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Back-to-back festivals celebrate India, Jamaica at Surrey park on July’s final weekend

Holland Park to host Festival of India, followed by Jamaica Day Festival
Music is performed on veena during an event hosted by Sanskriti Cultural Awareness Society of BC, which is planning another Festival of India at Surrey’s Holland Park on Saturday, July 30. (Submitted photo)

Festivals celebrating the cultures and traditions of India and Jamaica will be held at Surrey’s Holland Park on the final weekend of July, on different days.

First up is the Festival of India, a free daylong event Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“The objective of the festival is to create awareness about Asian art, food, heritage, dresses, festivals and lifestyle,” explained Sanjeev Sharma, festival co-ordinator.

“This spectacular multi-generational presentation will connect today’s world with the wonders of 1,000 years of civilization, its ancient traditions and modern influences.”

The following day, on Sunday, July 31, the Jamaica Day Festival will take place from noon to 7 p.m. at Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.

“Come for a taste of all things Jamaica – food, games, music, craft and entertainment!” notes a Facebook event post. “Bring your picnic blankets, coolers, and concert chairs.”

The event is hosted by Jamaican Canadian Cultural Association of British Columbia.

In 2017, reggae music pumped during the 16th annual Jamaica Day Festival, which featured live and DJ-played music, games of dominoes, sack races, soccer, a bouncy slide and more.

PHOTOS from 2017: Jamaican sounds and flavours fill Surrey park during annual festival.

Details about the Festival of India are posted to, the website of Sanskriti Cultural Awareness Society of BC, and also on the City of Surrey’s website.

Video of the 2016 festival can be found on the Sanskriti society’s YouTube channel.

The annual festival aims to offer “a spectacular display of culture” including classical forms of Indian dance, and more.

The Indian classical dance forms on display will include Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Kuchpudi.

Along with a range of folk-dance performances, other activities at the Festival of India will include veena vocal carnatic singing (music of southern India), Bollywood singing and dance, yoga, food and costumes.

“Our vision is not only to make South Asians feel pride in their heritage but to make them proud partners in Canadian culture,” Sharma explained in an email.

”It provides a wonderful opportunity to establish and emerging artists in traditional and contemporary spheres of music, dance, film, theatre, literature and poetry, natural health practices, social issues, cuisine, arts & crafts and much more. This presentation will give many individuals an opportunity to promote themselves in various fields, an appreciation by the people and will encourage them in moving forward.”

Holland Park is also home to Surrey Fusion Festival (July 23-24, 2022), a two-day celebration of music, food and culture from nations around world. Admission is free at the annual event, which has been celebrated virtually over the past couple of years.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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