Hamilton Malayalee Samajam held its first-ever Women’s Day celebration on March 10 to a packed auditorium at the group’s community centre.
The event kicked off with a Kerala-style dinner, prepared in the community kitchen and served by men.
The inaugural ceremony involved lighting of the traditional lamp, nilavilakku, by MP Filomena Tassi, followed by her inspirational speech urging young women to take on leadership roles in politics and commending the organization for electing women to its top executive positions.
The evening was marked with inspirational speeches and a variety of cultural programs put together by the women members of the organization.
The speakers of the night were Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, university scholar and associate professor of humanities at McMaster University, and Nirmala Thomas, a noted Malayalam writer who has won several awards for her short stories.
Dr. Chakraborty reiterated the importance of celebrating women’s successes in the community. Thomas shed light on the struggles and hardships women have faced through the ages.
Women of all ages participated in the cultural programs that followed, with more than half of the participants returning to the stage after a gap of 20 to 30 years.
This shortcoming was definitely not evident as the performers kept the audience enthralled with their enthusiastic and energy-packed performances.
The overall theme of the program was encouraging women to chase their dreams. The closing performance, "Empowering generations of women," was written and directed by Roshney Kurian.
“This event helped the women to come out of their comfort zone and showcase their talents,” said Mariamma Baby, president of Hamilton Malayalee Samajam.
“Many women felt that the event boosted their self-confidence and provided encouragement to get more actively involved in the community,” said secretary Susan Jacob, secretary.
The group’s youth members organized a fundraiser during the event, and raised over $500 to be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation of Canada.