By Ashok Bhargava
VANCOUVER: Writers International Network (WIN) Canada celebrated World Poetry Day with multicultural and multilingual poets.
What a fabulous evening it turned out to be! The world was present at Moberly Art and Culture Centre in Vancouver.
Different cultures made their influences felt– First Nations, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Estonian, Czechoslovakian, European, Filipino, Persian, diverse local Canadian, to name just a few.
To show closeness of poetry with other art forms, Sampaguita Folk Dancers performed traditional folk dances of the Philippines. Another musical group named `Lilija & the Secret Messengers’ performed poetry set to music.
As Candice James, poet laureate from New Westminster, noted, “At Ashok’s events we meet people we’ve never met before. That’s because he as president of Writers International Network, knows everyone, not just in Vancouver, but India, the Philippines, Korea and other places I can’t recall now. He’s a natural host, loves people, is good-natured, flexible and has a sense of humour. Without these qualities literary events can be difficult to sit through, but not Ashok’s celebrations, a born party giver. You know what I mean if you’ve been to the parties at his home. He invites the world. And it comes!”
Ms Valis, an accomplished poet, said, “Thanks to Ashok, his wife Aida, all the inspiring poets and the presenters that made us laugh, the amazing musicians, the graceful dancers, the impressive venue. Ashok introduced us to Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre. We’ll be back.”
A decision to proclaim 21 March as the World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999. World Poetry Day recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. The observance of World Poetry Day is to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting
It is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities. It also supports linguistic diversity through poetic expression and offers endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
(Ashok Bhargava is the president of Writers International Network, Canada)