While it was mostly fun and merriment on the streets of Surrey for the Vaisakhi parade today, for some, the shadow of recent violence couldn’t be escaped completely.
Jas Beriya lives just a few blocks from the parade route – he’s on his third Surrey Vaisakhi and loves coming for the atmosphere and the food.
But he says this year – the spate of some recent shootings tied to the Indo-Canadian community – mean many at the festival are carrying a little extra weight.
“Sometimes it hurts, right – people from our community are ruining our names too. I would say still it’s in my mind. People who are concerned citizens of Canada – they will think about it. Or concerned citizens of Surrey, particularly, they will think about it.”
He adds it would be tough for the crowd to put the recent shootings out of mind.
“No they won’t – people definitely will have thing in mind. I won’t say that won’t be there. But I would say Canada is a peaceful country, right. So everybody should live in peace. The gang violence is creating hell down on Earth.”
A few dark clouds – over an otherwise beautiful, sunny parade.