Families celebrate South Asian heritage
Gary Yokoyama/The Hamilton Spectator
Dancers perform a Thaye Yashoda song at Ancaster High School, where the South Asian Heritage Association of Hamilton and Region hosted its annual Spring Festival.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Sachin and Kishan Patel grew up playing hockey and watching football games. Traditional Indian dance? Not so much.
But on Saturday, their parents took them to Ancaster High School for a taste of their cultural heritage at the Spring Festival of South Asia.
“They think I’m forcing them,” their mom, Rita Patel laughed. But the boys were curious—“I’m pretty excited for the dances,” Kishan, 13, said.
Rita was born in India and moved to Hamilton 18 years ago. Her husband, the boys’ father Pramod Patel, was born here.
As a kid, his own parents took him to similar events in Toronto to celebrate their roots.
“I remember the Argo-Ticat rivalry we had going with the Indian kids there,” he laughed. As a parent, he’s hoping to share that same balance of traditional and western culture with his sons.
“I wanted the kids to see a bit of it. It’s important to keep in touch. And it’s great to be able to take advantage of an opportunity so close to home,” he said.
The Ancaster High School event, part of South Asian Heritage Month, drew hundreds from the city’s diverse South Asian community.
The night featured traditional song and dance from across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, including a musical performance by renowned sitarist Neeraj Prem.
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