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The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal Kamal sharma, Public figure Honourable Wally Oppal, Member of the Legislative Assembly of bc, former ayyorney general and Supreme Court Justice. ruby bains, Branch Manager at G&F Financial Group

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We wish u the glow of joys and happiness spread in ur life and illuminate the every dark area to make u blissful and contented

HAPPY DIWALI

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AAJ MAGAZINE WISHES YOU A VERY HAPPY DIWALI


From the

CEO’s Desk

Welcome to AAJ, Canada’s Premier South Asian Lifestyle Magazine

Dear Readers, Once again it is that time of the year as everyone gears up to celebrate yet another festive season. Aaj would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for the tremendous support.

THE TEAM

As always, we strive to bring the best to you. We have assembled in this edition a variety of articles ranging from interviews of successful personalities, who have been kind enough to share their success stories

Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu Advertising & Sales Kelly Paul Baraich Editor J.S. Design Crystal ball Advertising Photographers Aziz Ladha Imperial Photo Studio Nikhil Ranga Sanjay Morar Neelu Garcha Mariam Zohra Thank You! Rita Chohan Remedios Law Group The Barrel Public House Shashi Kumar Dr. Harpreet Dhillon

and give generous advices to those striving to achieve their goals, to those touching base with our roots and enlightening the future generations. We started this venture in 1997 with a view to share with the community the ideals and values inculcated by our elders along with giving a blend of the Western ideologies. Without the help of my partners and pioneers of this magazine, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to launch this dream project. I sincerely thank everyone who has put in his or her time and effort to make it a success. It has been a wonderful journey and on our way we’ve had the pleasure of joining hands with some of the

Manoj Bhargava Bharthi Sandhu Bilal Cheema Dr. Sukh S. Mann Harvey Kooner Jon Singh Jordon Smith Raj Bhui Ronnie Sidhu Sandiya Prasad Sasha Ramnarine Matt Williams Perleen / Amit Prasad Dr. Paramjit Bhui Nalini Bhui Raj Bhui Shum Sidhu - Rai Raj Sangha Bhangra Idol Ambi Randhawa Harjit Sajjan Manjeet Vinning Harvey Kooner Bavan Arora Aman Kaila Ronnie Sidhu Jordon Smith Eric Kalsi Bill Bains

best talents from within and outside the community, helping the Aaj family grow and prosper. With Diwali around the corner, on behalf of the entire Aaj team, I would like to extend warm greetings to all our readers. May this festive season lighten up the hearts and homes of everyone. May there be laughter, peace and harmony the world over and may the choicest blessings be showered endlessly. I wish everyone a very happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year. Not only that, I would also like to thank everyone for helping Aaj grow and become a diverse magazine. Suki Pangalia

Special Thanks Her Worship Linda Hepner, Mayor of Surrey

Honourable Wally Oppal, Member of the Legislative Assembly of bc, former ayyorney general and Supreme Court Justice

The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal Harjinder Thind Ruby Bains Nira Arora Kamal Sharma Nathan Funk Anita(Patil) Huberman Parveen Varshney Junita Thakorlal

Wardrobe Courtesy Crossover Bollywood Se Images Credits Google Freepik Wikiepedia


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2015

Nov/ Dec AAJ MAGAZINE is published by AAJ Media Group, doing business as AAJ Magazine Inc. AAJ is a magazine that is published every two months. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisements cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not the views of the Publishers or AAJ Media Group. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2015 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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CONTENTS CONTENTS

COVER STORY

DIWALI: AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE DAYS

COMMUNITY & CULTURE 26 28

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM REMEMBRANCE DAY MANOJ BHARGAVA INVENTOR, SAVIOUR, VISIONARY OR

PHILANTHROPIST?

LAW & POLITICS 32 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EMPLOYEES 36

CIVIL FORFEITURE

BREAK THE LAW?

IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

AAJ FAMILY 56 ARE THOSE MEDICATIONS NECESSARY OR 82

CONVENIENT? THE 10-DAY LIFE CHANGER

86

A TIME FOR CHANGE

88

THEY SAID IT COULD NOT HAPPEN…

AAJ DIWALI 42

DIWALI NOSTALGIA AND REALITY

HEALTH 50 TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR

HEALTH

52 ACHOO! OH, NO, I’VE GOT THE

FLU!

64 CAN DIGESTIVE ENZYMES HELP WITH ASTHMA? 76

WHIPLASH: A PAIN IN THE NECK

COMMUNITY 110 AAJ ON LOCATION COMMUNITY AT A GLANCE

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AAJ DIWALI

DIWALI GREETINGS FROM HER WORSHIP LINDA HEPNER On behalf of Surrey City Council, I am pleased to extend the warmest of Diwali greetings on this special occasion celebrating the Festival of Lights.

S

eated posing at the photographer was a friendly face in a beautiful saree and bindi smiling away….all in a day’s work! Except for the fact that this was the first time Mayor Linda Hepner of Surrey had ever worn a saree. Watching her grace, one would never know. All preparations were in order for the celebration of Diwali in vibrant Surrey. In the previous nine years, when Mayor Hepner was a City Councillor, as part of celebrating Surrey’s rich multicultural diversity, City Hall hosted Diwali displays. In recent years they even had an open invitation to the public and a short ceremony celebration with prayers, entertainment and ‘Mithai” at the hall. As well Mayor and Council greeted the citizens by placing Diwali greetings in the local newspaper publications each year. She sends us the first one in 2015 through AAJ Magazine.

enabling us to celebrate the rich diversity of cultures and faiths in our city. Surrey prizes its diverse cultural heritage and celebrates the many special occasions of our various communities.” Since we were her captive audience, we decided to ask her a few questions which she answered enthusiastically in the brief time we had together. Qs. What is the best highlight of 2015 or, since you took over the position of Mayor Hepner and the most traumatic experience as Mayor? Ans. “ I am grateful that so many residents of Surrey have given me such a strong mandate to lead our City for the next four years. Together with my Council colleagues, we look forward to taking Surrey to the next level.

Message from Mayor Linda Hepner “On behalf of Surrey City Council, I am pleased to extend the warmest of Diwali greetings on this special occasion celebrating the Festival of Lights. Diwali brings a message of unity, warmth and joy. It is a message that all Surrey residents can appreciate, 18

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One aspect of the job that I really enjoy is my direct contact with residents and in particular with the youth. I really enjoy talking with them when they stop by my office on City Hall Tours or when I am invited into their classrooms. As Mayor of B.C.’s fastest growing city, there are always challenges. My

job is to ensure that Surrey continues to move forward and a top priority of mine is to ensure that Light Rail Transit is built for our city.” Qs. What personality trait makes you a good mayor- were you born with it or did you have to cultivate it ? Ans. “ I am a keen listener and I believe in g etting things done. These are traits that I have always embodied and it has suited me well both in my professional career and in elected office.” Qs. What school/university did you attend? Ans. “ I entered the work world early and I advanced my career by taking a number of continuing education courses at the University of Alberta, University of Manitoba and S.F.U.” Qs. W hat are your hobbies or personal interests and talents. Ans. “Cooking (I was once a cooking instructor), skiing and golf.” Qs. What achievements will leave you satisfied of a job well done in one year/ in two years/in 5years? Ans. “ Bringing Light Rail Transit to Surrey is the top priority for my aajmag.ca


THE MAYOR administration. Surrey has not had any new investment in rapid transit in more than two decades and during that time our population has increased to more than 500,000 people and we continue to grow by 1000 people each month. We have to keep the people, goods and the economy of the City and the region moving and that’s why building LRT for Surrey is so important for me�. It was evident that Mayor Hepner had a true passion for children & youth and connected well with the few youngsters in the room. Rightfully, she is interested in the causes that affect youth since the majority of the young population of Surrey are a vibrant bunch and with good energy. All the resources that can be offered to them will only strengthen our growing city. She brief ly mentioned her interest in serving the seniors in the city as that was another population that had some special needs that the city was working on. The Tech Boulevard, film making and such initiatives should bring plenty of employment opportunities to Surrey, making it one of the more desirable places to live in the Lower Mainland. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Written by: Nalini Bhui.

Nov/Dec 2015

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COVER STORY

AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE DAYS by Nalini Bhui

“T

ell me a stoly taatha! What do we see from our window today gampa?” said little Rahul…… Grandpa having travelled all over the world as a film maker, had many amazing stories to tell. This was their favourite time together.

“Sure, let us visit different countries, meet special people and see how Diwali is celebrated everywhere. Every house is cleaned and nicely decorated with clay lamps and coloured strings of lights that adorn the doors and windows. Although Diwali is celebrated all over India, with the common theme of victory of good over evil and prayers to be led from darkness unto light, there

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are a few differences in special customs and foods depending upon the individual’s home state in India and the country they migrated to. Let us learn a little bit more…Where should we go first? Hmmm…Rahul, I spy with my mind’s eye that, we are in Nepal for Tihar. Look at how beautifully the crow, dog, cow and ox are decorated”……

the sloping mountain paths with his little sister.... “I want to go and play Deusi with Bahadur... Yes, bhaiyya and I want to sing, dance and play Bhailo “. He clapped his hands excitedly, “Oh I see Radheeka playing on the ‘Dore Ping’. What a strong and thick rope swing it is! Chandeshwor & Gyanedra are on the ‘Pirke Ping and Rangate Ping’ wood swings!”…

(Nepal story)……….“Come on let’s go, let’s go Uru ! “ said little seven-yearold Aahlaad

As they played and danced, the little kids visited each other’s houses. Their parents gave gifts like rice, fruits and the elders gave them ‘dakshani - money’ as a token gift given during Tihar or Swanti. On the first day of Kaag Tihar, crows were given offerings, as they were considered to be divine messengers. On the second day of Kukur Tihar, dogs were specially fed for their honesty. Gai Tihar and Goru Tihar were celebrated on the third day, where the cow and ox were decorated and fed. On the last day of the Sembat

Gurung as he skipped

along

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Nepali calendar, businessmen cleared their accounts and worshipped the goddess of wealth Lakshmi. The fourth day was celebrated as a New Year. Processions, cultural performances and other events filled this family fun day. This included a special ritual, Maha Puja’, in which the body was worshipped to keep it fit and healthy for the year ahead. On the last or fifth day known as “Bhai Tika”, siblings garlanded each other, put a tikka on each other’s forehead and prayed for each other. The brothers gave gifts to their sisters who then fed them sweet dishes. After the festival, people donated money for food or to charities. Some of the money and food was used for group picnics for the whole community’s enjoyment. ``That was sooooo much fun. I love dogs especially as they look so cute when decorated! Where shall we go next Taatha?” asked little Rahul excitedly. (Bengaluru story) … “Let us go to Bengaluru. The state of Mysore is well-known for it’s silk sarees and Chitra is their headliner model this

year. It is a very special Diwali for her as she is on the runway for a Dipavali Fashion show.” As Chitra looked at the audience from the runway modelling the beautiful mustard coloured Mysore silk saree, she saw her ninety-yearold grandmother Sarojamma sitting in the audience. She remembered spending special Navaratri, Dassera and Dipavali celebrations with her

Manni as she lovingly called her. Sometimes she called her ‘Paati’ or ‘Ajji’. Chitra remembered going with Manni to see the ‘Bombe Habba or Dassera Golu’ kept on nine steps in her friends’ homes. The ladies wore the pretty soft Mysore silk sarees in very special colours with pure Jari work on the borders.

their feet and welcoming them as if they were the three goddesses Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati coming to bless their home.

Navarathri was celebrated by setting up ‘Golu’ in a corner of every home i.e. a gallery of handcrafted dolls representing major deities, doll sets representing mythological themes, or even scenes from current everyday life and relationship stories. There is a legend related to the exhibition of toys during ‘Bombe Habba’. Since the goddess Durga needed a lot of power to fight the demon Mahishasura, all the other gods and goddesses transferred their power to her and they all stood still as statues during that entire time. To respect the sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revered idols of gods and goddesses.

Chitra and Manni would go from one house to another every evening for nine days. Deepavali means “Row of Lamps” or “Path of Light”. The houses were lighted up on the outside with the clay lamps or diyas and on the inside they were brightened by the performances of special songs, prayers, classical dance performances in Bharata Natyam and bhajans in Carnatic music by the visitors. Each house offered one special snack wrapped in a piece of banana leaf as prasadam to everyone that visited. The delicious food items were Kadlekai or Chana Usli; Kobri Mithai; Chakli; Murukku; Tenkol; small Raagi or Akki Rottis; Puttani - a powdered mix of gram flour roasted with pure homemade ghee, dry coconut powder, sugar or jaggery & Cashews and Gojjavallakki or sweet Avalakki. All nutritious and delicious! Every visitor was treated with love and respect as if he or she was god in the form of a visitor - ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’.

Chitra remembered the beautiful display stands built as nine huge steps. Each step represented one of the nine days of Navratri. Golu started with “Kalasam Puja.” Kalasam consisted of a brass or silver pot filled with water with a coconut placed amidst mango leaves at the mouth of the pot. It was an eco-friendly symbol that represented the divine power being worshipped. Respects are paid to the older married ladies by washing

In Southern India, Navaratri is symbolic of vanquishing evil and irresponsible behaviour, as well as appreciating all aspects of life. The first three days represent the strong and fearless Goddess Durga or Chamundeshwari with tamasic or worldly qualities invoking will power. The next three days Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth is worshipped as being kind yet practical invoking the

Doorways were decorated with hanging torans ( garlands) of mango leaves and marigolds.

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COVER STORY power of action. Goddess Saraswati is the deity prayed to for the last three days, invoking the power of knowledge and enlightenment. The ninth day of Dassera is celebrated in Karnataka, by worshipping implements used in daily life such as stationery, computers, books, utensils or vehicles. Buses, trucks and machines in factories are decorated. Seeing the divine presence in the tools and objects one uses in daily life is central to this celebration, so it includes all tools that help one earn

a livelihood. Students place books, pens and computers; farmers the plough and other agricultural tools; machinery for industrialists and cars/ buses/trucks for the transportation workers. Everything is decorated with flowers such as Jasmine, Roses, Rajnigandha, Bouganvilla, Champa, Marigold, and Shoeflower. The colours & fragrances emanating from most of these flowers are unparalleled anywhere else on earth. Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped and then taken on a Golden elephantmounted throne in a grand procession through the city of Mysore, from the historical Palace in Mysore to the Banni Mantapa. ‘Vijay’ means victory & ‘Dashami’ is the Sanskrit word for “ten”. On the tenth day known as Vijayadashami i.e. on the tenth day in the lunar fortnight of the Hindu calendar, worshippers invoke God’s blessings for future success. It is believed that any new venture on this day such as starting a business or the purchase 24

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of property, jewellery, or new utensils will bring good luck and success. In many parts of South India, even non-Hindus follow the tradition of ‘Vidya Aarambam’ - the initiation of reading and writing. A family elder or teacher, blesses and guides the child to write for the first time with the index finger on raw rice spread on a plate. The child then gives the teacher ‘Guru Dakshina.’ A decade ago, many Christians from churches in Kerala formally adopted this tradition of introducing young children to

and children, dressed in colourful traditional Chaniya cholis, sarees and silk Kurta- churidars dancing together in a BIG indoor gymnasium. The soulful and melodious folk songs are played by troupes from Gujarat, Mumbai and Rajasthan. The MC leads and calls out the steps to each segment. So, each line of dancers is in total sync with the whole room of dancers. The fast numbers do full justice to the flute, dhol, tabla and the unique Nagadas (war drums). The tapping of the dandiya sticks add yet

education on Dasara day.

another dimension to this entrancing evening. The atmosphere is charged with amazing youthful energy. The agility of people of all ages is commendable”… said Taatha.

