The South Asian Art and Cultural Association of Alberta (SAACAA) successfully launched its Fort McMurray chapter on Saturday 26th March at Golden Years Society under the auspices of Express Media Network.
Shan Ali, Editor, Express Media and Zafar Iqbal founder member took the stage to inaugurate the event as the harbinger of hope for lovers of South Asian art, music, cuisine and culture. They spoke about the mission and vision for the organisation and its focus of integrating the community into mainstream Canadian society while keeping the culture alive with scope for education and entertainment. Desi Nights are expected to become a regular feature on the arts and culture scene of Fort McMurray.
At 7.30 the hall was filled with ladies in their traditional finery and men in business attire. The stage was set. The cuisine for the night was exotic flavored Mutton Biryani, a delicacy across South Asia, Pulao with Chicken curry, Salads and Chole, a curry made of Garbanzo beans followed by Kheer for dessert. After the big meal, some of which was spicy for the Canadian guests, came the music.
Sound system glitches seem to be the feature of every first time event and so SAACAA had a few of those to begin with. It was much after the first round of music that it decided to behave.
Bollywood songs and Ghazals shared the stage with a male and a female singer to begin with. The guests were so charged up as the event progressed that they began to come up to the stage to join in the singing and the dancing. Nirmal Bamotra from the Hindu Society played the Dholak and everyone had a great time.
The program went well past midnight and people were so busy entertaining and getting entertained that they lost track of time. The crowd dispersed late into the wee hours.