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SRI GAURA PURNIMA The Glorious appearance day of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was celebrated on March 24th in Milton by members of ISKCON Milton Gaura Purnima is a significant festival in our Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, commemorating the appearance day of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The festival is a time for devotees to reflect on the teachings and life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who emphasized the importance of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and spreading the message of love and devotion to God.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission was to propagate the Yuga Dharma of Sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the Holy Names, as the supreme method for attaining spiritual enlightenment in the age of Kali.

Throughout His life, He tirelessly promoted the chanting of Krishna’s holy name and the teachings of the Srimad Bhagavat Purana, aiming to bestow Krishna prema, or divine love, upon all conditioned souls.

During Gaura Purnima, devotees observe a fast until moonrise, abstaining from grains. They conclude their fast by partaking in anukalpa feast, comprising non-grain preparations. This feast commemorates the joyous occasion of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth, with devotees coming together to offer elaborate offerings to the Lord in celebration of His divine appearance.

This auspicious occasion is marked by fervent devotional practices, abhishek of Gaura Nitai deities, drama, melodious kirtan, enlightening discourse, and the sharing of sumptuous prasadam (sanctified food).

As the calendar flips to May, the spotlight shines on Mother’s day and Asian & South Asian Heritage Month, a time
to honour and celebrate the richness of our cultures and our identities as mothers.Within this vibrant mosaic
lies the South Asian community, contributing its unique colours and patterns to the cultural landscape. It’s a time for us, the South Asian Mommies of Milton (SAMM) !

Rooted in the immigrant experience, SAMM understands the complexities of forging a new identity in a foreign land. Through shared experiences and mutual support, SAMM offers solace and strength, transforming struggles into shared triumphs

With the celebrations of motherhood and South Asian Heritage Month, SAMM proudly unveils two new initiatives aimed at empowering individuals and our children: SAMM Socials and SAMM Mentors, these diverse workshops will run all the way to December.

SAMM Socials, in collaboration with the Milton Public Library, offer an array of workshops and events designed to uplift individuals from all walks of life. These gatherings, offered free of charge, serve as a testament to SAMM’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion. Our first session is about tracing South Asian Migration History and how to document your own family history for generations. “Through our partnership with SAMM, Milton Public Library will welcome members of the community to explore the rich tapestry of South Asian culture, where every event
becomes a chapter in the story of understanding, connection, and celebration.” Chris Dorscht, Director, Customer Experience.

SAMM Mentors, offer mentorship sessions aimed at guiding teens and parents through various career options. Through these initiatives, SAMM strives to inspire and empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue their dreams and aspirations. We thank our SAMM Sister Alpa Patel for the space to conduct this workshop. Our first session focuses on the aerospace industry.

SAMM is also involved in the arts and promoting visual artists, musicians and small businesses in the community. Our events Raag, Katha and Kala are testament to that, where we invite educators and the community to enjoy and understand our culture, while ensuring that our programs are free for all to attend. SAMM brought home the Peoples
Choice award Runner Up title for Milton during Culture Days last year. Last month, SAMM captivated the community with the second Kala: Colours of South Asia art exhibit, a vibrant showcase of the region’s cultural heritage. Collaborating with organizations such as the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton and Arts Milton.

Post the pandemic, SAMM has doubled its efforts to support children in navigating the challenges of social
interaction. Through innovative programs and initiatives, SAMM seeks to foster friendships and alleviate
the awkwardness that may have arisen during periods of isolation. SAMM’s different playdates & picnics in the
summer helps mothers of specific age groups come together and bond over shared experiences. SAMM’s
potlucks helps them communicate about their struggles and the business directory helps them connect with local businesses. SAMM has been long supporters of MCRC and Milton Good Neighbours Day, we believe in doing seva/ volunteering our time or donating to causes.

SAMM Founder, Diksha Pal Narayan captures the essence of our collective journey: “In SAMM, we find support from the distances separating us from our homelands. In a world where blending cultures is both a challenge and an opportunity, let us be a vital bridge between traditions, nurturing an environment where heritage meets harmony.”

SAMM extends a warm invitation to all members of the community, irrespective of their ethnicity, to make
use of its programs and initiatives. Together, let us honour the spirit of Mother’s Day by embracing the richness of our collective heritage and fostering a future where every individual feels valued and empowered.

 

Milton’s glitterati showed up in force at the Rock The Runway Fashion Show on April 18th – the brain child of Alyson
Haydar and her amazing committee of volunteers – it was a gala affair of food, music and fashion.

The attendees were roughly 300 women and 5 males. So yes it did have a very female vibe. Next year maybe
we they can try to include a little more male fashion as well ?

But joking aside it was a lot of fun, there were things to do all night and it helped raise awareness about
Townsend-Smith Foundation, a charity that is working to build a palliative care facility in North Halton..

Townsend Smith Foundation member Kristina Tesser Derksen was on hand along with several other board members as well as several attendees from Milton District Hospital Foundation as well. For more information about Townsend-Smith Foundation and their mission visit www.townsendsmith.ca

On Saturday May 4th the Milton Youth Task Force (MYTF) hosted a Milton Youth Market at the Milton community Park. There were vendors and non profit groups including Sustainable Milton along with food vendors and other youth organizations (Milton Youth Theatre Productions)

The Milton Youth Task Force is a group of young people who are ready to take action to make Milton the best place to live. They help represent the diversity and vibrancy of Milton’s youth.

Hike for Hospice Halton is an annual fundraising event that supports the work of Townsend-Smith Foundation, a char – ity that is working to build a palliative care facility in North Halton.They be – lieve every individual should have ac – cess to a dignified and caring end-oflife journey.

Participants in Milton and North Halton helped raise close to $60,000 this year, at press time only $5000 short of their $65,000 goal. For more information about Townsend-Smith Foundation and their mission to build a hospice in North Halton visit their website at www.townsend-smith.ca

The Milton Royal Canadian Legion Branch #136 has a new Legacy of Honour program will literally seek to honour
our Milton veterans and heroes by lining our streets with veterans banners.

They recently held a fundraising event at East Side Marios Milton where  they held a painting class, 50/50 draw,
Kids games and a clown, along with a Magic Show. To learn more about how you can donate or get involved
contact the Milton Legion at legacyofhonourmilton@gmail.com or visit their facebook page at facebook.
com/legionbranch136milton/