Basically, the nine days are about celebrating feminine divinity and different aspects of the mother as a fierce protector of her family, kind yet practical. Knowledgeable in many aspects of life, she is able to guide her children and foster unity and prosperity in the family. In Southern India, the girl child is loved, honoured and well-respected as a symbol of prosperity. As well, apparently girls in South India have a very high literacy rate with impressive career choices. (Toronto, Canada & Gujarat story) “Rahul, a Dassera & Diwali tour would be incomplete without a trip to Toronto Canada where the celebrations are different than anywhere else. Mira, Paarul, Kailash, Tara & Paras and twelve of their University friends are rushing by train to Mississagua to attend Dandiya celebrations just like their cousins in Ahmedabad. Imagine hundreds of men, women

Pre-Diwali preparations start eleven days before on Dhan Teras. Patels and Vaishnavs prepare choice snacks and savories. Also, Wagh Baras day signifies the importance of women in society and they are gifted new clothes, utensils and jewellery. The first day of Diwali is celebrated to revere Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods and Goddess Laxmi. As per the story, the sixteen-year old son of King Hima was doomed to die but the dedication of his young wife made Yama, the God of Death, return him back to his family. Fasting is observed. An earthen lamp is lit at the main entrance and Lord Yamaraj is offered water, vermilion, rice, jaggery and flowers – Yamadeepdaan Puja. In North India, the second day of Diwali is also known as Roop Chaturdashi. aajmag.ca


On this day, Hindus take a special bath with certain rituals followed and perform Sadhana (Meditation) in order to enhance beauty. The third day of Diwali is the most important day with much significance. Firecrackers are burst and sweets are distributed following Laxmi puja. In Gujarat, Diwali is known as Badhausar. On this day, goddess Lakshmi is believed to visit the homes that are well lit. Families decorate their houses with lights, flowers, Kandils and coloured-paper chains. Women perform “aarti” to their husbands, and pray for his long life. Diwali day represents the start of a new business year for Gujaratis, so all businesses close their accounts and pray to Lord Ganesh & Goddess Laxmi for blessings during ‘Chopda Pujan’. The fourth day of Diwali occurs on the first day of the lunar New Year. It is the new year for the Hindus. Govardhan Parbat (mountain) and Lord Krishna are worshipped. During Dandiya, Raas and Garba , songs are dedicated to Lord Krishna. Beautiful Silver jewellery with delicate filigree work, intricate embroidery and mirrorwork decorate the costumes worn by both men and women. Words do no justice to the picturesque scenes at these events. Rangoli designs decorate the entranceway to houses in Gujarat. These exercise sessions of singing and dancing continue for all nine days of Navaratri. First, good nutritious traditional food is served. Then, they dance for between two and four

hours every night and pray and share ‘Prasad’ at the end of each session.

Youngsters and newly-wed couples seek blessings from their elders. Love and good energy fill the venue be it at the temples, halls rented for the purpose or people’s homes. Darkness is thus truly dispelled as light shines brightly both inside people’s hearts and outside in the hall. Since Diwali is celebrated on the 20th day after Dussehra or Navaratri on a new moon day, light from the diyas and firecrackers illuminate the dark sky in a brilliant flash. In the 21st century, it is heartening to see more and more mainstream participation and true enjoyment of the festivities. Such love, joy and friendship amongst people of all ages and ethnicities truly make the world smaller and people’s hearts larger! Man is a social being and revels in or always seeks unconditional love. Sharing in Diwali festivities has become a great bonding experience for all youth in Toronto just like in Gujarat and is a source of good entertainment for all. (New York and Sri Darbar Sahib stories) … “ Rahul, let us take a trip across the bridge from Toronto to New York and meet Narinder Singh ji at the grand celebrations of a very important day Bandi Chhor Divas. Ravinder, Swaranjit, Paramjit , Gurcharan & Manjit went ahead with their chachi and are already helping to decorate the gurudwara and have one final practice for their shabad singing with their buaji. ” … said Grandpa.

Sikhs all over the world celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas during the

Diwali time frame. The Mughals had imprisoned 52 innocent Kings as well as the Guru as political prisoners. However, Guru Hargobind Sahibji found a way to release all of them without a battle, during his own release. Hence, ‘Prisoner Release Day or Bandi Chorh Divas’ is celebrated by the Sikh Sangat all over the world as he returned to Amritsar on that day. It is coincidental that Diwali is celebrated on the same day. Hence, Hindus and Sikhs celebrate this day with many similarities. Both in India and North America, an impressive part of the celebrations are displays, performances and competitions of ancient Sikh Martial Arts. These are extremely popular among the girls, boys and adults. The revival of these Martial arts provides excellent exercise to enhance phyisical fitness and strength. Amazing skills of eye-hand co-ordination, muscle power, concentration and balance are developed during the practice of `Gatka`and `Chakkar in Gatka`. The components of difficulty include the addition of riding, fire-ring skills and performances with blocks of ice. Grace, agility and fearlessness are portrayed in performances with the addition of these tasks. The lighting of lamps in India and candles in North America and the bursting of firecrackers, provide good energy to all. “ Rahul, let me introduce you to a little known story on Diwali during

the Mughal period in India in the 15th & 16th centuries. I had many Nov/Dec 2015

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COVER STORY

good Muslim friends when I lived and studied in Hyderabad as a young lad”… said grandpa B.K. ( Mughal Empire Story) Diwali during the Mughal rule in India under King Akbar was different than the rest of the Mughal period. Akbar adopted two distinct but effective approaches in administering a large territory and incorporating various ethnic groups into his service. Land-holding zamindars used their considerable local knowledge and influence to collect revenue and to transfer it to the treasury, keeping a portion in return for services rendered. An astute ruler who genuinely appreciated the challenges of administering so vast an empire, Akbar introduced a policy of reconciliation and assimilation of Hindus who represented the majority of the population. He recruited and rewarded Hindu chiefs with the highest ranks in government; encouraged intermarriages between Mughal and Rajput aristocracy; allowed new temples to be built; personally participated in celebrating Hindu festivals such as Deepavali, or Diwali, the festival of lights; and abolished the jizya (poll tax) imposed on non-Muslims. Akbar created his own new religion Din-i-Ilahi (Divine Faith), incorporating the principle of acceptance of all religions and sects. A large imperial library included books in Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian, Greek, Kashmiri, English, and Arabic, such as the Shanameh, Bhagavata Purana and the Bible. Surprising as it may seem to a few, the impact of such open-minded thinking 26

Nov/Dec 2015

is prevalent even in current times. Although in the present days wrought with religious and political strife, many Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims and Christians join together as one to partake in and enjoy the festivities and celebrations of Diwali in major cities in India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad & Bengaluru. It would be nice to see more of this cultural bonding in multicultural Canada in the years to come. To this end, Toronto has taken a good lead in recent years. “The last story Rahul, is one from Uttar Pradesh or U.P. Just as Bengal, is known for Kali Puja during the festival of Mahanisha - Bengali name for Diwali, U. P. is famous for the portrayal of Ramayana in story form ending in the burning of the effigy of the wicked demon Ravana. The daily Ram Lila celebrations symbolizing the victory of good over evil are very popular. Let us go with Sachi, Suman and Gautam to see the Ramlila celebrations at the grounds ” ... said grandpa B.K. (Uttar Pradesh story) On the day of Dussehra, Lord Ram, killed the great demon Ravan, who had abducted Lord Ram’s wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, along with his brother Lakshman and devoted follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his loving wife Sita. The war against Ravan lasted for ten days. Sita was reunited with her husband Ram and they went back to Ayodhya in triumph and glory. Thus, it is on the Diwali day that Lord Ram returned to his capital Ayodhya after being in exile for fourteen years. The fourth day was celebrated as a New Year. Processions, cultural performances and other events filled this family fun day In U.P., on the day Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya, Diwali is celebrated by bursting

firecrackers and illuminating homes with clay diyas to welcome them and light their path. Ramayana is enacted in dramas called Ramlila & is staged in huge outdoor pandals in cities, towns and villages, on the occasion of Dussehra and Diwali. In the evenings, a procession is taken out in all major cities where people dress up as characters from the Ramayana. Huge effigies of the demon Ravana with his ten heads are burned, signifying victory of Lord Rama - good over evil. Of course the character Hanuman is always a favourite with the kids. The performances are an amazing display of talent. ``So Rahul, to put it all together, Deepavali or the festival of lights, is celebrated in autumn every year with great enthusiasm by Indians all over the world. Exchange of gifts, fresh flowers, jewellery, new clothes and utensils, meeting with friends and family, prayer and feasting are part of this colourful festival. Yet, each region of India celebrates Diwali in its own way. The lighting of small earthenware oil lamps is common throughout the country. As a Thanksgiving event, the lighting of the lamps is also a way for people to show thanks for the good things in their lives. Spiritually, Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil & hope over despair. It is a festival of joy, splendor, brightness and happiness. The special feature is the harmony of five varied philosophies, with each day dedicated to a special thought or ideal. These are RESPECT- Leading from honesty and appropriate behaviour and language. SACRIFICE- Exercising will power and tolerance in daily living and the importance of charity. KNOWLEDGE- Worldly information and spiritual enlightenment. INNER BEAUTY- Enhanced through meditation and good relationships. PHYSICAL FITNESS- Through exercise, Yoga and Martial Arts. If one celebrates each of the five days of Diwali festivities with true understanding and the right spirit, lives will be truly enriched. The hope is for true joy, love and peace for all” Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Visuals are courtesy of Chandu Rajanna, Google, Wikipedia, Youtube, NBC & AP.

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COMMUNITY & CULTURE

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM by : Matt Williams

R

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emembrance has always been important to me. Even as a young child, before I really understood the meaning of remembrance I knew that it was important. As a family we would never miss a Remembrance Day ceremony, which at the time was predominantly about World War 1 and World War 2. I remember the parade and the speeches, the prayers and the last post followed by the two minutes of silence. I remember John McRae’s immortal words, In Flanders Field.

importance. And the relevance for me is best described in the lines of the second verse of In Flanders Field:

As a teenager I participated in the parade myself as a cadet and then later as a soldier; now I attend as a veteran. It was during my time as a soldier, through the loss of friends, that I learnt the relevance of remembrance as well as the

It’s these words that describe the human element of remembrance. It is specifically about those that fell and paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. As I read the words, I can put names and faces to those that they relate to. I can remember

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields

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conversations that we had, happy times as we enjoyed a beer or shared a joke. They are not just names on a cenotaph—they are real people, who were right here with us. They were just like you and I. Just as we live, feel dawn and see sunsets glow, so did my friends that

their rose garden and their dream home won’t get built. Although I wish I could change that, I know that I cannot. So what can I do? I can’t fulfill their dreams but I can remember them and I do so often. I remember their names and their faces and some of the experiences that we shared.

fell, but more importantly they had plans. They had short term plans, like where they would go on vacation when they got home from the war, or where they would propose to their girlfriend or teach their children to fish. They had medium term plans: perhaps they wanted to install some hardwood flooring, buy an RV or plant a rose garden. And they had long term plans, like where they wanted to retire, to send their children to college or build their own home.

I remember conversations that we had and the jokes that we shared. I remember the happy times and some of the other times. For some of them, I remember the last time that we spoke, we wished each other well as we said, ‘I’ll see you on the other side.’ But sadly we didn’t, because fate intervened. And as Remembrance Day approaches we can all remember them. You may not know someone that fell in battle or succumbed to their injuries but you do know someone just like them.

And perhaps it is the loss of these plans that is the greatest tragedy. As we go through our lives day by day we try and make things better, we try to chart our course, what we will do, who we will see and where we will go. But for those that fell, there are no plans and their dreams will be unfulfilled. They won’t get to plant

Those that fell are more than names on a cenotaph, they are brothers and sisters, daughters and sons. They were young men that drove pick-up trucks, young women that played softball, they were mothers that watched their kids soccer games and fathers that picked their children up from school. They were aunts and

uncles and cousins and neighbours and friends. They loved and were loved, they were just like you and me, and if we remember them they can live on. Sadly, they won’t fulfill their dreams but they won’t be forgotten either, and we will keep them here with us in our memories. We will remember them. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Nov/Dec 2015

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AAJ WORLD

INVENTOR, SAVIOUR, VISIONARY OR

PHILANTHROPIST? by Nalini Bhui

Passionate scientist, savvy businessman, lucky inventor or simply a crazy billionaire with a new hobby? Who is Manoj Bhargava? More importantly, can he really save the world?

M

any are asking this of the little known, but recently much talked about billionaire with a passion for true philanthropy. Bhargava was born in Lucknow, India in 1953. He had a simple childhood, and immigrated to the US at the age of 14 years. While his father pursued a PhD, Manoj finished high school in Pennsylvania and being a math whiz, he attended one year at Princeton University. He worked at many jobs in construction, labour, cleaning, clerical accounting, taxi driving, printing press operation and business management. However, perhaps as a disillusioned young man, he moved back to India and lived as a monk in an ashram for twelve years. Whether it was identity seeking or soul searching, only he knows why. What were humble beginnings soon turned into a ‘rags to riches’ story on his permanent return to

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the US in the 1990s. Manoj then took over his family’s plastics company, Prime PVC Inc., and gave it a new name: Prime Conduit. At that time, he, his wife, and their son resided in Farmington Hills, Michigan. An astute businessman, he grew the sales of Prime Conduit and sold the company for $20 million US dollars in 2007. Soon after, he started the ‘Living Essentials’ brand. It was his invention, the ‘5-Hour Energy’ drink, that made Manoj Bhargava’s company worth four billion dollars. The popular drink was a simple blend of vitamins, nutrients, caffeine and amino acids packaged in a shot glass size bottle and sold for just $3 each. Thus, Manoj became the wealthiest Indian billionaire in the US. He maintained a low profile and was virtually unknown until he was awarded the ‘Wealthiest Indian & US Newsmaker of the year 2011’ and ‘Entrepreneur of Ernst and Young 2012’. Interviews and acclamations started pouring in. Being a wellgrounded person, he continued his quiet lifestyle and started to pay more attention to his philanthropic work. As is usual in the corporate culture, demands for donations started to pour in from various sources. Realizing the magnitude of the amount he donated and the virtual lack of control for the usage aajmag.ca


of charity money, Manoj decided to fund his own ventures both in India and in the US. Despite his philosophy of simplicity, his charitable aspirations and donations became quite involved. As per his own statements, in his interviews, he said that he was actually working on donating more than ninety percent of his net profits. Due to his personal history and not really believing in bookish University knowledge, he employed simple individuals from various fields such as those with hands- on experience in the auto industry & people who were ‘tinkerers.’ In general he preferred anyone that would nurture his philosophy. He tried to exemplify his belief that it was the duty of the wealthy to improve the life of the poor. Also, that each product should be simple and positively impact the maximum number of people possible. Even if it did not make money, it had to be incredibly useful to be on his list. He always looked only for those projects with a real use or ones with maximum impact. His projects were profitable business endeavors. It was also his belief that there could be useful change in the world. Manoj’s motto was, “Make a difference in people’s lives, do not just talk about it.” His driving force was, “work is never done.” With this in mind, he dedicated one building called ‘Stage 2 Invention shop’ on his company property which had ten buildings on 25 acres. It is still

proposed project to be actually programmed and completed in one day. Unlimited resources were made available to support such inventions. Currently, several projects in the areas of water, energy and health are being actively pursued. The simplest and of most value is the invention of The Hybrid Bicycle which, when pedaled for one hour, produces’ pollution- and cost- free electricity for 24 hours. Power thus produced can be used to light up ten ‘100 - Watt light bulbs’ as well as charge cell phones, tablets and a small fan. During this process, as a bonus, the person pedaling gets physically fitter through a good workout. It is simple and doable and the machine is easily portable. Sounds miraculously simple and it is.

