October 29, 2008

ARNABirth Celebrations

Three years ago, ARNABirth was celebrated amidst the hubbub of Durga Puja in Kolkata. I feasted on a sumptuous dinner of hilsa fish and rice at Oh, Calcutta. The upscale restaurant is located in the Forum shopping complex and serves authentic Bengali cuisine. Coincidentally, my travel companion was also born on the same day, so we paid for each other's portion of the feast.

Two years ago, I had returned to the fair city of Vancouver. The Shaolin Warriors were in town as well. I was awed by the superbly choreographed blend of kung fu and dance moves demonstrated by the troupe of traveling monks from China. Around 500 AD, a Buddhist monk had journeyed from India to China and established the Shaolin monastery. Discipline, spirituality, and martial arts expertise were united to form the Shaolin Warriors - the legendary masters of kung fu. Particularly popular was the artistry displayed by the miniature monks. The child performers impressed with their dexterity and high level of skill.

This year, the celebrations spanned several days. The global television audience trailed the World Cup and the Olympics, but family, friends, and coworkers all joined in on the fun. A BC Lions game, my first hot pot experience, and dinner at the Cloud 9 revolving restaurant were some of the mentionable highlights.