India's diversity comes truly alive in its diaspora when a cross-sections of communities celebrate their vibrant festivals rooted in the different regions of Indian.
Bengali New Year's Day, which falls this week and is known as Poila Boishakh with greetings of “Shubho Nabo Barsho” shared between people, is a significant cultural event that Bengalis celebrate across the globe. And the UK being home to a large community of Bengalis from West Bengal, celebrations of Poila Boishakh here are often steeped in tradition and glamour.
Among the many organisations celebrating Poila Boishakh 2023 in different ways includes the UK-based non-profit organisation Heritage Bengal Global (HBG).
HBG's Bengali New Year 2023 celebration marks the first global outing of the West Bengal state government's MSME [micro, small and medium enterprises] handicrafts and textiles initiative Biswa Bangla. Their Poila Baisakh event on April 22 at the Salvatorian College in Harrow, London, will have Biswa Bangla exhibiting their products for the first time abroad.
"Sadly, not a lot has been going on for West Bengal commercially at the moment. Hence, if anything Heritage Bengal Global as a charity can do to support, we would be more than happy. We are proud to welcome Biswa Bangla™ on board the HBG family," said the founder of Heritage Bengal Global, Anirban Kumar Mukhopadhyay.
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"Besides, there will be a screening of the Bengali film 'Ghorey Ferar Gaan' (Homecoming Song) starring Parambrata Chatterjee at the event, following which Film Director Aritra Sen will join in person for a filmy chat," informed Mukhopadhyay.
Apart from their creative and intellectual pursuits, Bengalis are known for their gastronomical passion. So, to leave no box unchecked, five UK-based boutique outlets will sell authentic traditional Bengali food and sweets at the venue.
Another exclusive Poila Baisakh event organised by Dakshinayan UK, the Cultural arm of the London Durgotsav Committee (LDC), will be held on April 15 at The Bhavan, London. The musical titled 'Gongs From A Bygone Era – Bengali New Year and Tagore inspired event' will see Danseuse Dona Ganguly in a special appearance.
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Notably, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of The Bhavan, London, one of the most prominent platforms of Indian arts and culture in the UK. The centre will be showcasing several other events as part of their anniversary celebrations by some of the most distinguished artists from the diaspora in the coming days.