Apparently at an 80% reduced cost compared to existing less portable machines. His suggestion is to place these units on barges a couple of miles off shore and to pipe the fresh water produced to the land nearby. According to his vision, a few thousand barges with several units on each one should alleviate most of the water problems around the world. The writer wonders how the barges would be powered. Perhaps groups of volunteers interested in the environment, sedentary politicians or individuals enrolled in community rehabilitation programs for crime prevention could be assigned round the clock on his Hybrid bicycles to produce enough electricity to power the barges. That would be pretty amazing indeed! Of course an easier option could

Next Manoj says that, just as oil was the gold of the previous fifty years, water will be the gold of the next fifty. He notes that a considerable population on earth has no access to clean, safe, quality drinking water, yet the oceans around have plenty of it. Places such as California, China, India, Africa & Arizona inspired the ‘drought rain project’. Unusable sea water is converted into drinking quality grade clean water in minutes. One thousand gallons of water are converted per minute by this very portable and efficient machine.

believed to be the most wellfunded ‘play house’ for engineers. Here, he liked his team to simplify any newly Nov/Dec 2015

33


AAJ WORLD be for his project to reduce diesel usage by 20%. What separates this from other desalination machines is also that the water so produced has agricultural uses as well making it very valuable in many parts of the world.

Finally, onto his third major current project in healthcare ‘Health Renew.’ Inspired by Sir David Lane who implied that many major health problems arise from the retaining of waste products produced by the body. This in turn affects circulation & creates and compounds health problems. So, Manoj’s machine the ECP (External Counter Pulsation) enhances circulation by squeezing blood from the legs back into the core body, acting just like an auxiliary heart. He actually uses this invention himself on a daily basis and declares that it is the secret to his good health. Surely there must be other factors adding to his good health fortune such as inheriting good genes! s recent documentary titled “Billions in Change” portrays one man’s journey in finding simple solutions as in his ords,” talk doesn’t really help someone out of poverty. Awareness doesn’t reduce pollution; grow food or heal the ck that takes doing. Solutions are here.” He talks about energy being the great equalizer. If energy was plentiful e poor would not be poor he observes. Also, that lack of electricity has denied the poor the benefits of the Industrial evolution a real shame. It is the duty of those who have to provide for basic resources to be accessible to all the nderprivileged. He states that people are impressed by companies that spend 3% of their wealth on research. But, e argues, “it is not mobs of PhDs that come up with great inventions - a couple of guys in a garage have proved that at’s not true.” So, asks the writer Nalini Bhui, is Manoj Bhargava truly the savior or a crazy billionaire with a hobby?

IME WILL SURELY BE THE JUDGE.

Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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LAW

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EMPLOYEES

BREAK THE LAW?

A PRIMER FOR MANAGERS AND EXECUTIVES by Matt Williams

As a result of the employee’s financial dependence on the employer, the employee is, in some respects at least, in a position of weakness. In effect, the employer-employee relationship is not one of peers but of servant and master.

T

he deliberate deception at Volkswagen along with other events such as the insider trading and rogue trading demonstrate that employees will break the law in the course of their employment. The consequences of criminal acts committed by employees can be very significant. Employees can be prosecuted, business can be lost through loss of reputation, corporations can face fines running into billions of dollars and senior executives can be prosecuted because the law was broken on their watch. So how can executives protect themselves and their companies from being

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held criminally responsible for the activities of their employees? The employer-employee relationship is complex. Many employees spend more of their waking hours at work than they do with their families and as such the workplace environment can have a significant effect on them. In fact, it is often said the employer-employee relationship is so complex that it is second most complex legal relationship that one can have, the most complex being marriage. More complex than buying a house and entering into a mortgage that can last for

25-30 years. So how can it be that an agreement that can be terminated with two weeks’ notice (or even immediately) is almost as significant as a marriage? Well, the employer will have a significant degree of control over the employee. In addition to determining whether they behave at work the employer can control or influence some of their off duty conduct, such as how they present themselves on social media. But most importantly, the reason that the employee accepts this level of control from their employer is the employee’s need to feed, clothe aajmag.ca


and provide shelter for themselves and often their family also. They are (in most cases) financially dependent on their employer and therefore the employer will have a very significant influence on the employee. All businesses are under pressure. They need to cover the operating costs, make the payroll and turn a profit. In a today’s fast moving business world corporations need to be innovative, efficient and stay ahead of their competition. Add this to the raft of regulatory compliance requirements including employment standards (including Human Rights), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), consumer protection, financial and environmental regulations and we can see that business is complicated and challenging. So is it right that the executive leadership can be held accountable for the conduct of employees, particularly when the number of employees involved can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands?

The simple answer is yes, they should, and for two reasons. The first is that corporations are in business to make money. Whatever their mission, vision or values, ultimately they are there to make a profit for the owner(s) or shareholders. For this reason they can reasonably be expected to conduct themselves ethically and in accordance with all legal obligations and requirements. To do otherwise would simply be wrong. And the second reason is that as a result of the employee’s financial dependence on the employer, the employee is, in some respects at least, in a position of weakness. In effect, the employer-employee relationship is not one of peers but of servant and master. As a result they will be motivated to act in their employer’s best interest. Their success is mutually dependent upon their employer’s success. The business grows, the employee grows. The business stagnates, the employee stagnates. And if the Nov/Dec 2015

37


LAW business succeed. At one end of the spectrum this could mean minor issues. Perhaps they will not follow all of the safety rules, but more importantly at the other end of the spectrum we can and do find employees breaking laws relating to matters as serious as insider trader and large scale regulatory non-compliance as a result of needing to see the business succeed.

business fails the employee fails. The employee’s need for the business to succeed will be a significant motivator in determining the employee’s actions and will influence their decisions considerably. So how does this make the executive leadership accountable for the conduct of their employee? Aren’t the employees as adults with freedom of choice ultimately responsible for their own actions? For the most part, yes they are. Employees can and will be held legally accountable for their actions which in many cases can result in a criminal prosecution. In recent years there have been a number of high profile (and lesser known) prosecutions where employees have been fined or even incarcerated for criminal acts committed in the course of their employment. But the criminal liability doesn’t end there, and for one very important reason. In addition to being financially dependent upon their employer, all of the employee’s actions at work will be conducted in an environment and a culture that is created by and is the responsibility 38

Nov/Dec 2015

of the corporation’s executive leadership and management. That environment and culture will shape every decision that they make to the extent that on occasion they will act in manner that may be contrary to their own values. In the course of their employment the employee will be required to perform a number of task throughout the day. That’s their job and that’s what they are paid for. But what happens when the employee cannot complete those tasks despite their best efforts? The likelihood is that they will cut corners, bend and even break rules, to get the job done because they need to see the

So how can the executive leadership protect themselves from being held criminally liable for the actions of their employees? This certainly isn’t easy, but it is attainable with a few simple steps. The first is to never ask an employee to commit an illegal act. It’s that simple. The second is to make it clear that no illegal activity will be tolerated by employees in the course of their employment. And to do this all the employer has to do to do this is to state in their corporate values that they will conduct all of their business operations in accordance with all legal and regulatory requirements. By making the statement clearly and explicit no one can hide from the requirement. It’s that simple. The third is to make it acceptable for an employee to say ‘I can’t do that’ to their supervisor or manager when they cannot complete a task whilst complying with all necessary legal and regulatory requirements. Whatever the task is, the corporate culture must be such that the employee is able to say ‘I can’t do that’ without fear or recrimination. The supervisors, managers and executive leaders must accept that and be able to pass the message up the chain in the same light. Because if the business goal cannot be achieved within the law, it is not worth achieving. It’s that simple. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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LAW & POLITICS

CIVIL FORFEITURE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Jon Singh | B.A., B.Ed., J.D. | Peter A. Allard School of Law | University of British Columbia Mike Jones | B.A., J.D. | Peter A. Allard School of Law | University of British Columbia

You could conceivably lose your most valuable possessions without ever having a trial.

D

40

ouble jeopardy. Not the second round of a game show - the legal term. It’s the principle which stops repeated attempts by the government to prosecute you for the same charge, familiar to those who watch Law & Order.

No.

There are obvious reasons for this simple and powerful rule. It ensures that a judge’s ruling is final, builds public confidence in their decisions, and it is fair. If you have faced your charges in court and been acquitted. then that should be the end of the story, right?

Normally, the police investigate a crime and arrest the suspect. The Crown Attorney then decides whether to lay a ‘charge’ and bring the suspect to trial. The person can then either admit their guilt or go to the trial where the Crown will have to prove their case. The person is

Nov/Dec 2015

B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Act lets the government seize your property if it is related to any unlawful activities you likely engaged in. What does this mean?

aajmag.ca


sentenced if convicted. Civil Forfeiture is completely separate from this process. First, a conviction or a guilty plea is not necessary. You do not even need to be charged or arrested for a crime. The Act lets the Civil Forfeiture Office seize your assets if its Director convinces the court that you did something illegal. They need to show the court that the property was either purchased with money from a crime or that the property was used to commit a crime. If they think your car was used to deliver drugs you can lose it. If they think your mortgage is being paid for with drug money, then you can lose your house. You could conceivably lose your most valuable possessions without ever having a trial.

Less to Prove

The Director must convince the

judge to seize your property by appl ying to the court Criminal trials are decided on the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. The judge or jury must be almost absolutely certain that the person is guilty. This is the reason why the Crown sometimes declines to lay charges: they just don’t have the evidence to meet this high standard. Civil Forfeiture trials are not criminal trials. They are ‘civil’ trials where the judge makes a decision on a “balance of probabilities” standard. They simply decide which side’s story is more likely. This is much easier to meet than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. It’s why O.J. Simpson won his criminal trial but lost the civil one.

See the issue with this

lower standard?

If the police cannot gather the evidence for a charge, you can still pay a price—literally. It’s a back-door route to punishing you even though the government cannot meet the criminal standard. You are denied the protections of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

The Cost of Fighting

What if the Civil Forfeiture Office thinks your house is connected with a crime? You have been paying your mortgage for years and invested thousands into the home. You will fight to keep it. A competent lawyer will help, but at a price. Say the government is coming after the $250,000 equity in your house. Your legal fees could be $50,000. Lose and you are out $300,000. The stakes are high.

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LAW & POLITICS

The government can offer you a deal: pay $40,000 and they will drop the application. Nothing has been proven yet. You need to decide. Do you pay the legal fees for a trial and risk a devastating loss or accept the settlement? You will still pay something regardless of your choice. This is how the Civil Forfeiture Office’s actions can seem like extortion. When the legislature in Victoria debated the Civil Forfeiture Act some M.L.A.’s wondered if the law would allow the Office to seize property without going through the courts. They were told that the Act does not allow it.

Until the law changed.

The Director can now serve a notice— if the property is worth $75,000 or less— to someone directly. It will only reach the courts if it’s challenged. This is meant to encourage settlements in order to save on legal fees, but it’s also an invitation to a massive fishing expedition. The Director can serve

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Nov/Dec 2015

you with a notice hoping that you will take a deal. If you refuse, the Office can drop the case before the trial. The hope is you will negotiate a settlement rather than hire a lawyer.

What’s Next?

The Act was passed for two main re a s o n s : t o t a r g et o r g a n i z e d crime and raise money for law enforcement. Organized crime plagues B.C. and its treasury. A chance to recover some of these funds is likely welcomed by taxpayers. The Act targets anyone in practice however. Mumtaz Ladha faced a forfeiture action on her West Vancouver mansion before judgment on her trial for human trafficking. She was forced to sell her home to pay for her legal fees. She is now suing the Office. Robert Murray’s home faced two forfeiture applications based on evidence gathered from a warrant-less search. The government offered him a deal where he could keep 20% of

the price of his house if he did not challenge the forfeiture application. They threatened him with high legal costs if he did. He did challenge it and they dropped the application, but he lost his house to pay for the fees. Ms. Ladha was acquitted of her charges. Mr. Murray was protected from the illegal search by the Charter. Neither were safe from this Act. The Act’s overreach may be coming to an end. The B.C courts are about to give some clarity on its legality, and the challenge comes from an unusual source: the Hells Angels. They launched a case against the Office after some of their club houses were seized. They claim that the Act violates their Charter rights. This challenge will provide important guidance from our courts on how and against whom the Act can be used.

Until then, marches on.

the

Office

Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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FINANCE

MORTGAGE INSURANCE

WHAT TO KNOW AND WHAT TO AVOID by Bharathi Sandhu

A personalized life insurance policy, through a licensed broker, is almost always a better way to go. There are several key differences that may not seem to be important at time of signing, but will be key in the unfortunate event of a claim. 44

Nov/Dec 2015

aajmag.ca


T

he purchase of a new home more often than not comes with a hefty price tag, and a mortgage often in the six digits especially in the Lower Mainland. While you enjoy your home, it’s important to ensure that your large debt is covered in case of death or severe illness. Most financial planning experts agree that life insurance on a mortgage is essential. There are several different avenues, and price points you can use to achieve this. The most common and arguably the least secure way is directly through your lender. A common scenario is a couple signing on all their final mortgage documents and are presented with the question: “Would you like your home to be paid off in case one of you dies or gets sick?” to which most couples eagerly answer: “Yes!”. Boom. Mortgage insurance through your lender is what you now have. While an inexpensive and easy way to insure your debt, a google search of “mortgage life insurance” will quickly show you that there are other alternatives available in the marketplace that better serve the needs of you and your family. A personalized life insurance policy, through a licensed broker, is almost always a better way to go. There are several key differences that may not seem to be important at time of signing, but will be key in the unfortunate event of a claim.

What is the process for getting mortgage insurance? Key difference here is when the “underwriting” or obtaining of information is done. With

mortgage insurance offered by a lender, the underwriting is commonly done at time of claim, as opposed to time of application. This means that that the underwriting for the coverage will be done after the insured person has either passed away or fallen ill. Technically, this leaves room for your claim to be denied as has happened to many unsuspecting Canadians. With privately owned insurance, all underwriting is done at the time of application. This means that all medical information has been obtained and used to make a decision of offering by the insurance company, before any insurance is offered to you. Once in place, a privately owned policy can only be cancelled or changed by you, the policy holder, as opposed to the insurance company.

In general, insurance sold by a lender has the lender as the automatic beneficiary. With a privately owned policy, you can name your spouse, children, or anyone else who you trust to be the beneficiary and outline to them how you would like the mortgage to be taken care of.

What exactly is covered?

What happens if I get sick, and can’t work?

With traditional mortgage insurance sold by your lender, the balance of your mortgage is all that is covered. If you have had your mortgage for several years, this amount could be substantially less than what your original mortgage amount was for, even though your premiums will have stayed the same as they were when you first took out the mortgage. For example, if y our mortgage was $500,000 to begin with but at time of claim the balance is down to $350,000, the best case scenario is that the $350,000 will be paid off. With a privately owned policy, the entire $500,000 would be paid out and how you decide to allocate that money is in your control. This brings me to my next point.

