CMA in Calgary Stampede Parade


Calgary Marathi Association (CMA) is proud to present Dhol-Tasha, Lezim, Zanj performance for the Calgary Stampede Parade. What you see on the 8 July 2022 Calgary Stampeded Parade is Lezim, which is a folk dance from the state of Maharashtra in India where the dancers carry a small musical instrument with jingling cymbals called the ‘Lezim’. The dance is a treat to watch and enjoy. It’s impossible to stay still when you hear Dhol-Tasha, the traditional drums of the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

The Lezim performers you see on Calgary Stampede Parade are not professional Lezim performers but are all volunteers. Once approval from the Stampede Committee was obtained by the CMA, the entire process of sourcing & ordering the musical instruments, including practicing for Stampede was completed in less than one month. So, kudos to all organizers and volunteers of this Lezim Performance.

In Lezim dance, there are various types of movements like stepping, hopping, crouching, and bending. Every movement of the dance is executed in perfect time with the proper strikes which are swung in four or eight counts. This provides a rhythmic accompaniment to the dance. Lezim Dance is frequently used as a fitness drill by schools in Maharashtra, militias and other institutions because it involves many callisthenic moves and can be quite strenuous.

The primary instruments played are described below.


A set of small cymbals tied to a wooden handle


A heavy large bass drum carried over the shoulder/waist for percussion


A smaller snare drum is worn around the waist

Zanj (cymbals)

A cymbal is a pair of round plates used as a common percussion instrument


Bhagwa Bhagwa Jhanda GIF - Bhagwa Bhagwa Jhanda Bhagwa Dhwaj - Discover & Share GIFs

Dwaj (flag)

is a saffron-colour flag, that served as the flag of the Maratha Empire.

Some Interesting Tidbits

1. Calgary Marathi Association was founded 4 decades ago to bring together immigrants from the State of Maharashtra, India by celebrating festivals and events like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and the Indian new year. It also aims to conserve the native/regional Marathi language and culture through their Marathi School.

2. Calgary Marathi Association has grown to be an inclusive non profit organization since then and also works for fellow Calgarians by conducting:
Blood Donation Drives for Canadian Blood Services, Food Donation Drives for Calgary Food Bank and Veterans, Clothes donation drive for Mustard Seed to name a few
Financial Literacy, Health (Yoga and Physiotherapy) Programs for Youth, Senior Citizens and Newcomers
3. Calgary Marathi Association created a record of sorts by Donating close to 10000 Lbs to Calgary Food Bank in one of their Food drives
4. At the Parade, one will get to see 70 participants in traditional, vibrant and colourful ethnic wear
Men in Kurta (Shirts) and Payjama (Pants) and Pheta (Turban)
Ladies in Nauvari Saree (Nine yards long piece of cloth draped around the body and over one shoulder)
5. 30 of these 70 participants will perform various folk dance forms carrying Lezim – a small musical instrument with jingling cymbals
6. 18 of these 70 participants will be drummers, performing on 6 large Dhols (Drums) and 4 Taasha (Small semi-spherical Drums)
7. Another 18 participants will carry the traditional Flags for Hindavi Swarajya (Self Rule) and the Indian, Canadian Flags.
The Calgary Marathi Association group will definitely enchant the visitors with their entry, depicting the rich history and culture from the land of the Maratha Kingdom, founded and expanded by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Emperor Shivaji).

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Thank you to our generous donors too

Akhil Deshpande
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Harshada Bhalerao
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Fun Fact

Alberta’s most recent GDP was $323 Billion with an area of 661,848 km2. The state of Maharashtra’s most recent GDP was $547 Billion with an area of 307,713 km2. In Canadian Dollars.

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