A special event featuring Bhangra drummers, Indian dancing, Henna art and traditional Sari dress was held at Bradley Stoke Community School on 21 October to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
Representatives from South Gloucestershire Council, including Chair, councillor Sanjay Shambhu and Leader of the Council, councillor Toby Savage, joined members of South Gloucestershire’s thriving Indian community and local MP Jack Lopresti, for an evening of Indian culture and entertainment to mark the occasion.
The Diwali celebration event supported by the Olympus Academy, is part of ‘This is Your Heritage – Stories from the South Gloucestershire Indian Community’ project, which is funded by the Arts Council National Lottery Projects Grants, in partnership with Avon Indian Community Association and South Gloucestershire Museums Group, Gloucestershire Archives. The year-long project was launched by the Council’s Heritage Service in the Spring and captures and celebrates the stories of people from India who now call South Gloucestershire home.
The exhibition forms part of a pilot project which encourages people from the Indian community to share their experiences of migration and to work with local museums to gather and document their oral histories.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, councillor Sanjay Shambhu said: “As a proud British Asian and Chair of the Council, it has been fantastic to see how the local community and partners have collaborated for this special celebration to mark Diwali. I would like to thank everyone involved in creating and performing at the event which helps to enhance people’s knowledge of Indian heritage within our communities. It is part of the ‘This is Your Heritage – Stories from the South Gloucestershire Indian Community’ series of exhibitions and I encourage anyone who hasn’t been yet, to go along to one of the events which is at libraries and museums until May 2023.”
Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, councillor Toby Savage said: “It was an honour to celebrate Diwali along with members South Gloucestershire’s Indian Community and experience a taste of Indian culture, while also embracing our shared British identity. I congratulate those who performed and volunteered, and it is has been a fantastic way to celebrate the diversity within our communities which helps to make South Gloucestershire the fantastic place to live, work and visit that it is today.”
An introduction video to the exhibition features some of the people who have kept their culture and traditions while embracing life in South Gloucestershire www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNEnIGObRWY
Remaining touring dates for the exhibition:
• Patchway Library: 7 November 2022 to 19 November 2022
• Staple Hill Library: 28 November 2022 to 10 December 2022
• Hanham Library: 19 December 2022 to 31 December 2022
• Kingswood Library: 9 January 2023 to 21 January 2023
• Cadbury Heath Library: 30 January 2023 to 11 February 2023
• Emersons Green Library: 20 February 2023 to 4 March 2023
• Winterbourne Library: 13 March 2023 to 25 March 2023
• Downend Library: 3 April 2023 to 15 April 2023
• Filton Library: 24 April 2023 to 6 May 2023
For further information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/indian-heritage-stories. Additional films and materials will be added during the project which ends in May 2023.