Partnering with Vancouver Maritime Museum

The South Asian Studies Institute partnered with the Vancouver Maritime Museum in their Open House on March 9th. The free event welcomed families from across the city to engage in activities including solving puzzles, creating crafts, coloring captivating scenes, listening to enchanting storytelling sessions, and exploring fascinating archival displays.

Digital Archivist, Thamilini Jothilingam and Assistant Digital Archivist, Alisa Sohi engaged with many children, parents, and community members about their critical work in archival preservation and historical research of South Asian Canadian history at the institute.

Financial Coordinator, Annet Holierhoek and Research Coordinator, Henna Mann, operated puzzle solving tables and encouraged children to solve puzzles with archival images from the South Asian Canadian Digital Archive to discuss the historical significance behind images revealed on the finished puzzles. Children who successfully completed the puzzle-making challenge were gifted  educational playing cards by Saffron Threads. Research Assistants of SASI, Kiara Dabreo and Rashneet Kaur, worked at information booths, providing brochures to guests, displaying publications of the institute, and quizzing the attendees on their general knowledge on South Asian Canadian history, for a chance to win a prize.

Later in the afternoon, in a storytelling session with the children, the Museum hosted author Kuljinder Kaur Brar to read her children’s book My Name is Saajin Singh which is about the importance of pronouncing names properly and celebrating cultural identity. This unique storytelling experience allowed children to learn about correcting themselves or their classmates when names are not being pronounced the right way. Following the session, dance teachers from the Royal Academy of Punjab taught families bhangra dance moves. The space quickly became lively and energetic with families from diverse backgrounds getting together to learn traditional Punjabi dance moves.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum’s open house in collaboration with the South Asian Studies Institute was a fun community day to learn about South Asian Canadian history, culture and heritage in BC. With over five-hundred guests, families engaged in learning about the research and initiatives of the South Asian Studies Institute, maritime history and participated in many interactive and educational activities.