Today I attended Birmingham’s Vaisakhi celebrations. The event is reputed to be the largest Vaisakhi event outside India. Vaisakhi is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar. It commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699.
Unusually there are two Nagar Kirtans (holy street processions) at the Birmingham celebrations – one from Smethwick and one from the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. I watched the processions arrive at the park with Nusrat Ghani, the Conservative candidate in Ladywood.
We were presented with some lollipops and sweets, and had delicious samosas for lunch.
Then came the speeches from the bandstand. With lots of politicians present, it was decided that the fairest thing to do was to allow one local politician, and one Parliamentary candidate from each party to speak. So I spoke for the Conservatives and thanked the organisers for arranging the day. It is a truly family event which people of all ages can enjoy. The organisers were expecting the total attendance to be in the region of 100,000 people so organising it is no mean feat! A really enjoyable day – Vaisakhi 2010 was a great Birmingham occasion! Many thanks to the organisers for inviting me.