Who is the insurance paid out to?

W hat if I pay off my mortgage?

With lender offered insurance, your mortgage insurance would be terminated. In case of a privately owned policy, your insurance would still be in place even if your mortgage were paid off (depending on the term of the insurance, of course). In that case it would be worth having a chat with your beneficiary to guide what they do with the death benefit, now that there is no debt to pay off.

If you can’t work, your life insurance is unlikely to help unless there is a Critical Illness rider, or some cash value in a private policy. It’s advisable to look into Critical Illness coverage, which would be offered by any licensed insurance broker. At time of claim under a properly written insurance policy, you would receive a one-time lump sum which you can use to pay off your mortgage if you choose. There are several key differences between lender offered insurance and private life or critical illness insurance. It is worth taking the time out to do research, ask questions, and compare offerings. This will likely save your loved ones much hardship and financial duress at a time when a mortgage payment should be the last thing on their mind. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Nov/Dec 2015

45


AJ DIWALI

DIWALI

NOSTALGIA AND REALITY by Sonal Bakshi

C

ome October and the festive season dawns upon the entire world. Where the West starts preparing for Halloween and Thanksgiving; India, especially North India, gears up for the biggest festival of the year: Diwali or Deepavali, also famously known as the festival of lights. Cities across the region are decorated with lights and marigold garlands, markets bustle with happy enthusiastic shoppers and suddenly the prices of everything shoot up. Coming from a Punjabi family

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Nov/Dec 2015

and having been raised in India, I remember celebrating Diwali with a lot of fervor and tradition. Dad and mum would start planning from September onwards and in no time there would be a brigade of painters painting the entire house, giving it a fresh look, something that is considered auspicious and customary in most households. They would then go on a shopping spree, buying gifts for relatives and friends. A week before Diwali, Dad, my sister and I would hit the local market place in hope of getting the best firecrackers available.

Both my sister and I would start preparing for the BIG Day well in advance. Where I would take up the responsibility of decorating the entire house by making Rangoli or artistic drawing on the floor and covering the entire staircase with marigold garlands along with helping dad put up decorative lights in the house, my sister would shop for Diyas or oil lamps, to be lit on Diwali night and candles along with boxes of traditional Indian sweets to be served to family and guests alike. She would also plan a menu for the family dinner and would make sure aajmag.ca


that everyone was looked after. Amidst all the excitement that quite distracted us sisters, mum and dad somehow always managed to take us to the local Sikh temple to pay our respects and do community service. We would light up candles, pray and help in the community kitchen; something that I practice even today. Diwali is a festival of joy and prosperity, which is why on this particular festival, people pray and make offerings to Goddess Laxmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth. It is believed that if one keeps the doors of his/her home open and lights up the pathway, Goddess Laxmi visits and showers wealth and prosperity on the family. Businessmen close old accounts and start new ones. On the lockers a new swastika sign is made and prayers held seeking blessing for the new business year. Indians believe that it is auspicious to buy metal during this time and hence automobile and utensil sales go up. For the Sikh community, Diwali is also very special and auspicious, not because Sikhism was originated from Hinduism but because on this very day the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Singh, was released from prison along with 52 kings, all prisoners of war. Since then it has been referred to as Bandi Chorh Diwas, or Prisoner Release Day. Now Diwali and Bandi Chorh Diwas are not the same festivals, they somehow happen to fall on the same day, which is why both communities celebrate this day with a lot of enthusiasm. A week before Diwali, our family friends would get together on a daily basis for a card party at each

others place, another custom followed in India, an excuse to get together. Diwali day would witness a lot of excitement and buzz in every household. We would dress up in our best and go with mom & dad to our friend’s place to exchange gifts and Diwali greetings during the day. Come night we would be out and about planning which cracker to burst. After a couple of hours of non stop noise and pollution, just when it would be time to head indoors, my brother would burst the final and the biggest cracker: a string of over 5,000 crackers. He proudly called it his Grand Finale. Like hungry vultures, we would pounce on food and hog on the sumptuous dishes made by mum. While the entire family would look forward to Diwali, there was one member in particular who hated it with all his heart: my little dog, Zubi. For him Diwali meant a possible heart attack as he was petrified of the loud bursting crackers and would try to find various places to hide. Since he was trained not to go into any bedrooms, especially mum and dad’s, he would slowly try to sneak into my bedroom. Both Shagun

(my sister) and I would make it a point to stuff his ears with cotton so that the sound of crackers would not get to him and scare him. Even then, somehow, by the end of the entire cracker-bursting saga, he would be found hidden in a small corner trembling. For the rest of the evening either my sister or I would be carrying him in our arms like a baby and would fuss over him.

Nov/Dec 2015

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AJ DIWALI

The thought of Diwali always manages to put a smile on my face for all the fond memories attached with it. Diwali brought with it not only diyas, candles, electric lights and crackers but also mouthwatering sweets that would suddenly rent out a shelf in the refrigerator and in no time everyone in the house developed a sweet tooth. Even today, I try to celebrate Diwali the way it was celebrated at my parents place.

Living in Vancouver has its own limitations since by law we cannot burst crackers outside our homes and have to be very cautious while lighting diyas. Even here, the local supermarkets start displaying and selling earthen diyas, most of them beautifully decorated and stuffed with candle wax and wick, huge plates with stuff for prayers and yes not to forget crackers. I know I did mention that we in Canada are not allowed to burst crackers outside our homes, but where is it written that we Indo Canadians cannot gather at a common place like a Gurdwara or a Hindu Temple and celebrate Diwali. Rather, we get together as one big family and enjoy the one festival which symbolizes the victory of good over evil and that teaches us never to give up, no matter how adverse the situation may be. For centuries, festivals have been a way of celebrating life and

giving thanks for all the good that happens. A time to seek blessings and a reminder that amidst all the pessimism, there is always that one ray of hope and optimism that keeps us going. Unfortunately in today’s world, festivals are slowly losing their essence and becoming more and more commercial. The cool blinking Chinese lights have replaced the earthen oil lamps. With every passing year, the gifts become costlier and increase in numbers. Not only that, the small card parties that we used to have are now a huge status symbol . But somehow amidst so much of commercialization, the excitement and joy that festivals bring to us lives on. This year, I plan to decorate my house with marigold garlands, s o m et h i n g l i ke a C h r i s t m a s decoration but a lot more traditional. With that I’ll leave you to your Diwali plans and yes, wish all the readers a very happy Diwali. . Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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AAJ PROFILE

Karima Essa

“She started dancing and performing at wedding and special events since the young age of eight, and to teaching at the age of 12, creating and sharing her essence of culture.�

K

arima Essa has been in the Bollywood scene for many years, from admiring the screen as a child to creating it on stage. The dynamic mix of movement, expression and music is what makes Bollywood so irresistible for her.

special events since the age of eight, and to teaching at the age of 12, creating and sharing her essence of culture. Being In such a culturally enriched environment allowed her to grow her passion into a profession as a Bollywood Fitness Instructor, but her dream is to one day be good enough to

She started dancing and performing at wedding and 50

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“We would like to wish everyone

Happy Diwali.

May the pure light that resides in each one of us brighten and purify the world around us. When we all realize that there is 'Ram' 'Ramadan', and 'Ali' in 'Diwali,' then peace and harmony will surround us. Let's celebrate with open minds, open hearts, music, and dance.”

be in the heart of India, the belly of the beast — Mumbai. Omni Television casted the first season of Bollywood Star back in 2013, where Karima was chosen out of thousands that auditioned to become a part of the top eight Canadian talents in the competition. Sadly, she was eliminated just before the top six, who were chosen to go to India.

Cassius Khan Amika Kushwaha Photo credit: Neelu Garchain

Karima has been finding herself, re-igniting her passions and pursuing her dreams again. With Bollywood Star returning this year, Karima has her second chance to make her mark on Bollywood. Karima’s is determined to showcase her confidence, passion, appreciation, discipline and self worth. With the power of social media, perseverance and dedication, she plans to bring life to her ultimate fantasy and win the title of Canada’s own Bollywood Star. You can join Karima’s journey by following her on Twitter: @URbollywooddiva, Facebook: Karima Essa, Instagram: URbollywooddiva, Youtube: Rani Productions Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Nov/Dec 2015

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AAJ PROFILE

A Born Star is

Born an authentic Canadian from Vancouver, BC, Eric Kalsi is on his quest to dip head first into the deep end of what he loves to do and the profession he was born to pursue: an artist extraordinaire.

H

e is blessed with a desire to inspire, create some everlasting art and conquer his dreams. Born an authentic Canadian from Vancouver, BC, Eric Kalsi is on his quest to dip head first into the deep end of what he loves to do and the profession he was born to pursue: an artist extraordinaire. It all began with a strong admiration, countless years of dedicated dance training at the Shiamak Davar Institute of dance, the ever so surreal experience of sharing the spotlight with Bollywood stars and being involved with all the backstage madness at IIFA 2014. Although he was quite the heartthrob on stage, Eric’s wellwishers and supporters pushed him towards his natural artistic flare for theatre production and modelling. Of course his towering height, remarkable stage presence, pretty boy looks and contagious personality worked in his complete favour. Eric was forever humbled with the opportunities presented: many photo-shoot projects,

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published features in a few reputable local magazines and the handful times he sauntered the runway for different designers and events (one being the F/W 2015 season of Vancouver Fashion Week) within the first six months of his modelling career. Now, Eric is definitely striving towards the brink of greatness, venturing into his acting debut. His most recent projects include a role in a short film production, selected for the Punjabi International Film Festival; ‘Vancouver’s Next Top Model - The Desi Edition’; and Jazzy B’s novelty music video! Every day is a work day for this go-getter and if he isn’t shining in some sort of spotlight, Eric is putting in some serious work at the gym, studying for a Human Resources exam at Kwantlen Polytechnic University or indulging in some first-rate sushi. Facebook: Eric Kalsi Instagram: erickalsi

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HEALTH

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by Dr. Sukh Mann

Having regular treatments will give you a better quality of life, you will have more energy and will play a huge part in being healthier.

A

s the days get colder and shorter, take the time to enjoy the seasonal changes outdoors. You are busy taking care of everyone else. Do you ever take time for yourself? For your aches and pains? For your headaches? For your backache? Sciatica? For your arthritis? For managing your stress? The answer is most likely no. My answer to you is make the time because there is only one of you and it’s time to take charge of getting you better. There are numerous ways you can take care all of these ailments through seeing an alternative / complimentary health care provider. Seeing someone for your aches and pains will help to increase blood flow, decrease tension in muscles and joints, improve your overall mood, health and wellbeing. Some therapies include acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, c h i r o p r a c t i c , h o m e o p a t h y, naturopathic medicine, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, traditional Chinese medicine and yoga. There are many complementary

health care providers out there. It is essential to conduct your own research to find the most suitable professional for your needs. So who do you see and what do you look for? Word of mouth can be a huge resource. Ask people in your network of family, friends and colleagues or utilize social media. Search company websites and become familiar with different theories and what practice styles are out there for your problem. Also look at provincial professional associations to gain more insight on the profession. If you’re still not sure, call or email a clinic that may interest you and ask them your questions or if they can help with a certain condition you have. Some practitioners may even offer a complimentary consultation where you can go into the clinic and meet with the health care provider to discuss if they can help you, if a combination of therapies will be best or recommend a different type of therapy. You may be under care of a medical doctor. They can also refer you for, although a referral is not always necessary. For some conditions, multiple therapies can be used in conjunction to help you get better

(ex. MD, Physio, RMT, Chiro) There is a cost involved to go seek care. However, the cost to you may be minimized in many ways. Extended health benefits cover most of these therapies. There is also coverage if you have a current ICBC or WCB claim. You may be eligible for MSP subsidy. The RCMP and DVA also provide full coverage for treatments. Some clinics will directly bill your insurance plan and other clinics will issue a receipt so to you can submit to your own plan for reimbursement. In the case of extended health, it’s always best for you to check your own plan as you will get a better understanding of what you are covered for. The f irst step is making an appointment. Be sure you adhere to your treatment plan given by your health care provider for the best outcomes. Having regular treatments will give you a better quality of life, you will have more energy and will play a huge part in being healthier. Allocate your time now and make that investment in your health. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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HEALTH

ACHOO! OH, NO, I’VE GOT

THE FLU!

by Dr.Raj Bhui, MD, CCFP, DABFM

Talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot this and every year. It is safe and helps to prevent severe flu symptoms in you and those around you.

Nov/Dec 2015

aajmag.ca


W

e are already well into flu season and the f lu shot is now available. As many are aware, the f lu is an infection caused by a virus. However, “the flu” is a general term used to describe infections caused by the hundreds of different strains, types, and subtypes of the Influenza virus. Flu vaccines are different from most other vaccines. This is because the specific virus strains that they need to protect us against change every year and vary according to location. Unique regional vaccines are created every year based on analysis of flu infection trends around the world. This means that at least six months before flu season starts, scientists have to analyse flu infection trends around the world, then predict which specific viruses will become the main culprits in our area, and finally create vaccines to protect us against them! The vaccine is not perfect every year. In fact, the flu shot last year was not very effective because there was a mismatch between viruses that were expected to cause most flu infections and the viruses that actually infected us. However, it still provided Canadians with more protection against the flu and its complications. This year’s flu shot is expected to be a better match for flu viruses and should be much more effective in protecting us. Common symptoms of the f lu are familiar to many of us: fever, coug h, sore throat, tiredness, aching muscles, headaches, and runny nose. Nausea and diarrhea may also happen, though these are more common in children than in adults. Anyone can get the flu and even healthy adults are sometimes hospitalized because of it. While you can get the flu year round, “flu season” typically falls between Fall and Spring, with the infection being most common in the winter. The infection spreads through droplets, which are created whenever someone talks, coughs, or sneezes.

The virus can survive on the surfaces on which they land (i.e. doorknobs, tables, phones) for up to 72 hours! Your first defense against the flu is protecting yourself with a flu shot. Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds also reduces your chances of getting the infection. If you think you have the flu, it is even more important that you cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing. Limit your contact with others and wash your hands more often to protect those around you from the infection. Flu viruses change slightly every year. Your body might not be able to recognize and fight them efficiently by using the protection developed during previous infections. This is why is it is so important get a flu shot. However, a lot of incorrect information is being spread about the f lu shot. This leads to some people remaining unprotected from the flu.

flu shot may help protect you from this disease. One dangerous idea about the flu is that getting it is not a big concern. Sadly, every year, Canadians do die from the flu - even healthy young adults! In pregnant mothers, the flu may also harm their unborn babies. Getting the flu weakens your body’s defense against other infections. This can allow other infections - like pneumonia - to move in. While not guaranteed to prevent the flu, symptoms tend to be much milder and go away more quickly in those who get the shot. This is good, since antibiotics do not have any role in fighting these viral infections. The main treatment for the flu is to drink plenty of fluids, eat enough nutrients to support the body in

The truth about flu shots It is not possible for the flu shot to give you the flu. The most common side effects of the shot are mild swelling, redness, and discomfort where the injection was given. These are not dangerous and they do not mean you have an infection. These symptoms will soon resolve. Experiencing flu symptoms after getting the flu shot is a sign that either you were already infected with the flu well before you got the shot or your body is beginning to develop protective factors against the flu. Some claim that ‘the treatment may be worse than the disease.’ For example, a few people worry that the flu shot may lead to a rare condition that affects the nerves, called Guillain-Barré Syndrome. However, this condition is very rare and it actually occurs more often after someone has been infected with the flu! Therefore, getting a Nov/Dec 2015

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HEALTH fighting the infection, and rest well. Some other ways to help get through the f lu include steam inhalation, gargling with warm salt water, and nonprescription medications, such as cough syrup, Tylenol™, and Advil™. With a few exceptions, everyone six months and older should receive the flu shot every year to protect themselves and those around them. This is especially important for young children, pregnant women, and those who are sick, have a

chronic illness (like diabetes or asthma), or are over 50 years old. People in these groups are much more likely to get the flu, develop worse flu symptoms, and experience complications. By getting the flu shot, you are helping to protect them, too. The flu shot is safe and it is the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and out of the hospital during flu season.

