Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The new Komagata panels Maru Place, 2nd name of Canada Place Street, unveiled

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At the time, federal policy required immigrants coming to Canada to arrive directly from their country of origin. This was impossible for South Asian nationals, as travel from India to Canada involved a stopover.


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Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim along with representatives from the Southeast Asian community unveiled the new street signs for Komagata Maru Place, the honorary name for Canada Place Street.

The City of Vancouver had promised during a vote in May 2023 to make a gesture of reconciliation in memory of the Sikh people who arrived by steamer in the x27;Burrard Cove in 1914 and who were not allowed to go ashore. It is now done.

“It was my honor to meet with members of the South Asian Canadian communities this morning at Komagata Maru Place to reflect on this tragic chapter in our shared history,” said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim in a press release.

Our city is committed to learning from the past and building a more inclusive future, the press release added.

The designs of these panels are signed by the artist Jag Nagra. He was inspired by archive photos to achieve this result.

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My goal was to reflect the plight of the passengers and humanize their stories, struggles and the discriminatory practices they faced, artist Jag Nagra said in the press release.

The wrongs committed against Southeast Asians in Canada are longstanding, and these two works will serve as a material reminder of our history and a call for greater fairness and justice. better understanding.

A quote from Jag Nagra, artist

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Indian immigrants aboard the Komagata Maru, in Vancouver in 1914.

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Canada Place is visited by many tourists.

In the first panel, 19 doves represent the 19 lives lost. Indeed, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the First World War was already underway and Indian troops were recruited to fight alongside the British in the Middle East and Europe.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">British agents stationed in India were seriously concerned about the uncertain loyalties of many of their Indian subjects. This context of deep mistrust plays a role in the reception of the Komagata Maru by the British authorities in India, we add.

The motif of the waves of The ocean mimics the pattern of the dupatta fabric found in untied turbans. The reflection of the setting red sun is colored to represent the bloodshed of the tragedy, the statement said.

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Almost a century later, the different orders of governments have presented official apologies to the Indian community: first British Columbia in 2008, then Canada in 2016 and finally the City of Vancouver in 2021.

The name Guru Nanak Jahaz, which was given to the ship, is prominently inscribed in Gurmukhi next to 1914, the date of the tragedy.

As this street name is secondary, residents and businesses do not have to change their official address.

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