Awash in color and sound, the 23rd annual Teeyan Da Mela event took place Sunday at the Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City.
Created as a celebration of women, the annual event also is meant to empower them.
“It’s all by the women, for the women and with the women,” said Parm Takhar, event organizer and founder of the International Organization of Punjabi Women, Inc. “This is the largest in the United States for Panjabi women to have this event.”
During Teeyan Da Mela, all ages performed for a crowd that featured women and families from both in and outside of California. Takhar said about 150 women in total performed.
“We have women from Seattle. We have women from New York,” said Takhar.
Part of this year’s proceeds from the event went toward the farmers’ protests in India. The protests were sparked after legislation was passed in India that a number of farmers and their unions objected to.
“I’m in favor of farmers anywhere in the world,” said Takhar. “But right now there’s protests going on in India where they are fighting for their rights and higher value of their crops. We are supporting them because without farmers we don’t have a life.”
As for the event itself, Takhar said Teeyan Da Mela was about a celebration of daughters.
“I think this stage gives them confidence. This stage gives them empowerment,” said Takhar. “This is the one stage where every age of women is welcome to perform.”
Keeping in line with celebrating women, the event also featured mostly female vendors.
One such vendor was a dress seller from Yuba City, Maria Mughl. Her business is called Turquoise Clothing – an online clothing business on Facebook and Instagram.
“It’s my first exhibition in the U.S.,” said Mughl. “I make my own clothing. I have a workshop in Pakistan.”
Takhar said it was important for her to support and bring awareness to women-owned businesses.
“I just promote women,” said Takhar. “When they start (a business), we promote them. Sponsors we promote. You can look around at the vendors here and basically most of these are run by women. I just take pride in it.”