For more information: - (Canada) http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/alt/pdf/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/ disease-maladie/flu-grippe/cold-flu-rhume-grippe-eng.pdf - (Canada) http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile12c.stm - (Canada) http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/flu-grippe/index-eng.php - (Canada) http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/biol_hazards/influenza.html - (USA) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ - (USA) http://www.flu.gov/ - (Global) http://www.who.int/influenza/en/ - (Global) http://gamapserver.who.int/gareports/Default.aspx?ReportNo=6

HAPPY DIWALI

Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow


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Happy Diwali surrey city council wishes you and your family a very

mayor linda hepner

councillor tom gill

councillor bruce hayne

councillor vera lefranc

councillor mary martin

councillor mike starchuk

councillor barbara steele

www.surrey.ca

councillor judy villeneuve

councillor dave woods


AJ FAMILY

ARE THOSE MEDICATIONS NECESSARY OR CONVENIENT? by Shum Sidhu

He again developed wheezing a week after the second attack. I had enough. I was not going to lose this battle. My son is too young to be an asthmatic and there was no way I was going to make him dependent on Ventolin

F

all is finally here after the long, hot summer. Some prepare for this season by bringing out fall clothing; for others it’s stocking the cupboard with tea tree oil, filters for humidifiers, and cough and cold medications. I fall into the latter group. As a mother of two young boys, a three year old and an 11 month old, I am no stranger to colds, flus and late-night visits to the emergency room. But last winter was different. Last December my oldest son had a common cold complete with a runny nose, sneezing, and cough. As I was taking care of my youngest, who was six-weeks old, I didn’t think much of it. He was still active, playful, had a healthy appetite and continued with his daily routine. One night his cold turned into something else. His temperature rose and his cough quickly developed into wheezing; he had difficulty breathing and every breath was very painful. After calling 811 (the nurse’s hotline) my husband took him to the ER at Children’s Hospital. He was taken to a room almost immediately after an initial assessment. He was administered Ventolin, via a pump, which opened his passages within an

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hour. He spent the night there, with Ventolin administered to him every four hours for the next 24 hours. My husband and I were very upset to see Ventolin— a common asthma medication—delivered from a puffer. The doctors and staff indicated that a child can only be diagnosed with asthma when they are five years and older, but administering Ventolin to a child so young is the only way to regulate breathing. We listened and continued to administer Ventolin as prescribed. He was well within three days.

and infant Vapor Rub became the orders of the day. We even altered his diet to include a fresh fruitand-vegetable juice (with ginger) in the morning or evening and reduced his dairy intake. He again developed wheezing a week after the second attack. I had enough. I was not going to lose this battle. My son is too young to be asthmatic and there was no way I was going to make him dependent on Ventolin. Here is how I fought off this bout of wheezing: 1) A steam shower in the morning to clear out the phlegm that built overnight;

It h a p p e n e d a g a i n i n e a r l y January, and again he was back at the Children’s Hospital. Same procedure, same diagnosis, and same prescription. This time the staff took down our information for an asthma clinic. This was surprising as we were told that our son is too young to be diagnosed with asthma. Yet, we are asked to attend. We had reservations about using Ventolin and our son becoming dependent on it; this request to attend the asthma clinic added to our concern.

2) Cut out the 3.25 % milk and used skim instead;

My husband and I researched Ventolin when we reached home. We read that not only is it a very strong asthma medication but it also triggers aggression in young children. This we noted in our son: he became more aggressive and started biting. We also read that by giving young children asthma medications we are not allowing their bodies to fight the wheezing n a t u r a l l y. T h e m e d i c a t i o n s weakens their lung’s natural ability to overcome obstructions in the pathways, and this is especially damaging to young children’s bodies which are learning to adapt.

5) If I noticed any whistle-like sounds in his throat, I would boil some water, pour it into a bowl and add two-three drops of tea tree oil. Don’t add more than that as it can be aggravating. I would

3) Rubbed infant vapor rub on his chest and the back of his shoulders before naps and sleep. At my mother’s advice I also dabbed a little behind his ears; 4) Use Stodal to ease his cough. Note: even with it being sugar free, I noticed that my son was energetic after taking some and so I would not give him this syrup right before his nap;

then have him sit in my lap, put a blanket over the both of us and breathe in that scented steamed air for at least two minutes. We would take a break and resume this again; 6) Used a steam humidifier every night and kept it by his bedside; 7) Heat up a rice sock (exactly what it sounds like) and have him sleep with it on his chest for naps and night sleep; 8) I n f u s e d h i s d i e t w i t h micronutrients from a fruit-andvegetable juice. Beet, apple and ginger flavors are his favourites. He fought the wheezing naturally. He now fights colds much more quickly and he hasn’t experienced wheezing since. He never had to use Ventolin again, even as a preventative measure. My experience with this makes me wonder if some children are really asthmatic or are conditions created early on so that they become it? Some children are asthmatic and medicines like Ventolin is their last hope. But is it becoming over prescribed and making other non-asthmatic children dependent on them? Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

We took our son off the Ventolin and targeted natural remedies. Steam baths, humidifiers, Stodal Honey (a sugar-free cough syrup) Nov/Dec 2015

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HEALTH

CAN DIGESTIVE ENZYMES HELP WITH

ASTHMA? by Sanjeev Virk

Not only should you take digestive enzymes with your meal to ensure that the meal is broken down properly but you can also take them outside your meals so that they go into the blood stream and remove toxins, and into the tissues to remove previously stored protein allergens. when it interacts with different cells and receptor sites along the cell membrane.

W

ith asthma on the rise, lets take a look into the possibility of digestive enzymes helping with these severe inflammatory or histamine reactions. For the typical person suffering from asthma, usually what is usually going to happen is whenever you consume something in your diet, for example a food additive, colouring agent, or even the food source itself, it will slowly over time start building up in the body over time before experiencing any symptoms. What happens is that you find that the body starts accumulating what are called “allergen proteins”. An allergen is simply a substance of protein in nature that got into your body and your body doesn’t know what to do with it, and it’s not able to be broken down and used. It just floats around and creates these inflammatory responses

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So in order to make sure that these “allergen proteins” do not get stored in our body and are broken down and eliminated from the body, so that you do not have a reaction, you can take “digestive plant enzymes”. Not only should you take digestive enzymes with your meal to ensure that the meal is broken down properly but you can also take them outside your meals so that they enter the blood stream and remove toxins, and into the tissues to remove previously stored protein

allergens. Now the second cause of asthma is

during allergy season or spring time, when we have mold in the grass because it’s so moist and warm, making it a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow and accumulate on the sidewalk, and also the pollen in the air. When some people come into contact with these things they just don’t have the ability to eliminate them, and if you have an area of the immune system that is weak, this allows your body to now take the foreign substances and store them as a foreign protein. This is where the person now gets a histamine reaction, which leads to inflammation and bronchial tube constriction, because remember that inflammation can not only create expansion but it can also cause constriction or closing off, hence congestion. So in this case you want to focus on strengthening the immune system and once again this is where digestive plant enzymes will come i n , a n d c lean out the toxins and built up allergens and get you on a pathway to reclaiming your health. Always look for high quality enzymes as this can make a world of a difference. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

aajmag.ca


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HEALTH

HEALTHY SMILES DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Autumn and winter brings festive occasions, Diwali being the first of many. Indulging in delicious foods and desserts can put our oral health at risk. Here is a game plan to help keep your smile healthy. by Dr. Harpreet Singh Dhillon

D

i wa l i i s a n au s p i c i o u s celebration and is celebrated around the world ever y autumn. Sikhs, Hindus and Jains each have their own religious significance to the occasion but they all have some things in common: spending it with family and friends and enjoying good food and sweets. Since Diwali is quickly followed by Halloween, Christmas and New Years, these calories-and-sugarpacked occasions can do some serious damage to our teeth and result in our kids being on a never ending sugar rush!

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You and your family can make healthy nutritional choices that will keep your teeth healthy and still be able to enjoy all those yummy treats.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Cavities are a process that involves a balance of mineral loss and replacement in a tooth over time. This tug of war is a response to daily acid attack on our enamel resulting from food consumption. During Diwali and other sugar intense occasions, this tug of war really can become one sided. Think of it this way: every time you eat those sweet treats, acid

attaches to the tooth. Our body tries to fight that attack by washing the sugars and acid away with saliva. While some foods can harm your teeth, others can contain essential nutrients to keep them strong and healthy.

Problem Foods

Sticky treats such as caramel and raisins should be avoided as in between meal snacks because they become too much for saliva to reduce the acid attack. Starchy foods tend to stick to the teeth in the form of plaque and contribute to acid attack and cavities. Pop and 100% real fruit juice drinks can aajmag.ca


have up to several spoon fulls of sugar, directly causing an increase in acidity of our mouth with no nutritional benefit.

Healthy Choices

Its no fun passing up that gulab jaman or milk cake but when it comes to cavities, food choices play an important role. Calcium is a key player in preventing cavities, especially in children. Dairy is a good source for calcium. Other non dairy options include leafy greens such as broccoli, bok choy and even almonds. Fluoride toothpaste is one of the best ways to prevent mineral loss of the enamel and help replace what minerals have been lost.

Game Plan

During the holidays, food choices

can become incredibly difficult. Passing on the cake or rasmali for broccoli or cheese sounds crazy. Having a game plan can help you enjoy the foods that we look forward to but at the same time keep your teeth healthy and pain free. For example, limit your yourself and children to one piece of barfi or cake and refrain from seconds. If you are eating sugary treats, eat it all at once rather than munching for a long period of time. Drink water after to remove any food that sticks on your teeth and to reduce the acidic attack.

Healthy Smiles

However, even with all our best efforts and intention, indulging in those delicious sweet treats is inevitable and unavoidable, so there is one thing that can be

D

r. Harpreet Singh Dhillon is a general dentist who has been practicing for nearly 10 years. He graduated in 2006 from the prestigious New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Dhillon graduated from UBC with a Cell Biology and Genetics Degree prior to dentistry school.Born and raised in South Vancouver, Dr. Dhillon has been involved in local community organizations and has continuously donated his time to charity and volunteer groups. After graduating from dental school Dr. Dhillon practiced full time in Bellingham, Washington;Edmonton, Alberta ;and now in Vancouver, in his

done that will allow you to indulge and stay healthy: HAVE A PROPER OR AL HYGIENE ROUTINE. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, flossing daily to clean the areas that brushing can’t reach, and rinsing daily with a mouthwash is a way to enjoy those treats and keep your teeth! Having a proper oral hygiene routine may not help out with reducing the increasing waistline during this time of the year but it definitely will help you in preventing cavities, tooth pain and even tooth loss.

Happy Diw ali and enjoy this time of the year with your loved ones. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Dentist on Kingsway office. Dr. Dhillon is proud to have a family-focused approach to the practice. He is a general dentist that enjoys treating the entire family and all of their needs. His 10 years of dental experience have allowed him to treat all issues that patients may have in a compassionate and non-judgmental way. His goal is to make the dental experience less of a dreaded appointment and more of an enjoyable and educational one. He treats his family of patients with care and respect. Come and visit our office or call us if you have any questions. We would love to take care of you and your family. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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HEALTH

IS MASSAGE THERAPY MEDICALLY RELEVANT TO YOU? by Laura Fitzpatrick

Massage therapy is used by people of all walks of life, from the athlete to the weekend warrior, from the infant to the aging people of our community, it is of benefit to all.

L

ets consider the history of the massage first. With roots dating back over 5000 years ago it’s not a stretch to consider that there are true health benefits that go far beyond ‘relaxation’.

Ayurvedic medicine has texts of principles and practice of massage dating back to 1500 and 500 BCE (Before the common era). While Chinese texts document the benefits of massage back as far as 2700 BCE, and even tomb paintings in Egypt depict the use of massage therapeutically.

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Massage Therapy is a part of your primary health care system. We are governed by the Health Professions A ct , w h i c h i s t h e s a m e b o dy governing your Doctors, Nurses, Chiropractors and 22 other health related professions.

And when we fast forward to our current time period we find the Massage Practice is studied scientifically and given validity by Western medicine standards.

Our education is top of the line by world standards as far as scope of practice is considered. It is mandatory for us to maintain continuous upgrading throughout our careers. This is where we tend to differ in treatment by one therapist versus another. There are many techniques and directions of practice that tend to set us apart. We are all educated to give assistance in a multitude of medical conditions not limited to the following:

Here in British Columbia, Registered

• Sport and workplace injuries

Nov/Dec 2015

• Motor vehicle accident injuries • Soft tissue strains or injuries • Pre and Post-Operative care • Pre and Post-Natal care • Anxiety • Digestive disorders • Pain and Myofascial disorders • Movement restrictions/ disorders Massage therapy is used by people of all walks of life, from the athlete to the weekend warrior, from the infant to the aging people of our community, it is of benefit to all. When considering your health, c o n s i d e r t h e b e n e f i t s t h at a Registered Massage Therapist can give you. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

aajmag.ca


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HEALTH

WHIPLASH:

A PAIN IN THE NECK by Jordan Smith

This is whiplash, a term that describes injury to the neck that commonly occurs as a result of a rear impact motor vehicle accident.

