Vesak: A festival of new beginnings

Buddhists all over the world are celebrating the Vesak festival this month, in which they commemorate the Buddha’s birth and passing into Nirvana. Vancouver’s Tisdall Park will be the stage of the third BC Vesak Festival on May 28, organized by a joint committee of representatives from 50 Buddhist temples across the world. Surrey-based Buddhist…

Celebrating Tagore’s confluence of cultures

The Vancouver Tagore Society is hosting its 3rd annual spring festival at Surrey City Hall on Saturday May 20 to pay tribute to Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The festival includes dance, music and poetry and will feature many different multicultural performances. Some of the performaces include Carnatic vocal music by Lakshmi Menon with Sayenden,…

Just Film Festival unveils talented Langara graduates

Three graduates of Langara College will participate at a Vancouver film festival alongside award-winning international documentaries. Jeff Berg, Amy Psyden, and Mariah Kennedy each directed student films that will be screened at the Just Film Festival taking place at VanCity Theatre between March 30 and April 1. The Just Film Festival is jointly organized by…

Investigating Jewish-Asian identity

What does it mean to be JewAsian? In challenging dominant narratives of intermarriage, sociologists and married Jewish-Asian couple Helen Kiyoung Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt explore the ways in which they, their children and many Jewish-Asian Americans navigate this crossroads of race, religion and ethnicity. “Our work helps readers to understand how what might at…

Asian Canadian history takes festival form

Vancouver’s Asian Canadian community will be hosting their annual literary event, literASIAN, from Sept. 21–25. The theme, History and Memory, will be presented through a series of panels, workshops and book launches from 18 knowledgeable and respected authors, including Jean Barman, Paul Yee and Joy Kogawa. Paul Yee, author of many works inspired by growing…

The Hakka people featured at TAIWANfest

An opportunity has risen in Vancouver to learn and experience the food and culture of the Hakka people of Taiwan. This year’s TAIWANfest (Sept. 3–5), alongside the Vancouver Taiwan Hakka Association, sheds light on a people’s history with their Experience Hakka program. Since 1990, TAIWANfest has been raising awareness to Taiwanese history and building communities…

The spirit of Carnaval returns to the city

Carnival is deeply rooted in Latin American culture. Originally, it was meant as a chance to indulge before a prolonged period of fasting in the springtime. Even today there is still a widely felt sense of free-spirited stress release in the air wherever carnival is celebrated. “Carnaval del Sol, it’s where we all shine together,”…

Music, photography, poetry and more

Musician, writer and performer Vivek Shraya will be at this year’s Indian Summer Festival as part of the ‘5 by 15’ panel on July 16, in which five people will speak on various subjects for 15 minutes. Shraya will focus on a photo series recreated from some of her mother’s old photos – nine vintage…

Ancient harvest festival faces the modern age

The Sikh faith will be on display in the streets of South Vancouver for the annual Vaisakhi festival on April 16.This tradition is honoured world-wide on different dates to mark the open of the harvest season and the birth of Khalsa. Khalsa is the living text of the Sikh religion. The scripture is recognized as…

Cherry blossoms – who, what, where

Every year, the flowering cherry blossoms signify the arrival of spring, their beauty captivating many. Now in its 10th year, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has helped spread interest in cherry blossoms and facilitated community education on the trees. Before the festival officially begins, David Tracey, a community ecologist, leads a group through Oppenheimer Park.…

February marks Tibetan New Year with goal of positive thinking

Vancouver’s Tibetans will celebrate Losar, their culture’s New Year, Feb. 8. This year, the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling Centre will celebrate Losar with a series of different traditions, including meditation sessions and special Protector Mahakala ceremonies to ring in the Tibetan New Year. Lobsang Tenzin calls himself a dharma believer and teacher who’s immersed in Vancouver’s…

Exploring new worlds through film

When Lawrence Le Lam heard the story of his father, Lami Lam, a legendary DJ called Blue Jet who played banned anti-war rock and roll music in Taiwan in the 1970s, he thought it would be a great idea for a film. The result was a 16 minute short film entitled The Blue Jet that…