By Harnoor Gill 
The Asian Heritage Awareness Day was an amazing South Asian fair which was held in Milton on July 30th, 2011. The Milton Fairgrounds were rocking with Punjabi music and South Asian festivities. I had lots of fun participating in it as a performer and a volunteer. I assisted all day from 9 am to 6 pm with my parents. As a performer my dance involved a solo Punjabi dance that the crowd enjoyed. I rocked on the stage as I was the first one to perform in the youth category. The clapping and nice words by the viewers, organizers and the other members of the Virsa Foundation thrilled me. 
Harnoor Gill and Rana Ahluwalia having a good time at Mega Masti Masala Mela on Milton fairgrounds Harnoor Gill with Sergeant Sue Biggs beside the D.A.R.E. car at Asian Heritage Awareness Day
From a youth standpoint, this mela lacked youth volunteers and I hope more come out next year. From a volunteer’s perspective, I enjoyed the event as well as lending a hand to the Virsa Foundation. I assisted by setting-up the stalls, putting designated chairs/tables in the stalls, making signs of the event to attract the crowd, placing V.I.P cards into their designated slots, and helping blockade the entrances for a minimal parking fee. With the organizers’ help these tasks were finished with ease. I enjoyed listening to the East Indian Punjabi music which really pumped up the energy of this event. During my breaks of volunteering the East Indian food such as pakoras, samosas, naan with curry as well as some vegetarian pizza was enjoyable. There were also many stalls of Indian attire/jewellery, insurance, telecom service providers, fire services and as well as the ice cream truck and much more. The youth races, fun fare rides and the Bhangra, Gidha and the magic show were entertaining as well. It was also an honour to see Tiger Jeet Singh there with his son Tiger Ali Singh. 

I was surprised to see D.A.R.E. which as its acronym states is a drug abuse resistance education program. The officer, Sergeant Sue Biggs, diversity coordinator from Halton Regional Police Service who was representing the D.A.R.E. program was kind enough to talk about the program with us. I completed this program at my school in grade 6 and it helped me a lot to learn how to avoid drugs or to use them carefully at appropriate times for headaches and to use Tylenol or Advil to help cure them. She informed us about the highlights of the program and how she spent of many years in service in England as well as in Canada. I am very fond of the D.A.R.E. car that was parked right beside her stall. It had the D.A.R.E. lion on it and the acronym D.A.R.E. was proudly printed above him.

It was a fun-filled day with lots of entertainment to keep the event going and I hope it is an even bigger blast for next year.

November 2011

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