelry. “I loved this mela because it’s exactly like our college bhangra nights, but I can bring my family here and have lots of fun without having to pay $50 to see good teams perform,” stated Chirag Toor, student at UCSD in La Jolla who awaited the performance of DRP. DRP is one of the notable college dance teams particularly known for their bhangra routines having competed in Canada and even New York. DRP is a bhangra team that’s won many awards and even $25,000 for their outstanding performances. In addition to the bhangra performance by DRP, the Cali Bhangra district was a fantastic display of riveting bhangra done by an all-girl team.
"Our performance at Vaisakhi Mela was met with so much enthusiasm, praise, recognition, and support," said Shafali Grewal. “It reaffirmed why we love Bhangra!” added Sonia Atwal, Shafali and Sonia both are part of Cali Bhangra District team who presented an unforgettable item to the program that mesmerized the audience.
Gurdeep Grewal a renowned Punjabi singer from Orange County, entertained the audience with her melodious t voice with old Punjabi songs.
Though PCCSD and VAPIE are by no means new to hosting entertaining festivals within their respective communities, they continue to grow every year with members from all parts of San Diego and now even Riverside. TV Asia and the NRI Press were present to witness this firsthand as they interviewed many of the attendees from all walks of life and cultures.
A plaque of honor was presented to Dr. Harvinder Sahota M.D. and Mr. Inder Singh President of GOPIO for their community services by PCSSD president Jaswinder Sapal and Virsa American Punjabi Club president Baljit Kaur Toor on behalf of the PCSSD/VAPIE officials.
“I loved the whole show and was impressed that PCSSD/VAP attracted so many people to the event,” said Raj Gohil, owner of AM/PM in Hemet, his first time at this Punjabi show.
Baljit Kaur Toor and Jaswinder Sapal welcomed the audience. The program was emceed by, Jaswinder Sapal, Baljit Kaur Toor, Dr. Jasbir Deol and Karina Mann
The program was sponsored by Takhar Family, Pali Singh, Chanchal Singh, Gurprit Dhaliwal, Parmjit Nijjar, Harjinder Nijjar, Gurmanjit Randhawa, Satwinder Grewal, Jaswant Gulati, Sumeet Sharma, Sony Bhalla, Rhea Chhabra, Raj Gohil, Navreet Kaur Kang, Shipra&Onkar Sud, Mina&Baljit Gill, Harish Kapur, NRI Press and TV Asia.
Young girls and Boys dressed up in traditional attires reminded us of old Punjab. From PCSSD Paul Toor, Jaswinder Sapal, Baljit S. Toor, Dr. Jasbir Deol. Gurtej Bains, Harjinder Singh, Dr. Jagpal Deo M.D. , Kiran Jot, Jagrup Takhar, From Virsa American Punjabi club Baljit Toor, Mina Gill, Ravinder Dhillon, Narinder VIrk, worked tirelessly to put on this community event and were delighted to see all of the people that attended and the great community involvement in celebrating Vaisakhi. It was in essence a taste of Punjab and even India with an American flavor.