Festival of Lights brightens up the lives of women

Angie Mindus photos Kamloops student Jaspreet Kaur Bhumbra dances at the Festival of Light Saturday evening. She travelled to Williams Lake to take in the event with her sister who lives in Williams Lake.
87-year-old Surjit Boyal claps her hands as she dances to traditional Indian music at the Festival of Lights.
Babitha Dakshinmurphy (left in white) and Parminder Nijjar (in brown) are all smiles as they dance.
Harjinder Nijjar (left) and Kulvinder Mangat laugh and dance at the women’s only Festival of Lights Saturday evening at the Elks Hall. The event saw more than 170 tickets sold, and is organized by the Festival of Lights committee. For story and more photos see Page A13.
Rupinder Khakh and Harjit Shergill enjoy a visit Saturday evening at the Elks Hall during the Festival of Lights.

It’s a three-month labour of love that one local group of women gift to other women in Williams Lake once a year — one fun night out to relax, visit, dance, enjoy traditional Indian food and one another’s company.

“We just want to fill life with light. In here the lights are enjoyment and happiness to everybody,” said Amarjit Khakh, one of a team of nine Indo Canadian women who put on the annual Festival of Light event and raise money for local non-profits.

To date the group has raised more than $17,000 while offering a hand in friendship to women of any ethnicity welcome to have a night out.

Read More: Join in Vaisakhi Day celebrations in Williams Lake

This year’s event Saturday evening at the Elks Hall attracted more than 170 women, eager to laugh and visit while dancing to traditional Indian music.

“I enjoy it when we are doing something good from the heart, something for our community” said Khakh, who herself has a family and a full-time job, like all the other women on the committee who cooked for one full week at the local temple to put on the impressive spread of vegetarian food.

The close group of friends came up with the idea of a women’s only event five years ago.

“Men always find a way to have enjoyment for themselves but we ladies are so much into the kids, cooking, being a housewife, working, we don’t have time to ourselves and that’s why we thought why not just get together for one night and forget about everything and just go out and enjoy.”


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