Rang De Basanti: April 6th

Puffs of green, yellow, purple, red and pink rose from the crowd as excited individuals snuck a few more bouts of colour play before the countdown began. Feeling the excited energy, I could barely contain myself as I sifted my fingers through the fine flour-like powder in my small zip-lock bag. It was a vibrant yellow. And I had it and the other colours strewn all over myself from people sneaking up on me and smudging my skin and clothes. 10-9-8. The countdown had begun. The DJ shouted over the crowd trying to contain it so we’d all release our colours in one brilliant explosion. 7-6-5. Digging my hand into the bag I clutched a handful of yellow and forced back a toothy grin. To smile like that now would mean a mouthful of coloured dust. 4-3-2. I forced myself to shift my eyes to a squint though I wished to open them wide to witness all the colours about to emerge. 1. It was everything I had imagined. Continue reading “Rang De Basanti: April 6th”

Pride Parade: April 5th

Red shiny strands of synthetic hair were plastered across my face causing me to spit and sputter as I irritably pulled one strand from my lips. My shoulder-length wig was in my face for the thousandth time, reminding me why I don’t have long hair anymore. On the upside, the reason I was eating my wig was because I was grinning and laughing. I had on a set of rainbow leggings and was flaunting a lovely rainbow scarf hand-knit by my grandma. Continue reading “Pride Parade: April 5th”

From Fantasy to Comedy: Three International Movies

I was staring at my computer screen. My fingers restlessly typed in the air over the keyboard, like prancing racehorses waiting for the gate to snap open. Slowly I lowered them to the keyboard and they dashed away, speeding along the keys in search of ethnic events in the coming week. I zipped through all my known contacts: the Multicultural Society of Kamloops site, the Facebook groups of campus ethnic clubs, the TRU website, and so forth. But nothing came forward. With crunch time looming everyone on campus was tying themselves to their desks, locking their doors and getting to work. The rest of Kamloops was preparing for summer. With my own deadlines to meet and a tight budget I had missed two big events that weekend that would have beautifully suited this blog. A banquet hosted by the Multicultural Society and a Storytellers Gala with a presentation hosted by the Aboriginal club. Continue reading “From Fantasy to Comedy: Three International Movies”

World Music Celebration: March 21st

They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.

But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”

Jacky Essombe: March 21st

She was forming the rhythm with the very air. Her hips, elbows, feet and hands beat an invisible series of drums surrounding her body. She was creating the rhythm of three beats. Her limbs listened to separate sounds, followed the voice of different drums and expressed themselves as individuals. The dance was wild but expressed coordination. Cooperation. She was a community in harmony.

Continue reading “Jacky Essombe: March 21st”

A Chai Exhibit: March 10th

It had been a long and terrible night. Stirring from my sleep as sunlight filtered through the blinds across my eyes, I was overjoyed to find myself feeling quite a bit better than when I had gone to sleep. Just a friendly and wise note: if you attend a shot-luck, participate moderately and NEVER take a super-shot, a concoction of all the hard liquor available (and there was a lot), smack in the middle. I will never, ever do that again. After a number of terrible hours in the early morning I finally slipped into a wonderful sleep. Hours later I woke up, luckily without a headache, and my stomach had settled. Still, I felt a gross grogginess. After a lot of grumbling and groaning I found myself walking from the bus station to the event I had promised to cover for the student newspaper, Omega. I was attempting to absorb the crisp morning air and wake myself up, but by the time I arrived at the Commodore Grande Café and Lounge I was still groggy and instead feeling utterly worn out.

That blissfully changed less than five minutes after I swung the door open. Continue reading “A Chai Exhibit: March 10th”

TRUSU Pakistan Club Launch

My fingers settled on the game piece or striker, shaped like a tiny cake, and I slowly slid it to the outlined bar before me. Eyeing the pieces scattered across the board I set up a shot. After a moment of visualization I tucked my index finger into a curl behind my thumb, my hand hovering near the striker. Straightening my finger in an instant, the striker shot across the board before me clicking and clacking as it bounced off the other game pieces and surrounding wall: click, click, click…click…click. It began to slow as it lost momentum. To my delight one of the black pieces it ricocheted off of flew into a pocket. Grinning I accepted the retrieved piece and added it to my small tower. Then I collected the striker, set the piece and wound up my finger for another shot at carrom.

Continue reading “TRUSU Pakistan Club Launch”

Tiny Tot Powwow: Women

My camera bag lay beside my feet with its cover loosely closed. Though entranced by the display of vibrancy and energy before me I was still conscious enough of my immediate surroundings to tuck me bag under my legs as an elder woman was helped to her seat beside me. I was at ground floor and had witnessed a number of people troubled by the first giant step of the bleachers. Women had to lift their dresses and children had to practically climb up. It was no surprise that this elder woman had decided to sit at the bottom. As she settled in I was struck by the contrast of her quiet character with the boisterous strength of voices and drums ringing through the gym. The sight of her stillness compared to the flashing, twirling, ducking and leaping fabric and feathers on the dance circle. I felt a sense of calm within her small frame beside me. Continue reading “Tiny Tot Powwow: Women”

Tiny Tot Powwow Men

Ducking and swaying the dancers exuded the characters of hunter and prey. Stepping lightly through an invisible forest or softly across the prairie grass they circled each other, conveying heightened awareness and the power of instinct. Beside the three dancers, alone in the circle, a child reached the edge of the floor. Watching his elder brethren for a moment, he too began to feel the music. Lost in the drums he dipped and spun. Continue reading “Tiny Tot Powwow Men”

Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa

At first I was unsure about this singer, he had a smoky rough voice­–the kind my mother loves, but I don’t find appealing. Personal taste. As he kept singing though, the music’s lively beat began to catch hold of my limbs. In the beginning, Ezra Kwizera seemed detached from his singing. He stood quite still, his expression lax. Then after two songs he woke up. He began shifting his weight left and right, then his hips and guitar.  Four songs in he set his guitar gently in its stand and, turning to the audience with a cheerful gleam in his eyes, he energetically motioned for them to stand. His friendly invitation found purchase in the eager audience and with a cheer they bounced out of their seats. We had caught the music bug. Continue reading “Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa”