5X Weekly Roundup: Komagata Maru Memorial gets vandalized, A crash in Surrey claims the lives of 3 junior hockey players, vaccine passports, & more

By:
Guneet Pooni/@guneetP

5X Weekly Roundup

In this week's 5X Press Roundup, we give you a quick breakdown of 5 trending stories that you may have missed this week, to highlight stories that may have slipped under your radar.  Don't worry, we got you covered! Join the conversation on socials, and head to 5XFest.com/5XPress to read the rest of this week's stories -- trust us, you don't want to miss it!

Komagata Maru Memorial vandalized in Vancouver

Image: CBC News


Vancouver’s Komagata Maru memorial was defaced with white paint on Sunday, August 22nd. The memorial was installed in 2013 in Vancouver's Coal Harbour neighbourhood to commemorate what is often referred to as the Komagata Maru incident of 1914. The racist events of Komagata Maru took place at a time when Canada was trying to prevent migration from Asian countries. Unaware of recent legal changes, Gurdit Singh chartered the Komagata Maru from Japan, following the “continuous journey regulation,” and brought over 300 passengers, the majority of whom were Sikh men, with him. The Komagata Maru docked at Burrard Inlet and attempted to fight a legal case to be allowed entry into the country. The ship stayed in the Inlet for two months in deteriorating conditions with water and food shortages. During this time, the local Sikh community raised money to pay the legal fees. It wasn’t just the government that wanted to deny entry to the Sikh men, these events reflected the wider sentiment of white settlers and what they wanted Canada to look like. The Komagata Maru was denied entry and upon returning to India, 20 passengers were killed and others were imprisoned for being “political agitators.” According to CBC News, in June 2020, the Vancouver City Council declared May 23 as "Komagata Maru Remembrance Day," to commemorate the racist incident and to ensure this piece of Vancouver’s history does not get erased. The Vancouver Police Department has stated that they are investigating the vandalism in this incident as a possible hate crime. The memorial has already been cleaned and restored.

Tragic car crash claims lives of 3 Surrey hockey players

Image: Hockey News

Friends, family, and the hockey world mourns the loss of three young athletes who died in a car crash in Surrey, B.C. early Saturday morning. Caleb Reimer, 16; Parker Magnuson, 17; and Ronin Sharma, 16, had been friends for years and played at the Delta Hockey Academy together. CTV News reported that the three were in a vehicle that crashed into a tree in the 16000 block of 104th Avenue. Many hockey teams and the NHL have offered condolences to the families of the 3 junior players. "The NHL sends its love and deepest condolences to the families of junior hockey players Caleb Reimer, Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson who tragically passed away in a car accident on Saturday. Rest in peace boys,” the League wrote on their social media accounts.

New COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine passports and mask mandates

Image: Ottawa Citizen

Vaccine passports? Mask mandates? Rising cases? Sometimes it really feels like we’re never getting out of this pandemic. This week provinces across Canada introduced new restrictions as cases continue to rise. In B.C. the mask mandate is back in indoor public spaces, after temporarily being lifted. Following Québec and Manitoba’s lead, B.C. has also announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for non-essential activities such as attending concerts, going to restaurants, and in fitness classes. Québec will be implementing a vaccine passport starting Sept 1, and B.C.’s digital vaccine card will be available starting Sept 13. Ontario is also looking into options to create a provincial card system that is both digital and confidential. In addition, with schools opening soon, many students, faculty, and staff have been anxious about what the return will look like. Teachers and students from grades 4-12 will be required to wear masks indoors, but there is no vaccine mandate in elementary and high schools. Some B.C. universities, including SFU, UBC, and UVic, have said that they will be implementing rapid testing and vaccine "self declaration." Details are still emerging of what this could look like. While many are pushing for more restrictions, not everyone is happy with the return of the mask mandate and the introduction of vaccine cards. Either way, let’s do what we need to to keep one another safe and make it out of this pandemic.

Diljit Dosanjh drops “Moonchild Era”

Image: Diljit Dosanjh/Spotify

Diljit Dosanjh’s Moonchild Era is out! The album consisting of nine songs dropped on Sunday and ranked #1 on Apple Music Mainstream Charts. Dosanjh’s done multiple projects with Surrey-based artists recently, and Moonchild Era is the latest on the list. 5X Festival’s very own Executive Director Tarun Nayar aka Modern Biology, collaborated with Dosanjh on The Chosen One (Intro) track. Take a peek into what the process was like here, including where the track drew inspiration from.  All nine songs are also produced by Surrey-born and raised producer, Intense. We love seeing Surrey talent taking the world stage, and to be getting the praise and recognition it deserves. So far, the album is receiving huge praises. Moonchild Era is available on all major music platforms. Listen here and tell us which song you have on repeat!

“Arthur” is adding a Sikh character

Image: CNN


“Arthur’s First Day,” a new special for the PBS animated series, “Arthur” has a Sikh character, named Samir. The episode will premiere on September 6 as part of season 25 of the series. In the show, Samir wears both a patka and a kara. Executive producer Carol Greenwald told CNN Entertainment that they wanted to “raise awareness about the challenges a kid might [face] when meeting new classmates, but we don't make the specifics of the clothing, in this case the patka, the focus." She added that “we did what we typically do -- create a multidimensional character who Buster -- and other kids -- would be interested in hanging out with." Greenwald highlighted that “Arthur” has always tried to represent diverse characters and family structures. “Arthur” has been a popular children’s show since its introduction in 1996, but the series will be coming to an end in the winter of 2022. Will you be tuning in to see Samir join in on Arthur’s last adventures?

That's it for this week's roundup! Don't forget to join the conversation on socials and tell us what you think!


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About the author: Guneet studies International Relations & Law and Society at the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of Moksha, an initiative aimed at addressing internalized racism in the South Asian community. Guneet was a Youth Fellow with Leading in Colour’s Digital Insitute of Activism and is on the UBC Current Dragon Boat team.

5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.

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