H

ave you ever experienced a sudden and unexpected back and forth movement of the neck, or an injury to some part of the neck and head caused by that type of motion? This is whiplash, a term that describes an injury to the neck that commonly occurs as a result of a rear impact motor vehicle accident. Typically, the occupant in the vehicle that gets “rearended” (hit from behind) is at the greatest risk of injury. When that fender bender occurred, your symptoms could have been delayed a few hours or even until t h e n e x t d a y. Yo u m a y have felt mild pain in the neck, muscle spasm, and possibly tenderness to the touch. Recovery from this mild whiplash usually allows you to return to activities within days or even weeks. However, you may be one of many suffering from the more severe types of whiplash, in which case pain begins immediately following the accident and is accompanied by loss of neck range of motion, and moderate to severe radiating pain (pain moving into the head and/or down the arms). Recovery from this type of whiplash may take weeks to months, and in some cases, symptoms that are persistent can become chronically painful. Whiplash effects different types of soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, ligaments, spinal discs, and sometimes, in more severe types, the nerves. Injuries to any of these soft tissues can produce similar symptoms. It’s not always

necessary to know exactly what has been damaged, as treatments for soft tissue injuries are similar. However, nerve damage can complicate the treatment and is most problematic. Pain medication is one of the many treatments offered, which can have shortterm benefits, but longer term use may be harmful, as it can reduce your threshold for pain tolerance. You may have experienced passive treatments when you saw a physician, physiotherapist or massage therapist and were provided hot or cold packs, ultrasound, electro-stimulation, acupuncture, massage, or manual neck mobilizations. Maybe you were told to “take it easy” and they recommended prolonged rest periods, or you were asked to wear a protective neck collar. Though research has shown that in the early stages of a whiplash injury, some passive treatments can be beneficial for the patient; prolonged use of them may be harmful and are not recommended as long-term solutions. However, if passive treatments are combined with active treatments, such as neck-specific corrective exercise, often conducted by a Kinesiologist, it is probably the active portion that is most helpful. Under the guidance of a Kinesiologist, you can learn to move your neck through a series of exercises, which helps the injured tissues to recover more quickly, to allow for proper joint movement, and to regain a pain-free range of motion. When you are thinking about that “pain in the neck” just remember that recovery from a whiplash injury begins with increased function. Even though you may still feel the same pain, pursuing a specialized exercise program and becoming more active means you are getting better. Pain is usually the last to go, but remember, doing less will end up hurting more. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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AAJ FAMILY

DON’T BE SO

SENSI TIVE You may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Don’t worry: tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients, so you are not alone. by Dr. Ranveer S Sidhu

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ou may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Don’t worry: tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients, so you are not alone. Sensitivity is typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots, which leads to exposure of the dentin (the middle layer of our teeth). Sometimes tooth discomfort can be caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, a recently placed filling, or a side effect of other dental procedures, such as tooth whitening. The most accepted theory of tooth sensitivity states that sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes (dentinal tubules) that are located in the dentin, which results in nerve irritation. When the enamel (the outer layer of our teeth) is worn down or gums have receded below normal it causes the tube surfaces to be exposed and symptoms of sensitivity can be experienced. The good news is that there are many ways to help control sensitive teeth: • Brushing and flossing regularly. • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing gently and carefully around the gum line so you don’t remove gum tissue. • A v o i d u s i n g h a r d - b r i s t l e d toothbrushes and brushing your teeth too hard, as this can wear down the tooth’s surface. • Use toothpaste that is specifically made for sensitive teeth. • Spread a thin layer of f luoridated toothpaste on the exposed tooth roots with your finger or a Q-tip before you go to bed. • Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks. When you drink acidic liquids, use a straw to limit contact with your teeth. • After eating or drinking an acidic substance, drink milk or water to balance the ph levels in your mouth.

• A v o i d b r u s h i n g y o u r t e e t h immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances, since acid softens enamel and makes it more vulnerable to erosion during brushing. • Use a fluoridated mouth rinse daily. • Try not to grind your teeth. This can be prevented by the use a mouth guard at night.

Thinking of Buyin or Selling your Home

• See your dentist every six months. If all else fails, visit your dentist. They have a variety of treatments to manage tooth sensitivity, including both in-office treatments and products that are administered by the patient at home. If you are diagnosed with sensitivity, your dentist can apply a desensitizing agent or a protective c o a t i n g (s e a l a n t) . Yo u m a y b e prescribed a stannous f luoride gel or over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste containing f luoride and either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These ingredients help prevent the transmission of sensation from the tooth to the dentin. It also might help to massage a special paste onto your gums with your finger after brushing. If the problem is that your gums have receded, a more invasive procedure such as a surgical gum graft may be required. If your tooth roots are exposed, a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from other of your mouth and attached to the affected site. This can protect the roots and reduce sensitivity. Sensitivity is certainly an inconvenience, however by following oral hygiene guidelines prevention is easily attainable. Treatment of sensitivity, in most cases, is simple, however the issue can escalate if ignored. Therefore, if you find at home techniques of treating sensitivity are not successful, please schedule an appointment with your dentist. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Ashwani

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POLITICS

HOPE OVER FEAR,

UNITY OVER DIVISION… I will bring Surrey Centre’s collective voice to Ottawa.

I

am truly humbled and honoured to be elected by the constituents of Surrey Centre to represent them as their Liberal Member of Parliament and pledge to be their strong voice in Ottawa. Canadians have spoken loud and clear; they will always choose hope over fear and unity over division. That is the message Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team ran on during the election campaign and that will be the message we will continue to echo in Government. Canadians are a compassionate and caring people who have never hesitated to help the neediest in the world, whether it is opening up our borders for refugees fleeing war stricken countries or sending assistance to nations ravaged by environmental disasters. That is who we are as Canadians and now we will restore that reputation again on the world stage. My father arrived in Canada in 1959, after proudly serving in the British Indian Army in World War II; like many immigrants before and after him, he saw Canada as a beacon of hope in the world where one can work hard and raise his family. I learned that sense of hard work and community service from my father; I can proudly say that my father is my true hero.

“Takes an entire community working together to address youth gang issue..” From an early age, I have given countless hours of volunteer service back to the community 84

Nov/Dec 2015

while completing my studies in Law at Queens University in Ontario. My commitment to the less fortunate has led me to provide free legal services work to individuals and organizations in my community of Surrey. I have been especially passionate around the issue of preventing youth from becoming involved in criminality and gangs. I was a founder of VIRSA, a nonprofit organization that created mentoring and awareness programming for our most youth. I also helped start the South Asian Community Coalition against Youth Violence, a group that successfully lobbied the BC Government to create the first ever BC Integrated Gang Taskforce. This was in response to the disproportionate number of South Asian males who fell victim the plague of gang violence in the early 2000’s; sadly these issues are still prevalent in our community to this day. The question we face now is how do we address this issue to save our future generations from being lured into this lifestyle? A question I heard over and over from constituents as I was door knocking during the campaign. Through my volunteer work, I’ve recognized that it takes an entire community working together hand in hand to solve this problem. I will be meeting with stakeholders from the City, RCMP, Non-profit organizations, Surrey School D i s t r i c t , F r a s e r He a l t h a n d

community leaders to ensure there is a coordinated multi-prong response to the crime issue in Surrey. Along with appropriate resources for the RCMP, early i nt e r ve nt i o n a n d p reve nt i o n programs have to be supported and developed that address risk factors youth face in becoming involved in criminality and that promote positive factors that can keep them out of this lifestyle. Research has now shown that these risk factors can be identified at an early age; even at the primary school level. We have to be able to support these at-risk youth through a holistic wraparound approach that provides them with mentoring support, recreation opportunities, job skills training, life skills training, substance abuse counselling, family counselling and addressing mental health issues. As we have seen time to time, the window is very small to intervene from the moment a youth starts exhibiting troublesome behaviours – that is why I propose a rapid integrated case management approach that pulls together all stakeholders to support these at-risk youth. Enforcement alone will not address this issue, it’s imperative that crime prevention programming is a top priority for this Liberal government – something I will strongly advocate for in Ottawa. This would include addressing the issue of property crime, affordable housing, citizens living on the streets in unsafe conditions and individuals with mental health/substance abuse aajmag.ca


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POLITICS issues who don’t get the rapid response and support the need. Myself and my wife Sarbjeet have been proudly raising our three young kids in this community for years and know that nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities and families.

“Future generations need opportunities to excel..”

To address this issue and be able to provide future generations with opportunities to excel i n l i f e , c o m m u n i t i e s h av e t o have strong economies and areas of opportunities to grow. My background in real estate development has provided me with that sound understanding of infrastructure and transportation i s s u e s f a c i n g Su r rey. We a re fortunate to have ports in our community and now we should

be focusing on developing green jobs that will provide economic benef its for youth looking to enter the workforce. Additionally, I will champion for increased infrastructure funds for Surrey Centre. Our Government has also committed to a $1.3 billion youth employment strategy, which would mean thousands of more co-op jobs through schools, that is critical to providing younger people with work experience. “I will bring Surrey Centres collective voice to Ottawa…” I fondly remember community members who walked into my office during the campaign or who I met door-knocking; they wanted to be heard, they wanted change and they wanted the community they love so much back. I want you all to know,

I heard you and I will bring Surrey Centres collective voice to Ottawa. To my passionate group of family, friends, volunteers and supporters who worked tirelessly during the campaign, I am forever indebted to you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart. All of you believed in me and spread the Liberal message of hope and opportunity through Surrey Centre. My wife Sarbjeet and my kids Eesher, Gurbani, Guru Sundesh and my mother have always been my foundation, thank you so much for your patience; I have some missed hockey games and birthdays to make up! Time to roll up my sleeves as the work begins now....as John F Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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AAJ FAMILY

THE 10-DAY LIFE

CHANGER by Amar Kaila

After a restless night, we were scheduled for some sightseeing before the hard work in the days to come. We toured the countless markets, the Casa Santo Domingo and the Santa Catalina Arch. We were starting work the next day and not looking forward to it.

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The father noticed the flooding in its early stages and moved his family to safety. He returned and tried his best to minimize the damage. His visibility of the ground was decreasing as the water rose, and he cut his leg open against a rusted pipe. He was unaware of the bleeding and continued working. The house was ruined despite his efforts, but that would be the least of the family’s concerns. His wife recalls the cut as not being too deep, but because their village lacked a doctor, he was unable to receive the appropriate medical treatment. The wound became infected and he succumbed to his injury a few days later.

O

ur group worked on the construction of a home for a family in the town of San Miguel Duenas in Guetamala. We did difficult physical labour, including: painting, digging, mixing and carrying buckets of cement, and transporting materials from one site to another. We knew this family was in difficult circumstances; however, we were unaware of the depths of their poverty until we arrived. “Poor” didn’t do justice to their situation. Destitute, maybe even desperate, was more fitting. A massive flood had devastated the home of a couple with five children, with a sixth on the way.

When we first saw the widow, we were surprised by how strongly she carried herself. Her children on the other hand were not as strong, especially the younger ones, who were reluctant to leave her side. The family’s eldest son, who was around my age, took it the hardest. He understood the full extent to of his family’s problems and how their lives would not be the same. He became the new head of the family after his father’s passing, and the amount of responsibility that was on him was too much. He was no longer able to play soccer and his college dreams were crushed. The pregnant widow was now homeless and would have to raise six children herself. She did not have the means to raise them without a home, so she reached out to the city’s mayor.

Luckily, the city’s elections were occurring around that time, so the mayor was willing to help. Through a few connections he contacted our group and we were sent to help others complete the house. This was Grade 10, when myself, seven other students and a guidance counsellor travelled to Guatemala as part of the Developing World C o n n e c t i o n s Te a m L e a d e r. We journeyed for 14 hours, including a layover in Dallas and an hour-long van ride from Guatemala City into Antigua. This is how we chose to spend our Spring Break. A few in our group, including myself, were privileged. We never struggled like this family. I did not have the mindset for this sensitive task, and it was a quick and memorable lesson. This experience permanently changed me and my perspective. I have a home and people that love me there no matter what the day brings; but it can disappear in an instant. As humble as I thought I was, it is not until I experienced this life-changing event that I appreciated my lot in life. Thoughts about this family and how close they came to absolute ruin still haunts me today, but I am grateful for it.I highly recommend to young students who aspire to travel or learn abroad to visit an underprivileged area and appreciate how blessed we are. It’s a decision I would repeat. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Nov/Dec 2015

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TECHNOLOGY

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PULL OR PUSH NEWS

HOW DO WE REMAIN OBJECTIVE? by Matt Williams

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ews was delivered in print for well over a century, often to the doorstep and at newsstands throughout cities and towns. As technology advanced it was broadcast over the radio, and in time the television, but the primary means for many was still the newspaper. Although not free from bias, in fact often it was quite the opposite, the newspaper delivered a lot of news. And even more on a Sunday. By opening the pages wide the reader was able to move from article to article, often reading topics they would not have considered. Add to that the many features including recipes, travel tips, restaurant reviews, comics for kids (and adults) and sports results for fans, there was something for everyone. So how did the news reach people? Arguably through choice. They chose which newspaper to read, which radio station to listen to and, which TV stations to watch. They didn’t necessarily choose the content and some of the content was placed before their eyes or caught their eyes in the periphery of another story, or feature that they were reading or was in the show that followed on, but they still made a choice. The result was that people were receiving a diverse diversity of news and features feed. They chose their media sources and they chose which pieces to read from the broad spectrum of those presented.

at the coffee shop. You could read multiple sources:, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times and Das Bilt. But does this mean we are reading more news? Perhaps not. As we go to our news websites we are presented with menus and we choose one. Maybe it’s headlines, maybe it’s finance, maybe it’s sports. After we make our choice we go directly there, we drill down through the menus, we read our articles and maybe we go to another website and do the same again. We enjoy what we read, we know the big stories, we check the markets and read the review from last night’s game. But what happened about the other articles. The ones in periphery of your field of view? What about the great recipe for chili jam or the story about the successful ocelot breeding program at the city zoo? Well, they’re still there, but in the process of drilling down rather than casting our eyes over the page, we missed them.

our peripheral vision in front of us;, it chooses the articles that we ‘want’ to read. You read the article on the New York Yankees, so here’s another and here’s one on capital punishment to go with the two you read last week. Does this increase the scope of the news we read or just the volume? As the world becomes more complex it is ever more important that we seek out our own news and find different viewpoints, even those that challenge our own, because if we don’t, how will we know? In the past we pulled the news to us and we brought the entire newspaper to us with all of it’s news and all of it’s features, even the comics. Now the news is being pushed to us;, here, read this story; it is chosen for us. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Although we have access to more and more news our field of view is becoming narrower and narrower. If we go a step further and download the mobile app from a media outlet the app starts sending us news. But it doesn’t put the articles that were in

Technology advanced, and news delivery changed. The internet made news more readily available. You could read it on the bus, on the train, Nov/Dec 2015

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AAJ FAMILY

A TIME FOR CHANGE by Bavan Arora

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all in love with the season! Autumn is the perfect time to stay in and relax, or get out and enjoy time with family and friends. Take the time to share some of the beautiful elements that the season has to offer. As the weather cools down, explore the changes that are happening around us. The transition between summer and winter is full of opportunities to use our senses and ask questions. Magic Words: • Change • Solstice • Light • Chlorophyll • Photosynthesis • Harvest

Explore Leaves

As the days get colder and shorter , take the time to enjoy the seasonal changes of the season outdoors. Early morning, evening or weekend walks are a great way for children to notice the changes in weather and nature. While walking, you may choose to engage in an exploration activity with your child, such as: • Gathering: Be a leaf collector! Take

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a Ziplock bag and a magnifying glass (available at your local dollar store) and have your child collect a variety of leaves. Have them look high and low to search for unique leaves with distinct patterns, colors and “beauty marks”. Have them draw their leaves, dip them in paint and stamp on paper or write their observations using descriptive language. • Playing: Have them sort their leaves mathematically according to their attributes, such as size, shape, color and vein pattern. They can also use their leaves to create pictures! • Asking Questions: Why do leaves change color? How do they change color? What else falls in Fall? Why are leaves different shapes? Encourage your child to answer questions using their own theories and/or research the answers. They can share their ideas in a variety of ways, or simply collect their ongoing investigation results in a science journal. • E x p e r i m e n t i n g : U s e b a s i c household supplies and leaves scientifically. First, rip some green leaves into a clear cup. Then, cover the ripped leaves with rubbing alcohol. Put a coffee filter into the liquid. Wait

3-4 hours, giving the filter enough time to absorb the liquid. When the water is absorbed, take out the filter and look at the colors. These colors indicate which colors the leaves will change into when they fall!

