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Vaisakhi at QMS


Los Angeles, May 10, 2022 Sanghera
Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

Queensborough Middle School (QMS) has been a good model for Punjabi. For many years, the Punjabi classes there have been flourishing at a fast pace. This has been possible only with the support and co-operation of the school board, district administration, school administration, staff, students and parents of QMS. However, the teachers make a big difference in this regard. On behalf of Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) I would like to commend the teachers, especially Mr. Deep Sangra, who has made the success of the Punjabi program at QMS one of his top priorities. For many years, Mr. Sangra has made the celebration of Vaisakhi as one of his top priorities. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this celebration had to be put on hold. Finally, this year, this celebration has come back with a great deal of enthusiasm.

This year, QMS celebrated Vaisakhi and Sirjna (Creation) of the Khalsa on Wednesday, May 4, 2022...  Since early morning, the entire school was buzzing with enthusiasm. Students were welcoming and greeting guests at the main school entrance. Few minutes before the start time, teachers ushered in their students to the gym. Within minutes, as Principal John Lekakics gave the signal to start, student MCs Asha and Hehan sprang into action. Gurveen Kaur Dhaliwal, Chairperson of the New Westminster School District and her fellow trustee brought greetings from the school district and congratulated the school administration, staff, students and parents for the Vaisakhi celebration. This was followed by an enchanting Dilruba performance by Sukhman. Dilruba is a very special musical instrument invented by Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs and creator of the Khalsa (The Pure One).
Any Punjabi celebration won’t be complete without the Punjabi folk dances .Harleen, Grade 6 students led by Dilshan, Aikam, Akashvir, grade 8 students led by Harkirat and Jaskaranjit and Mr. Ha and his grade five class, all did an excellent job in displaying their skills in Bhangra. Speeches in English and Punjabi by students about Vaisakhi and Creation of the Khalsa by Jaya, Guneet, Gurleen, Iknoor and Diya were very impressive. This writer was honoured to bring greetings from PLEA and congratulate the students, staff and parents for putting on this celebration. Later on, staff, parents and invited guests enjoyed socialization and light refreshments.

Incidentally, Vaisakhi, named after Vaisakh, second month of the Punjabi calendar, signifies beginning of the harvesting season in Northern India.   Also, on this day in 1699 Guru Gobind Singh ji created the Khalsa Panth. Now Vaisakhi has become an international celebration as the South Asian community in general and Sikhs in particular are well settled in many countries around the globe. In Canada, to its credit, the month of April has been declared as the Sikh Heritage Month. Similarly, in the U.S. Vaisakhi Day is now known as the Sikh Heritage Day. In this context, it was great to see the students at QMS put on an impressive celebration of Vaisakhi.

Happy Vaisakhi!
Balwant Sanghera,
President, Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA)