More than 1,100 Dancers Create a Canadian Flag for Canada 150
by Vaishnave, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group
I participated in a phenomenal event and created history in Canada. For the first time in Canada, an audience witnessed 1,175 classical dancers performing a synchronized dance honouring and glorifying our prestigious Canada. In celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, Canadian Tamils Arts and Culture Organization presented classical Bharatanatyam at Scarborough’s L’Amoreaux Sports Complex on Saturday, June 24. The dancers were adorned with beautiful red and white saris and danced in the shape of a Canadian flag. The goal of the event was to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and raise $50,000 to purchase Scarborough General Hospital a dialysis machine. This was the conjoined effort of 40 dance instructors who worked vigorously with their students to put this show together.
Their dedication and commitment shows their pride to call Canada our home and that’s what we are celebrating. It’s our way of saying thanks to the country that took our parents in. Groups of dancers with different teachers hadn’t met before but had practiced their routines for months. The huge effort presents the talent of Canada’s Tamil community. Even though this event was during exams, 1,175 students managed to study and come to practice every day.
The successful event was well planned and from the photos taken by the drone that flew above the event, it was evident we formed the flag of our great country. I remember the feeling of goosebumps when all 1,175 dancers bowed in four directions in unison. The feeling was surreal. When the program finished, amid the thunderous clapping and yelling of the onlookers, my teacher ran up to us with tears in her eyes. She couldn’t believe the magnitude of what we accomplished. At that moment, I understood the gratitude and respect my fellow community had towards this country, and I hope this event was a great tribute.
Most of the Tamil community arrived as refugees and are grateful to call Canada their home. Many Tamil refugees have experienced the ghastly civil war of Sri Lanka. The decision to immigrate was a chance to escape. However many still share an internal attachment to their homeland. All their memories are buried within the soil. That is why we their children continue the traditions and culture proudly.
As a first-generation Canadian, I’m extremely happy that I received the opportunity to share my patriotism for Canada and showcase my culture. This event incorporated the best of both worlds.
As Canadians, we should value the safety and peacefulness we are accustomed to; as it’s easy to take for granted. However, there are many people in the world who have and continue to live through constant conflict, warfare and have experienced bloodshed. Canadians should relish each and every second they live in this glorious and free land!