Cozy up to a Book

Check out It’s Fall by Linda Glaser. This book is a journey through Fall through the eyes of boy in Grade 1. He describes the many changes that occur such as leaves changing color, how animals hibernate and migrate and why people change their habits as the weather changes. The paper art is vivid and engaging for both children and adults. The suggested activities at the back are fun and easy! For example, collect a seed that can be planted in the spring. Bruce Goldstone’s book, Awesome Autumn is both visually interesting as well as informative. It is a great choice for independent readers to explore or for parents to read to their children aloud. The facts are simple and precise, but engaging enough for those with a keen interest in the science behind the changes of the seasons. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

aajmag.ca


ROAD SAFETY

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IS UP TO ALL OF US

D

iwali, the festival of lights, is just around the corner and it’s one of my favourite celebrations with family and friends as we adjust to darker, cooler days. Diwali symbolizes the championing of light over darkness, which is timely in B.C. as it’s much darker outside as we move away from Daylight Savings Time. Unfortunately it’s also the time of year when crashes involving pedestrians in B.C. spike as the visibility on our roads worsens due to the dark and rainy weather. To help raise awareness about the risks for pedestrians on our roads, my road safety colleagues and our partners will again be in B.C. communities this fall handing out free safety reflectors. The reflectors can be attached to handbags and knapsacks or other gear, so no matter what you’re wearing, you’ll be easier to see on the road. To help pedestrians consider the risks at this time of year, ICBC will be running new advertising in transit shelters and on buses and SkyTrains throughout the Lower Mainland. As pedestrians, we need to put ourselves in the driver’s seat as it’s much harder to be seen on the road at this time of year. So when you’re

by Harvey Kooner walking, we’re asking you to do your part to be seen by drivers and keep our tips in mind: • Make eye contact with drivers as it’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in fall and winter. Never assume that a driver has seen you. • Focus your full attention on the road and traffic around you as drivers may not stop or obey traffic signals. Remove your headphones and leave your phone alone while crossing the road. • Wear bright and reflective clothing or gear to make it easier for drivers to see you especially in wet weather, at dusk and at night. • Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic instead of also scanning for pedestrians in the crosswalk. • Always cross at designated crosswalks, not mid-block. Follow pedestrian signs and traffic signals and don’t cross on a yellow or red light. While pedestrians need to make sure they’re visible to drivers – drivers play a critical role in preventing crashes with pedestrians. As drivers, we

need to put ourselves in the shoes pedestrians and recognize just ho much more vulnerable they are injuries or death from a crash.

We’re running new radio advertisi to prompt drivers be more aware the risks to pedestrians primarily the Lower Mainland where we see higher number of pedestrian crashe So when you’re driving, stay focus on your driving and please keep the tips in mind: • Focus on the road. Alwa leave your phone or any other han held electronic device alone wh you’re driving. • Be ready to yield pedestrians – especially when turni in intersections and near transit stop • Look twice for pedestria before turning, especially in fall a winter when visibility is poor. • Give yourself extra time a space to stop in case a pedestri suddenly crosses the street.

Whether you’re a driver or pedestrian, help make this year Diwali both a safe and memorab one. Remember, pedestrian safety up to all of us. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Harvey Kooner Road Safety Coordinator Nov/Dec 2015

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THEY SAID

IT COULD NOT HAPPEN… by Perleen Prasad

T

his goes back to when I was 18. My doctor would prescribe me medications after medications for my depression and anxiety. I was also in a very abusive relationship: mentally and physically. It reached a point where my boyfriend, whom I lived with, would beat me constantly. He went too far one day and kicked my stomach. He had his steel-toed boots on.

I worked in a kitchen as a chef, but had to quit due to some health complications. Even painful therapy and medications would not help. Then the medical specialists talked to me about the “injury”. They told me that I can never have a child. An appointment was made for a hysterectomy—to remove my womb. Any last shred of hope was fast disappearing.

pregnancy. It was not possible to have this child, and even if born, it’s not going to be healthy. It was a very high risk pregnancy in their eyes.

I did not realize the magnitude of this until much later. My womb and ovaries were damaged and I was told that my chances of conceiving was too. I was 18, and the thought of a child was far from my troubled mind at the time. I left him and recovered my mind and spirit. It was a painful journey, and many times I thought I would succumb to the darkness, but I persevered.

But I missed the appointment. Let’s just leave it to another day as to whether I knowingly did it.

On August 25th, 2015, Zechariah was born. At 6.6 lbs., our miracle son was healthy. I continue to thank my faith and my husband. They both blessed me with the strength and determination to see this through. The nights can be long, and I do sometimes miss my free time. But I would not give this up for anything in the world.

My body didn’t however, and this was going to be a life-long legacy of this relationship. I was not going to enjoy that special bond of motherhood because of one horrible choice I made. Luck found me in my early 30’s when I met a loving, strong man. He is my husband now. My rock; my light when all seems dark. He never gives up on me and my faults are nothing more than “cute” characteristics to him. He knew that children would not be in our future but accepted me nonetheless.

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I clung to my religious faith, and believed that a divine miracle was in the cards for me. There is no way I would miss out on this most precious of experiences because someone uncaringly thought I would make a good kicking post. Life could not be that unfair.

I had already come this far, but now I had a tough decision to make, one that would affect this baby’s future and life. I kept praying and decided to go through with it. Fate would not have been so unfair again.

Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

And the miracle did indeed happen. My apparently useless womb still had one last fight in it. I got pregnant last year, in December. When the results came, I saw stars in my eyes. I had to pinch myself to snap out of this dream. Life suddenly changed, but there was a long journey ahead and challenges remained. One of the gynecologist asked me if I wanted to follow through with the

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ICBC would like to wish you a Happy Diwali May peace, prosperity, and happiness shine upon you and your family – both on and off the road.

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ROAD SAFETY

PREPARE [YOUR CAR] FOR

WINTER

Keeping your vehicle well maintained is important all year round, but doubly so in winter. For example, worn tires won’t hold the road in wet conditions as well as those with a good, deep tread.

M

ake sure all exterior lights are working correctly and that windscreen wiper blades are in good condition. Check the oil, coolant and washer fluid levels. And don’t leave home on that long trip over lonely country roads without enough fuel for the journey.

between the minimum and maximum markers. It is also important that there is sufficient anti-freeze in the coolant. If you’re uncertain, have a look at your handbook or get a local garage to check the strength. Anti-freeze is cheap but damage from a frozen engine can be very expensive to fix..

The following checks will help ensure your vehicle is ready for winter: Note: Before carrying out these checks, make sure your vehicle is cold and parked on a flat, level surface.

3. Tires - check tire condition to see if there is adequate tread. Look for damage such as splits or bulges and check the pressure. If you live in an area particulary at risk of snow consider purchasing winter tires or snow socks which give you greater traction and control.

1. Car Battery - If your car has not been used for a period of time, the battery may need charging before you come to use it. Visit your local mechanic to test it. 2. Coolant - ensure that coolant is

4. Windshield wiper fluid - make sure you have enough wiper fluid and that the concentration is suitable for cold conditions. Not all wiper fluid is the same so look for the temperature

it protects down to. You should be looking for protection down to down to -10 degrees C and if you live in areas subject to the greatest extremes of weather, down to -20 degrees C. If you don’t use a good quality wiper fluid there is a danger your washer pump could freeze which might lead to the fuse blowing and your wipers not working because they are often on the same fuse. 5. Wiper blades - check wiper blades for damage and replace if necessary. When wiper blades become frozen to glass it is very easy to damage them when freeing them up. Our climate in Vancouver is fortunately mild, but many of these tips are especially helpful to the residents of the interior. Please stay safe this winter. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Credit: RAC 96

Nov/Dec 2015

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COMMUNITY & CULTURE

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

MOVEMBER

M

ovember for many men is the chance, or even excuse, to grow their moustache as well as helping to raise awareness and money for charity. The aim of Movember is to get people talking about men’s health, and with a moustache to start the conversation what better way! The main aim for Movember is to draw attention to prostate cancer, but other health issues that affect men are just as , such testicular cancer and mental health. Below are the five official rules of Movember! One thing to be clear on is that each Mo Bro must start with a clean shaven face on November 1st and only a moustache is acceptable. You can sign up to grow your moustache for men’s health at movember.com Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Credit: Tamworth Herald Nov/Dec 2015

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HEALTH

SHINING LIGHT ON THE

WINTER BLUES Credit: Jessica Blaszczak

A

c c o r d i n g t o D i c t i o n a r y .c o m

Summer is “a period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, or beauty.” Winter is “a period of time characterized by coldness, misery, barrenness, or death.” Well, that sums it up quite nicely, we think. It is winter yet again. The beautiful colors of the autumn leaves have disappeared and have been replaced by barren tree limbs and icicles sharp and brittle. The harsh winds rattle the window frames and the cold air seems to sing a cruel song that frightens away birds to warmer climates. The daytime gives way to the moon, and darkness sets in way before supper. So, you see, while some perceive winter as a festive time when their worlds are blanketed by the purity of snow, others feel that they are being suffocated by a literally colorless

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existence. Many are negatively affected by the changing seasons and darkening of the summer light. They feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Their activity levels decrease, and they find themselves in bed more often. This depression disorder not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life, including their job performance and friendships. This disorder is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronym-ed, SAD.

What is SAD Exactly?

SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual the same time each year, usually starting when the weather becomes colder in September or October, and ends in April or May when the weather becomes warmer. People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during the brightness of spring and summer. “Hey, Einstein! I knew that already! Tell me something I don’t know!” Jeez, okay, okay. Irritability is a sign of SAD, so I understand your

bitterness, Crankypants. Here are—

10 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD

1. Did you know that between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women? It’s true. If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD. Great, so not only do women have PMS, Menopause, and child labor to worry about, add SAD to the list, too. 2. Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of a body chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is what helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression. 3. SAD can be treated. If your symptoms are mild, meaning, if they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, light therapy may help you beat SAD. Using light therapy has shown highly effective. Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months. 4. Some say that light therapy has no side effects, but others disagree. We think it simply depends on the person. Some people experience

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9. If you have a friend or loved one who suffers from SAD, you can help them tremendously. Try to spend more time with the person, even though they may not seem to want any company.

mild side effects, such as headaches, eyestrain, or nausea. However, these light therapy users say that the side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Most scientists agree that there are no long-term side effects, but remember to consult your physician before any treatment decisions are made. 5. There are some things to consider if you want to try light therapy in your home, otherwise you will not receive all the benefits that this type of therapy offers. When purchasing a light box, do not skimp as far as money is concerned. Buy a larger one so that you will receive enough light to be beneficial. The best time for light therapy is in the early morning. (If used late at night, it could cause insomnia.) So, even if it means waking up earlier, set aside some morning time to relax and use your light box. Many people are not aware of this, but you must have your eyes open and face the light during therapy. Do not stare at the light. That would be silly. Simply face the light, eyes

open. 6. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. Individuals must meet certain criteria: The symptoms and remission of the systems must have occurred during the last two consecutive years. The seasonal depressive episodes must outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime. 7. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. 8. There is actually a device that conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while treated. The device is called a light visor. Just wear the light visor around your head and complete your daily chores and rituals. A light visor still can potentially have the same side effects as the standard forms of light therapy, so only simple activities, such as watching television, walking, or preparing meals is advised. We do not recommend you operate heavy machinery while wearing a light visor. (You would look pretty silly with it on out in public, anyway.)

Help them with their treatment plan. Remind them often that summer is only a season away. Tell them that their sad feelings are only temporary, and they will feel better in no time. Go outside and do something together. Take a walk, or exercise. Get them to spend some time outside in the natural sunlight. Just remember to bundle up! 10. Although not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light. Winter depression does cause petulance in many cases, but summer depression is known to cause severe violence. So, it could be worse. There are times in this article, in which I seem a bit blithe. However, please, do not take my somewhat lighthearted approach to SAD the wrong way. SAD is a serious disorder that disrupts the lives of many people, worldwide. It is nothing to laugh at. Sneeze at, perhaps—it is winter, after all. But laugh at? No, not at all. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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COMMUNITY & CULTURE

OUR OWN LITTLE

WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT by Lorraine Lal

The North American Fijian Soccer Association, or NAFSA as known to most people, held their annual tournament. Hundreds of people gathered to watch teams compete from Norfolk, Seattle, Sacramento, Calgary, Edmonton and the Lower Mainland.

W

hether it be Sportsnet or another sports show, we watch highlights of soccer player scoring epic goals. Messi and Neymar lead Barcelona to wins, but from September 3-5, we had our own showcase of soccer superstars right here in Surrey. The North American Fijian Soccer Association, or NAFSA as known to most, held their annual tournament. Hundreds of people gathered to watch teams compete from Norfolk, Seattle, Sacramento, Calgary, Edmonton and the lower mainland. This yearly event is hosted between Canada and the USA, taking turns. The talent was incredible with young, middle-aged, and even men

in their senior years playing not only with great skill, but heart. Each team had their own family and dedicated fans, but it was comforting to see the cross-border and cross-country bonding through the love of soccer. Ethic food stalls, entertainment, and the excitement of the matches engaged the crowd, creating a lively atmosphere at North Surrey Secondary. A gala night was also held on the evening of September 4 to give a chance for our locals to mingle with the out-of-town guests. Mukesh Naicker, the chairman of NAFSA, has always been an advocate for making the occasion one that encourages families to come out and enjoy the outdoors and celebrating a sport that has united us with our neighbours. There were two divisions present, Premier and Masters. Although the competition was tough this year, South Bay FC won the championship for the Premier Division with the win 5-4 in shootout against Calgary Tavua. The Navua Masters team defeated Samabula 2-0 in their final. Congratulations to both teams and we look forward to seeing everyone out again in California next year. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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HEALTH www.burrardvet.com

FLEA AWARENESS

A

flea problem on your pet means a flea problem in your home. Understanding the flea life cycle and methods for its control can be a daunting task. We will gladly assist you in this process. We can provide you with safe, effective flea prevention and flea treatment. Flea products purchased from pet stores have limited effectiveness because they often don’t continue working long after application. This is particularly true for flea shampoos and powders due to their low residual effect. A flea control program needs to be individually tailored based on the lifestyle of your pet, and your family situation. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you about safe and effective flea control products. We carry several products which will effectively eliminate the fleas and prevent flea infestations.

Managing flea infestations

To address a flea problem quickly and effectively in a home, both adult and immature stages of the flea need to be targeted to effectively break the flea life cycle. As an average, adult female fleas lay about 20 eggs at a time and 400 to 500 in a lifetime, which means there can be hundreds of fleas in immature stages in your pet’s home environment. Products that only kill adult fleas rely on killing adults as they hatch from pupae, slowly depleting the environment of the immature flea population. Eggs, larvae and pupae can be present in the carpet, in bedding and other soft furnishings, and these can be a constant source of re-infestation. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Did you know only 5% of fleas live on your dog or cat? The remaining are in and around your home. The other 95% – eggs, larvae and pupae, the immature stages, can be found in the immediate environment, such as your home or garden. Unfortunately, this results in a constant source of re-infestation throughout the year.

Stages in the Environment

Adult Fleas on the Animal

To effectively manage a flea infestation follow these ‘Quick Tips on Flea Control’.

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RECIPES

PLEASE PASS THE HALDI: ACHIEVING OPTIMAL HEALTH WITH TURMERIC, NATURE’S SUPERSTAR by Esha Singh BSc., ND Cand

Although modern medicine has been slow to incorporate turmeric into clinical practice, present day researchers have been able to prove hundreds of its actions.

