Exclusive Photo Essay: 2015 Navroz Celebrations in Montreal
Photo: Muslim Harji
Editor’s note: Montreal, Quebec, has by far the largest population of Ismailis from Afghanistan of any city in the Western world. Numbering in their thousands, one is often left wondering on major cultural and religious festivities, whether one is really in Montreal or in Kabul!
A few years ago, I visited the vibrant city for Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Salgirah on a cold and snowy December evening. The challenge of driving the difficult 180 kms from Ottawa was at once put to rest as I set foot inside the centre where the celebration was being held. The joy in the heart of the Jamat was palpable. I was welcomed with smiles and Salgirah Mubarak. The spirit of happiness of the Jamat filled the hall. “How might the Navroz experience be?” I had often wondered, considering the particular significance of the New Year in the lives of millions of inhabitants of Iran and several countries in Central Asia.
Montreal, population 1.6 million (Metropolitan area 3.8 million) is Canada’s second largest city after Toronto. Photo: Government of Canada
Well, I would not have a true answer to that until I lived the experience myself. But for now, Montreal’s Ismaili spectacle of beauty, colour and joy on the occasion of Navroz 2015 comes to life with these brilliant photographs captured by none other than its resident photographer, Muslim Harji, who has contributed so many fine photo essays for this photo blog. Simergphotos sincerely thanks Muslim for making these photographs available for the blog.
SCENES FROM MONTREAL
BY MUSLIM HARJI
Three lovely smiles on a happy day, while a beautiful baby takes a nap unperturbed by the sights and sounds around her! Photo: Muslim Harji.
Elders from Afghanistan talk over a delicious meal. Photo: Muslim Harji
A joyful family. Photo: Muslim Harji.
A reflective portrait. Photo: Muslim Harji.
Children, youth, parents and the elderly all mingle together. Photo: Muslim Harji.
Arms around – no missing link! Photo: Muslim Harji.
Children’s lack of appetite sometimes has parents worried, but this young boy loves his food! Photo: Muslim Harji.
Dancing. Photo: Muslim Harji
A feeling of togetherness on the day of Navroz. Children, youth, parents and the elderly all come together during this all important festive celebration. Photo: Muslim Harji
Sari Elegance. Photo: Muslim Harji
A typical huddle, above and below, where friends and family members talk and exchange ideas. Photo: Muslim Harji
Photo: Muslim Harji
Wonderful contrasts on a happy day. Photo: Muslim Harji.
A beautiful child dressed well for the occasion, and in loving care. Photo: Muslim Harji
Orange, red, grey and indigo. Photo: Muslim Harji.
…Blue, indigo and red with intricate sliver and gold designs. Photo: Muslim Harji.
Whirling, and in a near trance. Photo: Muslim Harji.
Date posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
Last updated: April 3, 2015.
Copyright: Muslim Harji, Montreal, PQ. 2015.
Profile of Muslim Harji at Contributors.
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For a complete list as well as links to photo essays published on this blog please click on Table of Contents. Please also visit this photoblog’s companion literary website, http://www.simerg.com.
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Lovely to see the colorful & vibrant Montreal Jamat through your pictures. My memories of times there were truly refreshed. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and comments with people around the world.
What a colourful people and interesting jamat from all over. Some twenty years ago I had visited Montreal. At that time my elder brother Amaldari Pyaralibhai G.Nanji was Mukhisaheb – now they live in Toronto.
Rajabali G. Nanji and family from London, U.K.
31st March, 2015.
Thank you Muslim. I was in Montreal in 2005 for Navroz and joined the celebrations which were not as beautiful as these and am happy to see all the members of the jamat from Afghanistan enjoying themselves. I also noticed that the majority of the jamat in Montreal now is from Afghanistan. They are beautiful people.
In Portuguese: Muita alegria vestuário lindo com muitas cores vivas e lindas rostos cheios de alegria e júbilo. Navroz Mubarak a todos.
English translation (ed.): Lots of clothing with vivid and beautiful colours, as well as faces full of joy. Navroz Mubarak to all.
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Beautiful colourful photos Muslim. So proud of you. Stay blessed. Love, light, peace & warm hugs.
These images of the Navroz celebration by the Jamat of Montreal are very interesting. Muslim, you have done a great job.
A plethora of colors, food, music & dance with a sprinkling of joy, happiness & togetherness and what you have is a recipe for pluralism & diversity in action: great job Muslim for capturing this unique social phenomenon through your lens!
It is very interesting to know about other people and to see how happy they are.
Reblogged this on Zarina's Weblog and commented:
They seem so happy and well settled in this part of the globe in Canada’s second large city.
Amazing documentary, Bravo Muslim, so proud of you