Diverse shades of community celebrations in UK

Diverse shades of community celebrations in UK

Two immersive community conventions took place in the heart of Manchester recently and here is a lookback at the Orissa Society of UK (OSUK) and the British Bengali diaspora group UKBC celebrations of Indian culture, heritage, music, cuisine and more.  

One of the biggest and oldest socio-cultural organisations of non-resident Oriya (NROs), OSUK convention at the end of August has become a well-established yearly tradition. This year, marking their first physical convention after the pandemic, the 43rd OSUK convention was suavely executed by local host Siba Biswal at Poynton High School in Greater Manchester.  

A celebrated lineup of renowned names like Jitendra Mishra, Dylan Theodore, Ramoli Creations, Anandita Das, Krishna Behura, Premananda Sahoo, Sashank Shekhar and Pragyan Hota added to the glitz and glam.


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The days were filled up with live art performances of songs, dances, music, poetry and more in the primary stage spaces, and arts and crafts workshops, sports games of cricket, basketball, badminton and so on in the other indoor and outdoor spaces. During the day, there were sports and art competitions with trophies and medals to be won for the community.  

Some captivating classical dance recitals, drama, poetry recitations and fashion shows, and to top it all, endless food and drinks on the menu, it has been a memorable experience for everyone involved. The theme of this year's event was 'We and our mother earth'; the stage and other décor matched the significance.  

Filmmaker Jitendra Mishra, committed to promoting Oriya films on the world stage, attended the convention straight after his Cannes Film Festival trip.

Awarded with multiple national and international accolades, Mishra is the elected president of one of the world's oldest and most prestigious global networks, Centre International de Film pour l'enfance et La Jeunesse (CIFEJ), formed under UNESCO's auspices in 1955. Jitendra has also been a member of the Cannes producers' network.  

Quite popular among the community, he was seen graciously participating in drama and fashion shows. But most importantly, he was here to take part in OSUK's film festival, Cine Orissa.  

Odisha Society of United Kingdom (OSUK) had Mishra and his organisation Cinema4good to host the UK chapter of the one-of-a-kind film carnival Cine Orissa– Timeless cinema of Odisha during the annual convention. 

The United Kingdom Bengali Convention (UKBC) was founded during the pandemic. And the three-year-old organisation held their first physical convention last year in Cambridge. With an aim to bring Bengali art, culture, language, literature, discussions and business under one roof, the non-profit group organised an entertaining, starry convention in Manchester this year.  


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Several renowned celebrities from the Kolkata film and music industry were brought in to perform on Manchester's glamorous Stoller Hall stage

Several diaspora-based SMEs also got an opportunity to do business at this convention.  

The event showcased celebrated artists like Poushali Chatterjee, Jayati Chakroborty, Monami Ghosh, Trijoy, Anindya Chatterjee and Iman Chakraborty. National award-winning singer Iman Chakraborty's mesmerising concert concluded the convention on a high note for this year.  

The local co-host of this year, Greater Manchester Bengali Hindu Cultural Association's General Secretary, Dr Bharati Kar, said:  

"Art, activities, cultural programs – these all form an integral part of who we are. But I feel the main significance of such an annual convention is for the community to unite under one roof.


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  "Here in a foreign land, we only have each other as friends, family and relatives. And to see all of you enjoying and loving each other is my driving force," said the veteran, revered by one and all in the community.  

Notably, GMBHCA is also celebrating their 30th Anniversary of Durga Puja this year.  

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