J

ust search the terms ‘turmeric’ and ‘health’ online and you will find a myriad of blog posts, articles, and scholarly papers touting the benefits of turmeric. From fighting cholesterol to giving skin a healthy glow, proponents of this superfood claim that it can benefit anything and everything. While turmeric, or haldi, is best known as a South Asian a n d Middle Eastern culinary

spice, it has also been a mainstay in traditional medicine for over 6000 years. Ancient Ayurvedic practitioners used this healing herb to strengthen the body, relieve digestive disorders, and treat respiratory conditions, amongst many other maladies. As the popularity of turmeric spread throughout Asia and the Middle East, it quickly became integrated in other traditional systems of medicine. Although modern medicine has been slow to incorporate turmeric into clinical practice, present day researchers have been able to prove hundreds of its actions. Turmeric (Latin Curcuma longa) is a close relative of the ginger root. Like ginger, it boasts an impressive number of vitamins and mineral such as vitamins C, E, and B6, potassium and iron. The primary active compound in turmeric, curcumin, exhibits 600 potential

benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The daily inclusion of turmeric can enhance wellness by: • Improving cognitive function o P r o t e c t s b r a i n h e a l t h b y targeting dissolving abnormal proteins. • Supporting muscle and joint health o Decreases inflammation, and relieves joint and muscle pain • Fighting systemic inflammation o Regular consumption of turmeric can significantly lower levels of inflammatory markers. • Boosting detoxification o Optimizes liver detoxification function • Promoting balanced mood o Acts as a natural and effective mood enhancer • Promoting youthful and radiant skin o P r o m o t e s g l o w i n g , healthy skin by counteracting fine lines and wrinkles. One of my favourite ways to get a daily dose of turmeric is to make ‘Golden Milk’. This warming beverage soothes the spirit and staves off aches and pains during the cooler seasons. While the addition of black pepper may not seem appealing, research suggests

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idea

HAPPY DIWALI

immigration that the extract of black pepper (piperine) can boost the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. The following recipe truly unlocks the health potential of turmeric by combining it with black pepper and cold-pressed coconut oil. Whether you drink it in the middle of the day for a boost of energy or as part of a relaxing bedtime routine, this Golden Milk is sure to become one of your favourites too! Golden Paste ¼ cup Organic turmeric powder ¾ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup water Optional: For added flavor and benefits, you may add 1 teaspoon ginger powder, cardamom, or carom seeds to the paste. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir the mixture until it becomes a thick paste. Remove the paste from heat, allow it to cool, and place in a jar. This can be stored for several days in the fridge. Golden Milk 1-cup milk of your choice (dairy, nut milk, coconut milk) ½ teaspoon ‘Golden paste’ 1-teaspoon extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil 1-teaspoon maple syrup, honey, or a sweetener of your choice In a small saucepan, combine milk, ‘Golden paste’, and coconut oil over low heat. Heat until the desired temperature is reached and add the sweetener. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy! The many health benefits of turmeric elevates it from a simple culinary spice to a superfood. Whether you decide to eat it with your next curry, drink a hot mug of Golden Milk, or have it in an encapsulated form, consuming turmeric daily is one of the best things you can do to achieve long-term health and wellness. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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IDEA IMMIGRATION

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RECIPES

HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE, AND WE MEAN ACTUAL

CHOCOLATE C

orn syrup solids, alkaliprocessed cocoa, sodium caseinate & dipotassium phosphate. This isn’t the mix for a chemical weapon but ingredients for a popular hot chocolate mix. Does not seem so appetizing anymore, does it? So what to do on a cold winter’s night, when your children are clamoring for warm comfort; when you want that feel that warm chocolatey pleasure down to your fingertips? Then it’s time for hot chocolate; created by melting chocolate (either from a bar or chips) in milk. Simple, natural ingredients from your local store rather than the factory. Now get into your kitchen and try it out! It’s so easy to make. The key to this recipe is a low temperature and constant whisking. Without further ado…

another natural sweetener 4. a bit of salt (preferrably sea salt) 5. 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 6. 8 - c o u n c e s o f s o m e g o o d quality chocolate (I used 70% cacao, but you could use something sweeter if you prefer). Chop up your favorite chocolate nice and fine so it melts easily. Heat the milk and cream to a low simmer, whisking occasionally. Make sure you don’t burn the milk. Set the temperature below medium. Add your sweetener, salt, and chocolate. Keep whisking as you add them

Add

the

vanilla

extract.

Whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate has melted. Cook for four minutes and don’t stop whisking. The hot chocolate will thicken a bit as it cooks. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy all by itself or with whipped cream, some plump marshmallows or your favorite scone. You can even add your special ingredients. Mint leaves anyone? Enjoy!

Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

You’ll need 6 simple ingredients: 1. 3-1/2 cups of whole milk 2. ½ cup of heavy cream 3. 3 teaspoons of maple syrup or

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Aziz-Ladha-Photography

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COMMUNITY & CULTURE

A SPECIAL VISIT FROM A

DISTINGUISHED GUEST

It was a pleasure to see how comfortable Hon. Kenney is at diverse religious events and it is easy to see why he was appointed as the Minister for Multiculturalism.

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O

n September 5, 2015, the Laxmirnarayan Temple in Surrey, B.C. welcomed the Honorable Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism, to celebrate Shri Krishna Janamashtmi., Dressed in traditional attire, Minister Kenney was joined by Conservative candidates Harpreet Singh (Surrey Newton) & Sucha Thind (Surrey Centre), and by Shanjeelin Dwivedi (Executive Director and Financial Agent of the Surrey Centre Riding Association). After removing his shoes, Hon. Kenney entered the temple chanting “Jai Shree Krishna” to join thousands of guest during their worship. He made a wish by

swinging Lord Krishna’s swing, and after the prayer, Mr. Kenney shared greetings on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After the prayer, he helped the volunteers in the kitchen and helped serve the refreshments. For the children dressed up as baby Krishna, Hon. Kenney handed out prizes and talked to the parents. It was a pleasure to see how comfortable Hon. Kenney is at diverse religious events and it is easy to see why he was appointed as the Minister for Multiculturalism. His participation at the Shri Krishna Janamashtami celebration was a welcome sight and shows the Conservative Party’s commitment to engagement with the IndoCanadian community. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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at exte r e i r r a b Maintain your air

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COMMUNITY & CULTURE

BICULTURAL BALANCE If I provide them with a strong foundation where they feel safe and have friends they can connect with, and can watch fun videos that gets them talking in their own individual circles about being part of events that my team and I organize for the greater good of our society, then I know my time with the GSBC is well spent.�

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was organized by the Gujarati Society of British Columbia (GSBC). GSBC started the garba tradition in 1967 when a small group of visionaries banded together for the purpose of socializing, sharing ideas, and celebrating festive occasions. They wanted their children to know one another and learn about their roots and rich heritage, despite their different castes. Today, the GSBC is thriving, with over 3,700 members and thousands of followers and community partners. “Over 5,000 attended the GSBC Navratri Festival this year,” says an animated Rajan Raniga, President of GSBC and Shipping Officer for a multinational palm oil company Natu’oil Services Inc. “I am convinced that unity is indeed strength, and when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

F

estivity was in the air and with it the excitement of community, togetherness, and celebration. The music was loud and the room was packed with 1,800 people dancing their hearts out to the garba beat. Traditionally, garba is performed during the Hindu Festival of Navratri (meaning nine nights), as dancers form rings around a diya, or lantern, honouring the feminine form of divinity that gave life: Ma Durga. From young children to the elderly, everyone seemed to be enjoying Navratri, the largest garba dance festival in Western Canada, which

Unity is certainly under question, as the caste system is still prevalent in India and here. When asked if the GSBC faces issues of segregation by caste, Raniga answered, “we cater to the greater Gujarati community as a whole, promoting initiatives that preserve our culture and traditions. Festivals like Navratri are held so that our youth can meet each other and get involved in taking our community to the next level. If we divide ourselves among our various different castes, our youth will miss out. And if we truly think about it, are the differences between castes so large that we deprive our future generation of growth and prosperity

by dividing amongst ourselves? No, which is why we focus on the common thread that unites us.” Fostering a sense of community is not such an easy task, as immigrants get established in a new country that is strong in Western values. Children raised in Canada are expected to maintain a Canadian identity, speak English fluently and go to school where being ‘Canadian’ is to fit in. And yet being ‘Indian’ and maintaining strong cultural ‘Indian’ values are expected of children at home. The result is often sad for the youth who feel disconnected with either one culture or the other, or both. “The pressure to conform is enormous,” claims Junita Thakorlal, Vice President of GSBC. “As a kid, I was called all sorts of names because of the colour of my skin. I wanted to be accepted by my peers. And so began the cycle of wearing the ‘right’ clothes and hanging out with the ‘right’ people…but what does a 10-year-old know about ancestry and the important role it plays in having a strong sense of self?” She continues, “as a woman of ethnic origin, I can honestly say that it’s not easy. I was born and raised here but I’m also deeply rooted in my Indian values. I cherish my heritage, I’ve seen where my parents have grown up and can appreciate how hard it was for them to instill culture and teach my sisters and I our language, our religious sloks and bhajans, how to cook and appreciate traditional Indian food, to respect our elders, and Nov/Dec 2015

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all while living the typical immigrant story of coming to this amazing country with $3 and a dream.” Thakorlal is also a host of Let’s Talk, a South Asian talk show which airs on the Joy TV Network, alongside running her own marketing firm called Thakorine Consulting. “It’s this very topic – managing the cultural divide – that drives me to do what I do, to help bridge the gap between generations.” The gap of which she speaks is at the centre of parodies put out by South Asian comedians such as Jus Rein, who is widely known for his sketch comedy YouTube videos about such cultural idiosyncrasies. One of his recent videos, Desi Parents and Halloween, describes how his parents didn’t believe in celebrating holidays such as Christmas and Halloween because they were not meant for Indians. Although it may be a stretch in order to get a few laughs, the subject matter of the popular videos still resonates with South Asians globally who are 110

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trying to balance the two identities. But bicultural identities may come with conflict as an ideal may be connected to one culture and not the other, thus having the individual question their decisions or feel forced to choose between one or the other. Most often than not, the western one wins. So how does the GSBC continue to grow and thrive under these conditions? “Simple! By fostering a community where people feel connected and are involved in the latest happenings,” offers Thakorlal. For years, the GSBC has created quality events that cater to not just people of Gujarati origin, but those that want to learn and participate in GSBC’s vision of celebrating cultural and linguistic heritage through diversity and a sense of belonging. One of their signature events, Disco Dandiya, saw an estimated 2,500 attend a dance free-for-all where everyone was encouraged to move in garba and dandiya circles. Dandiya raas is the traditional dance form performed with sticks. The spectacular

event had delicious Gujarati snacks, flashing laser lights and a DJ that had people rooted to the rhythm until 2:00 a.m. For many that attended, it was their first Gujarati event. Other upcoming events include a members Diwali Mela event on November 21, and for India Republic Day they have a musical theatre production called Laadki on January 24, 2016 at the Hard Rock Casino Theatre which is expected to sell out. The GSBC is also organizing the Gujarati Cultural Festival, from August 28 – September 4, 2016, which includes a garba and dandiya raas competition, a sports competition, children’s activities, history and arts discussions, and free workshops that are inclusive and celebrate the Gujarati heritage. Participation is anticipated from various cities in Western Canada and the USA including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Winnipeg, and more. “The GCF is an enormous task and we aajmag.ca


hope to lean on our volunteers and community partners to help us showcase what an amazing city Vancouver truly is to all of our guests from near and far. To help us promote it, I have a few tricks up my sleeve,” shares Sanjay Morar with a coy smile, the GSBC multimedia manager. GSBC often uses video as a tool to promote its message, be it during one of their shows or to promote a future event, all of which are conceptualized and executed under Morar’s direction, along with a team of up to 10 photographers and videographers. “We use video to reach the masses, connect with people and stir pride in their hearts of that which connects us. Some call it culture, some call it ancestry, some call it dharam,” shares Thakorlal with some sentiment. “Whatever it is called, it is what unites us and gives us a sense of belonging in a world that is full of negativity and chaos. It gives us hope and encouragement, and that is why I volunteer with the GSBC, to be able to facilitate someone else’s journey to connect with who they really are,” she claims. “Sanjay does a phenomenal job of capturing the essence of what GSBC is all about in his videos, we are lucky to have him on our core team.” GSBC is a 100% volunteer run organization that has six executives, five directors, and three trustees. Together, they run 15 individual committees from Pre-teen Events to Arts & Culture to Audio Visual, all of which involve over 150 volunteers. The GSBC also has a Welcome Committee, run by past GSBC President Suresh Desai and long-time volunteer Sneha Unadkat, offering placement services and key information that new immigrants need to settle in a new country and city. This service is offered at no charge. Other committees of note include a Scholarship Committee and Sanskar Jyoti, which is the language school that will begin offering Gujarati

classes in January, 2016. “Our mandate is to serve our community,” says Raniga, who was recently elected for an eighth straight term after being a board director for a previous seven years. “For every decision we make, we consider how it will affect family, what the impact will be on youth, and if we will garner maximum participation.” When asked about why he dedicates so much time to the GSBC, he responds with, “It isn’t about money or power, it’s about solidarity and having a strong community so that we can foster our heritage and have something to lean on to teach our children. More than ever before, it is important for our youth to have a sense of belonging. If we do not provide this for them, then they will surely go elsewhere. My own kids are 13 and 18, both of them are vulnerable and can easily stray. If I provide them with a strong foundation where they feel safe and have friends they can connect with, and can watch fun videos on our social media channels that gets them talking in their own individual circles about being part of events that my team and I organize for the greater good of our society, then I know my time with the GSBC is well spent.” More information about the GSBC and their upcoming events is on their website at www.gsbc.ca or follow them on facebook, twitter and instagram @officialGSBC. Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

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ENTERTAINMENT

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Reflecting Today, Shaping

AAJ ON LOCATION COMMUNITY AT A GLANCE

GSBC


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M AY M I L L I O N S O F L A M P S I L LU M I N AT E U R L I F E W I T H ENDLESS JOY, PROSPERITY, HEALTH & WEALTH FOREVER.

HAPPY DIWALI

HONOURABLE WALLY OPPAL, MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF BC, FORMER AYYORNEY GENERAL AND SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.

MAY YOUR LIFE SHINE LIKE LIGHT, MAY YOUR HAPPINESS BE LIKE SPARKLES, MAY YOUR SORROWS BE BURSTED, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE, A VERY

HAPPY DIWALI

PRAVEEN VARSHNEY CO-FOUNDER & ADVISOR AT G CUP TECHNOLOGY CORP.

Nov/Dec 2015

117


Reflecting Today, Shaping Tomorrow

ENTERTAINMENT

AAJ ON LOCATION COMMUNITY AT A GLANCE

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BUILDING SUPPLIES LTD.

HAPPY DIWALI Supplies of : Siding Material Roofing Supplies Stucco Supplies Gutter & Downpipes Vinyl Decking Custom Made Flashing 7846 128 St, Surrey, B.C. V3W 4E8 Phone: 604-594-4142 | Fax: 604-594-3142 E-mail : jagtar@uppalbuildingsupplies.com Web: www.uppalbuildingsupplies.com

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AAJ November December 2015  

AAJ November December 2015

AAJ November December 2015  

AAJ November December 2015