Marking 75 years of Indian Independence (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav), a vibrant showcase of art and culture was organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence recently and here its founder, Ragasudha Vinjamuri, shares some insights.
The event, titled Sanskruti-Veekshanam, had folk and tribal dances of 12 states and one Union Territory presented by about 40 performers creating a celebratory atmosphere in the fully packed auditorium of the Nehru Centre, ICCR London, making it one of its kind.
The programme began with paying tributes to Sindhu (Indus) Valley Civilisation and renowned singer Renu Gidoomal's traditional Sindhi songs, accompanied by Sunil Jadhav and Amritpal Dhuffer on Keyboard and Tabla. Manju Sunil presented classical dance on River Sindhu. Best wishes were sent by the Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh; Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant; Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma; and the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda. They congratulated the organisers and performers for their efforts.
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Unique dances of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar's Mithila community, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana were presented during the two-hour extravaganza. The audience immensely enjoyed the dances of Tangkhul, Koch, Kunbi, Sawara, Lambadi, and Koli communities, as most of these dances were seen in Britain for the first time. The Talwar Raas of Gujarat and Rajasthan presented by women were fascinating and delightful.
Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Sunil Chopra, the Guest of Honour on occasion, appreciated the efforts of the performers and the organisers.
Goan Association of UK, Rajput Samaj of UK, Haryana in UK Association, British Himachali Society, Natraj Dance Academy and Sahyog Foundation were the participating organisations, while Cllr Sharad Kumar Jha, Lui Godinho, Ranjeet Rathore, Reema Virdee and Lakshmi Aveen have coordinated parts of the performances. The event concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Sushil Rapatwar. Anchoring was done by me and Ravi Sharma of Lyca Radio.
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With this presentation, Sanskruti Centre has highlighted the heritage, art, and culture of 21 states and three Union Territories in 2022.
Organiser Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence is a charitable arts organisation in England established to raise a greater understanding of India's art, culture, and heritage. It has been running classes, workshops, activities, webinars, and books promoting India's linguistic diversity.
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Ragasudha Vinjamuri is Associate Lecturer at the University of Sunderland in London and a classical dance exponent. As a journalist, she has a focus on Indian heritage and culture and the Indian diaspora in the UK. Also the founder of Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence, Vinjamuri is an award-winning dancer and university educator who has been presenting and highlighting lesser-seen dances from different regions of India for the past 12 years in London, UK.