Okanagan Punjabi Cultural Association hosting Mela Festival to showcase culture, heritage

Showcase of Punjabi culture

The Okanagan Punjabi Cultural Association in partnership with the 5 Rivers Heart Association is inviting the public to an event intended to showcase Punjabi culture and heritage.

Karanveer Gill, head organizer of the Punjabi Mela Festival, said over the last 20 years or so, the Punjabi community has grown greatly in the Okanagan.

"The mela aims to raise essential funds for our cause, the construction of a modern hospital facility in Punjab to provide crucial medical services, at the cheapest possible price, to underserved communities," he said in an email to Castanet.

The festival promises to be an immersive experience for attendees, with an expected turnout of around 2,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Gill said some highlights of the event include performances by local artists such as Bhangra and Giddah clubs, and appearances by notable figures like Dr. Swaiman Singh and Biki Singh.

"Dr. Swaiman Singh is somewhat seen as a hero in the Punjabi community because of his work during the farmers' protest in India, and Biki Singh is the first classic physique IFBB Pro out of India," he added.

Attendees will get to enjoy various activities, try out delicious food vendors, traditional henna artistry, and themed activities for the kids.

The Mela Festival takes place in Penticton's Gyro Park on May 4 from noon until 5 p.m.

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