Although this day would see thousands of Jawa and Yezdi motorcycles gathered across the country, and the globe, to celebrate the iconic brand and the camaraderie, the current global pandemic situation gave a virtual twist to the 18th edition of International Jawa Day (IJD).
IJD, which is celebrated on the second Sunday of July every year, witnessed the global Jawa Kommuniti come together for an online meet up this year for a virtual celebration. This one-of-its-kind gathering witnessed a blast of expressions across the internet with about 300,000 people engaged and talking about the Jawa day and thousands finally logging in to watch the two hour live cast of festivities online.
Members from the major Jawa & Yezdi Motorcycle Clubs in India took the mantle of organising the virtual event, bringing together Kommuniti members not just from clubs across the country but also countries like Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, USA, Vietnam and Cuba to come together for a virtual celebration.
The festivities began with a session aptly named ‘Legendshala’ an evening prior to set the mood with stories of the yore from people who kept the legacy of Jawa alive over decades. Moderated by renowned auto journalist and author of ‘The Forever Bike’ Adil Jal Darukhanawala, the session saw veteran racers like Somender Singh, CK Chinappa, Shyam Kothari narrate their experiences of racing on Jawa motorcycles over their careers while Prashanth PK, a collector of all things Jawa talked about his prized possessions.
The livestream on Jawa Day consisted of veteran Kommuniti riders come together on a common platform to reminisce their experiences about previous Jawa Day celebrations, long rides and friendly banter that connects them as Jawa riders.
Riders from 10 international clubs as well as 35 clubs from India were invited to do their bit for the celebrations. The club members shared recordings from their locations sending out wishes for their fellow riders and the promise of riding their Jawa motorcycles together soon.
The session saw riders from across the spectrum showing off their motorcycles ranging from pristine vintage ones to shining new models over video clips, just like they would on a live event. The response to this invitation was so overwhelming that not all the clips could be incorporated to be a part of the live session and will be available on YouTube/jawamotorcycles and IJD2020 for further viewing.
The platform also engaged female riders with a dedicated segment with the participants telling encouraging stories about women in motorcycling. The session honoured the ‘ustaads’, technicians who have kept the Jawa motorcycles of the past running perfectly over the years. In keeping with the tradition, the organising panel of the show hosted contests on social platforms to engage with the Kommuniti.
The contests witnessed a stirring response from avid Jawa and Yezdi riders and followers. Categories included best dressed rider, picture of a bike in unexpected location, best 90 second video, picture of a ride with public message regarding traffic rules, recreation of old pictures in a collage with year mentioned etc.
The virtual meetup session was full of enthusiastic members of the Jawa Kommuniti and while the ongoing lockdown situation did put brakes on the physical rides and celebrations, it didn’t curb their enthusiasm to come together as one family on an online forum. The event this year also saw a higher active participation from new Jawa owners.
The Kommuniti spirit among the new owners is on a rise and it reflected in the new clubs alongside the older ones in big numbers to celebrate this event. In some cities such as Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Cochin, Kannur and Jaipur where unlock rules allowed riding with safety protocols, Kommuniti members went about riding in the spirit of Jawa day to celebrate.