It looked like an engagement party, it sounded like an engagement party, but Jagmeet Singh’s spokesman said the NDP leader is avoiding any labels to describe a weekend celebration.
Public posts on social media pointed to a jubilant party on Sunday featuring Singh, 38, and Gurkiran Kaur Sidhu as guests of honour in traditional Punjabi outfits.
When first asked if the photos were of an engagement or a wedding party, James Smith, Singh’s press secretary, said, “This is not an engagement and we have no further comment.”
But on Monday, Smith offered a more fulsome response to explain the festivities documented on social media.
“I can confirm that this was a celebration of two families meeting and the celebration of that couple,” he told HuffPost Canada.
“You know what the equivalent would be is the first time a couple’s parents sit down and have dinner together,” Smith said. He joked that in western culture, such a relationship milestone is usually marked with “less colourful clothes.”
A traditional Punjabi ceremony known as a roka, usually marks the meeting of a couple’s families before an official engagement. Singh and Sidhu’s attire, party, and a photo shoot resembled such a tradition, but Smith was reluctant to call the celebration a roka.
He said Singh and Sidhu don’t want to use traditional labels and are instead “trying to just take their own meaning from it.”