Punjabi women’s festival returns for its seventh year

Members of Winnipeg’s Punjabi community celebrated the return of an annual cultural event over the weekend.

Raunak Teeyan Di was in full swing Sunday in the Maples. It was a day organized by women, for women, where community members dress in their traditional outfits for a fun-filled celebration with dance, singing, bhangra and Giddha. 

“It is really important because through celebrations we all come together,” said organizer Sandeep Bhatti. “Through celebrations we just make ourselves more joyful, we dance.” 

A woman smiles for the camera.
Sandeep Bhatti was one of the organizers of the event. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

The celebration wasn’t just for fun, but also an opportunity to teach younger attendees about the importance of the culture, Bhatti said. 

“You are alive just because of your culture,” she said. “It’s very important for every person just to keep connected to its roots and its culture.” 

The idea started off in 2018 when Bhatti and other women in the community wanted to organize something for “the ladies, by the ladies,” she said. The organizing team started with three people, then grew to four this year. 

Naman Mangat was involved as an organizer for this year’s event after being a sponsor the past. 

“I’m glad that I’m part of the team now,” she said on CBC Manitoba’s Weekend Morning Show with host Nadia Kidwai. 

A large stage.
One of the big attractions at the event was a big stage for performers. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

The event, which was open from women from all communities, sold more than 1,500 tickets according to the organizers. 

The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with performances from local singers and dancers, followed by a DJ.

The Weekend Morning Show (Manitoba)8:33Female Punjabi festival returns for its seventh year

Nadia speaks with Sandeep Bhatti, an organizer of the Raunak Teeyan Di event, about what people can expect at the festivities this year and why they’re important to the community.