World Sindhi Congress, a leading Sindhi organisation working for the cause of human rights Of Sindh and Sindhis, organised the Sindhi Topi Day on 6th December in major cities of UK, viz, London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. In America and Canada, the event was celebrated in New York and Calgary respectively . A brief account of each event is as follows:
London: Many Sindhis, Balochs and other supporters gathered in Parliament Square, opposite the Parliament Houses. Everybody was proudly wearing Sindhi topis and ajraks. They held banners and sang songs.
Speaking on the occasion, Lakhu Luhana, Secretary General of World Sindhi Congress said, “We are with our nation in thick and thin”. We will always be there for our nation in its hour of need. He further said our culture and civilization are very rich. The strength of thousands years of history will help us achieve our goals.
Samad Baloch, Secretary General of Baloch Human Rights Council UK, said that the culture of Sindh is thousands of years old and will never be compromised. Today Baloch nation is with Sindhi nation to protect and promote their culture and values.
Dr Hidayat Bhutto, UK/Europe Organiser of WSC said those in power should defend the honour of Sindhi topi and ajrak and stand up with Sindhi people for defending their cultural rights and icons.
Mir Ghulam Hussain Baloch said those who want to impose their 63 years old history on our thousands of years old history, culture and civilization are doomed to fail. We will never let anybody insult our culture.
Birmingham: Wearing Sindhi Topis and ajraks and carrying placards and banners, WSC team members and supporters gathered in front of the Council House in Victoria Square, where they were eagerly joined by the enthusiastic people of Birmingham, tourists and other visitors, men women and children. People were keen to know about Sindhi culture, topi and ajrak.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ahmed Makhdoom, a well known Sindhi scholar and activist thanked all the people who participated in the event. He said our culture and language have been there since the dawn of civilization. Our civilization has close ties with other ancient cultures, like Chinese and others. Today our culture is being brutally mutilated by people who have no culture of their own. But Sindhis today are united to honour their cultural icons.
Abdul Khoso, a Sindhi professional in Birmingham said we, the Sindhi people respect other cultures. Therefore, we expect the same from others. We will strive to keep our culture alive so as to keep our nation alive.
Ms Li Na, a Chinese supporter, said people should respect each other’s culture. One should live and let others live.
Ms Suraiya Makhdoom, Senior Vice-Chair, World Sindhi Congress, said by objecting to publicly wearing of Sindhi cultural icons, like Sindhi Topi and ajrak, the self declared champions of Pakistani nationhood are declaring Sindhis not to a part of Pakistan. But by celebrating the Sindhi Topi Day, Sindhis all over the world have proven that Sindhi culture and nation matter. She said our culture and language are our identity.
Ashfaque Sayed, a Sindhi professional from Sanghar, said it is a matter of great honour for us to gather here for celebrating our culture. We will make all the efforts to preserve our rich cultural heritage.
Ms Nancy Li, another Chinese supporter said that every nation has a right to celebrate their culture.
Ms Vibha Cale from Arya Samaj said that Sindhi Topi is a symbol of Sindhi culture and Sindhis have every right to protect its honour.
Later on a gathering was held at a private place, where a cut was cut and refreshments were served on the tune of lovely Sindhi music and songs.
Bristol: Sindhi Topi and Ajrak day was celebrated in Bristol to show solidarity with Sindhi nation, in which 12 people participated. The procession marched through different streets and places, including the Bristol Council Hall, Central Library, Bristol Cathedral, and Clifton Down Park.
Manchester: In Manchester the Sindhi Topi Day was jointly marked by World Sindhi Congress and Sindhi Sangat UK. Speaking on the occasion, Rubina Shaikh, member Executive Committee, World Sindhi Congress said Pakistani establishment has violated constantly The United Nations Treaty on International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by systematic suppression and exclusion of the Sindhi language, culture and heritage.
USA: In America WSC team member, Mahboob Dahani organised the programme in New York in the famous Times Square. Short speeches were delivered by Mahboob Dahani, Vinesh Khetpal and Rakesh Ahuja. Those who attended included Abdul Sattar Memon and Siddique Shaikh. The organisers spoke to people informally about 7,000 years old Sindhi culture. They presented topis and ajraks to each other. Programme ended with dance on Ho Jamalo (a traditional Sindhi song) in open air, which was joined by many passers-by.
Canada: In Canada, WSC celebrated Sindhi Topi Day in Calgary jointly with the local Sindhi Association of Calgary, Canada. Wearing Sindh topis and ajraks, participants delivered speeches, sang and danced.