Sacramento Celebrates Basant with Verve and Enthusiasm
By Ras H. Siddiqui


Basant celebrations in Sacramento brought many moments of joy and merriment

Basant, or the celebration of the arrival of spring, is a Punjabi (Hindu, Muslim and Sikh) tradition that now includes many other ethnicities in both Pakistan and India who are attracted to its festive nature and to the kite flying that has become an integral part of its arrival. And it is not without controversy either as the administration in the city of Lahore debates every year whether to allow kite flying or not, but one can ask, “What is the Lahore skyline without kites on Basant?”

That “Basant” feeling has recently made a mark in northern California , first by the efforts of the Pakistani American Cultural Center (PACC) in the San Francisco Bay Area and now in the Sacramento region where it was spearheaded by the Pakistani Business Association of Northern California and the local Mehran Restaurant.

Close to 200 people braved winds in excess of 25 miles per hour and brought their children to enjoy a nice meal and light conversation along with kite flying. Our traditional paper kites did not fare well but the transfer to plastic that became necessary was much more successful in such windy conditions. But the bottom line is that young people, both boys and girls, had a challenging yet wonderful time at the Stone Creek Park in Rancho Cordova .

It was a nostalgic reminder for us older folks about Pakistanis and the pursuit of fun.

And wind or no wind, at least it didn’t rain and the organizers plan to pursue this effort again with greater community support next year.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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