Ottawa’s Largest South Asian Festival
by Shahinur Islam
Ottawa’s largest South Asian Festival was held for three days spanning from 11 August to 13 August 2016 at City Hall plaza. The event kicked off with art exhibition, and the admission was free.
On 12 August, there were a dinner & dance party and a boat cruise. All three days the booths at the plaza were furnished with ‘Kids Zone’, ‘Food Stalls’, ‘Henna Designers’, ‘Clothing & Jewelry’, etc., which added pompous festive colours to the event. In addition, midway Fun Park took place.
The final day, which also allowed free admission, included MirchMasalaMela from 11 am to 8 pm. Although it was pouring, and the turnout was lower than expected, the attendees relished enormously in the live music and dance performed by the South Asian diaspora.
One of the South Asian diasporic singers who performed vivaciously at the open stage that day was Nasreen Shoshi, a Bangladeshi-born Canadian singer. She was introduced on the stage by MirchMasalaRadio anchor, Arshia Shahzab and invited to the show by Hunsdeep .
Shoshi arrested the attention of the audience as soon as she appeared at the stage with her traditionally and beautifully dressed South Asian costume. Amid the repeated claps and big rounds of applause, she rendered a couple of Hindi songs with her usual aplomb. The audiences were enthralled by her performance at the show; they were more lively and effervescent than before as soon as she started singing two rhythmic and melodious songs Salam salam and Aayeho meri zindagy main.
Although it was raining during the entire period, the audience felt it was not the rain but the melodious tune springing from her voice was pouring on them.
Following Shoshi’s performance, there was also dance and music, which held the audience mesmerizingly. The end of the final day event was marked by DJ Arjun’s bhangra & Bollywood mashup, which was the largest one in Ottawa’s history.
Below is the video covering Shoshi’s performance at the event. Click and enjoy if you have missed it!
Watch it on TV.