Play On 1984 Massacre Of Sikhs Coming To Vancouver From Oct. 1-4

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SURREY – Kultar’s Mime, a play about the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 in Delhi, after Indira Gandhi’s assassination is coming to Vancouver from Oct. 1-4. It uses the 1903 anti-Jewish pogrom in Kishinev as the point of departure to tell a universal story of suffering and compassion.

The play, which is in English, has been developed in Boston and has been performed 36 times already; it has garnered strong reviews all over the world and has been extremely effective in educating a new generation about the horrors of 1984 in a very constructive way.

The play is coming to the Metro Vancouver area from October 1st to October 4th with performances already scheduled at the Norman Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver, Matsqui Auditorium in Abbotsford and at the Surrey Arts Centre.

Admission is free and open to all.  Please bring your family, friends, colleagues and spread the word.  Seats can be booked using the eventbrite links so book early as we are expecting full houses.

On April 6, 1903, the city of Kishinev, the capital of the Russian province of Bessarabia erupted in violence. A horrific pogrom was organized, targeting the Jewish population of Kishinev. After three days of violence, 49 Jews were dead, 500 were wounded, 1300 homes and businesses were destroyed and 2000 families were left homeless.

The young Hebrew poet, Haim Nahman Bialik went to Kishinev to talk to survivors and report on the pogrom. Bialik wrote one of his most famous poems, ‘In The City Of Slaughter’ in response to the Kishinev pogrom, using searing, powerful imagery to describe the horror that descended upon the Jewish residents of the city.

Eighty-one years later, Delhi, the capital of the largest democracy in the world, India, was witness to a horror of even greater proportions. On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards. In retaliation, an orgy of murder, rape and arson was unleashed upon the Sikh residents of Delhi in which more than 3000 lost their lives.

The poem, ‘Kultar’s Mime’, written by a young Sikh poet, drew upon eyewitness accounts of the Delhi pogrom to describe the sufferings of the Sikhs of Delhi, through the eyes of a group of young survivors.

There are uncanny similarities between the Kishinev and Delhi pogroms. Both targeted minority communities with violence following libel, innuendo and propaganda, designed to stoke fear and hatred.

Kultar’s Mime synthesizes the sufferings of innocent victims of organized violence, separated by thousands of miles, numerous years and insurmountable differences of religion, language and culture. Drawing upon the raw imagery of both poems, it tells a story of human suffering and courage, reminding us that in the end all innocent victims are the same, regardless of which God they worship and what tongues they speak.