The Bhavan, the largest centre of classical Indian arts and culture outside India, celebrated Diwali with a fundraising gala at the London Marriott Hotel….reports Asian Lite News
The Bhavan, the largest centre of classical Indian arts and culture outside India, celebrated Diwali with a fundraising gala at the London Marriott Hotel. After a rousing drum introduction by Mridangam and Tabla teachers and an introductory prayer from the Vedas by Executive Director Dr M N Nandakumara, The Bhavan’s Chairman Joginder Sanger welcomed the 300 guests. The programme included live performances of Bharatanatyam and Kathak dance by top students of The Bhavan, as well as videos that gave a fuller picture of the organisation’s activities. Compère was BBC Asian Network presenter Ashanti Omkar who introduced the evening’s chief guests.
Mr Dinesh K Patnaik Acting High Commissioner of India said “The culture of the nation is what is important. What we leave behind is culture. If we want culture to continue we all need to support The Bhavan to continue.”
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK and India share a longstanding bond built on shared history, impressive cooperation on arts, business and education and our strong people to people ties. Understanding each other’s traditions is an important way of deepening this strategic partnership and I praise the efforts of the British Asian diaspora and organisations like the Bhavan Centre in preserving India’s vibrant heritage and in turn making the UK a more diverse and culturally rich place to live. I look forward to the world’s oldest and its largest democracy working together to tackle the global challenges of today.”
“We are living in turbulent times and it is more important now than ever that we appreciate each other’s cultures. Our two countries set the perfect example for that,” she added. “It is no surprise that the Bhavan Centre set up its largest branch outside India in the UK, 44 years ago. It does some great work in showcasing our people-to-people ties and next year will be a landmark one as we celebrate UK-India Year of Culture.”
A series of events are being lined up for the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture, including a photography exhibition at the Science museum, a major digitisation programme of 200,000 pages of South Asian archival print documents held at the British Library in London, including 4000 Bengali books, as well as a tour of the Magna Carta and works of Shakespeare to India.
Chair of The Bhavan’s fundraising committee Dr Surekha Mehta proposed a vote of thanks to all. The event was raising funds to enable the charity to fulfil its mission of ensuring that the rich artistic and cultural heritage of India is alive and available to all.