Asian Heritage Month

Toronto & GTA

Toronto: Persian dance at Harbourfront Centre

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | 03:03 PM ET


Image courtesy of Minou Akhlaghi

A scientist by profession, Maria Sabaye Moghaddam specializes in Persian classical and folkloric dances from various regions of Iran. She has developed a unique style of story telling through dance accompanied by facial gestures. Maria has had numerous performances in various cultural events and appeared on Rogers Television. She is very active in the dance community and holds Persian dance classes for both youth and adults in Toronto. She is also the dance director for the Tirgan: Iranian Festival.

Ms. Moghaddam performed two classical Persian dances and presented a folk dance workshop at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre on July 27, 2008 as part of the What is Classical? festival.

More photos from the event under the cut

Laughter (HASYA) Yoga

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 06:36 PM ET
Dr. Madan Kataria, creator of Laughter Yoga

Laughter (Hasya) Yoga

It all began with five people coming together and laughing in a Mumbai park which has over the past decade cascaded into a worldwide movement with more than 5,000 laughter clubs all over the world.

Laughter Yoga was conceived by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbai, India. What started as a research assignment in 1995 on the benefits of laughter has taken on a life of its own.

Laughter Yoga is an effective routine that brings complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It instantly reduces stress by bringing more oxygen into the body, strengthening the immune system, fighting depression and creating a network of individuals who come together just to laugh.

The yoga in this therapy entails a series of breathing and easy movement exercises designed to teach the body to laugh without depending on jokes or humor. Dr. Kataria starts with the premise that the mind and body does not differentiate between laughing at something and laughing for no reason, so laughing for no reason is often the best medicine.

Drawing from India’s long array of yogic practice and with the help of his wife Madhuri, a yoga teacher, Laughter Yoga was invented. Laughing for no reason, is good for you.

There are laughter yoga clubs across Canada. Visit Laughter Yoga Canada for more information or contact:

Wendy Woods at 416.926.9450 or
Lynn Himmelmann at 416.469.2033 or

Toronto: CBC Film Screenings | Continuous Journey

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 08:41 PM ET
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Filmmaker Ali Kazimi (image courtesy Ali Kazimi)

CBC Radio One's As It Happens aired an interview with filmmaker Ali Kazimi on Tuesday May 13, 2008. Watch audio (runs 7:02)

A speechwriter somewhere on Parliament Hill has been thumbing through the thesaurus for all the different ways to say, "We're sorry."

The "we" in this case is the Government of Canada. The "sorry" is for actions taken by this country in 1914. And when all the T's are crossed and I's are dotted, the apology will be delivered to the Canadian Indian community.

And it will be delivered for an event called the "Komagata Maru Incident", named for a ship carrying close to 400 would-be immigrants from British India, which docked in Canada.

Ali Kazimi is a documentary filmmaker, who told the story in a film called "Continuous Journey". He's in Toronto.

Continuous Journey - In 1914, the Komagata Maru, a ship carrying 376 immigrants from British India, was turned away by Canada. The consequences were felt throughout the British Empire. Continuous Journey is a compelling and eye-opening investigation into the past and present ramifications of this incident. More than just a history film, Continuous Journey is a provocative, moving, and multi-layered essay that interweaves photographs, newsreels, home movies and official documents to unravel a complex and little-known story.

Digital Diversity: Generation DX2

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 10:20 PM ET

RCI Digital Diversity Competition: Generation DX2

Last September, RCI viva invited high school students across Canada to express themselves on intercultural relations. To enter the Generation DX2 competition, students between 12 and 18 years old were asked to talk to us about their reality or to tell us a story about cultural differences through short film, audio work or photo story.

The jury selected 58 finalists' works: 49 in French (28 short films, 14 audio works, 7 photo stories) and 9 in English (5 short flims, 3 audio works, and 1 photo story).

View them all at DX2.

Toronto: Autorickshaw

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 12:55 PM ET

music lies on the cultural cutting edge, as contemporary jazz and funk easily rub shoulders with the classical and popular music of India. Formed in 2003, Autorickshaw has swiftly risen to become one of the most intriguing acts on the Canadian world music and jazz landscapes.

Their sound showcases the sultry, vocals of Suba Sankaran, anchored by the melodic bass-lines of Rich Brown, over a bed of intricate Indian percussion by Ed Hanley and global rhythms by Patrick Graham. The group's repertoire draws from the classical music of north and south India, jazz and popular music. After garnering a 2004 Juno nomination for World Music Album of the Year and winning a Canadian Independent Music Award in 2005, autorickshaw has once again been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award in the World Music Album of the Year category for "And So the Journey Goes." Autorickshaw's original composition "Heavy Traffic" recently won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize in World Music.

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