The event was organised by the Vedic Organisation of Indian Education and Culture (VOICE) – a Manchester-based organisation which promotes Indian culture and heritage through various classes ranging from Indian classical music and singing, kathak and Bollywood dance to GCSE Hinduism Vedic Maths and GCSE Hindi for all ages.
The highly anticipated event, which saw a turnout of more than 300 people, put the younger members of the community at the forefront. A message of ‘unity in diversity’ resonated strongly in all the performances of the evening. Owing to this theme, the wide scape of performances varied not only in types such as dances and skits but also in the regions within India that they represented.
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As the evening unfolded, teenagers from the community took to the stage to showcase their talents. One particular rendition captured one of the most upbeat performances of the evening with a Kathak solo. The young student, who learns Kathak at VOICE, displayed her dancing talent with elegance and poise.
Everything about the evening inspired a sense of pride and unity. The credit goes to not just the performers but also the selection of performances, the thematic talks on history and the importance of Republic Day which peppered the evening and the artistic anchoring done by a talented diaspora poet. The audience, too, fuelled the energy with overwhelming applause and encouragement.
VOICE co-founder, Dr. Poonam Kakkar, told iGlobal why it is important for such cultural events to take place. “The event clearly shows how well-connected the children are to their sanskars, language, culture and performing art. Organisations like VOICE help keep the age-old Guru Shishya parampara (tradition) alive.”
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The event was also graced by the Consulate General of Birmingham ASO Visa, Sunil Kumar Sharma, who was the chief guest of the evening. Speaking after the event to the VOICE co-founder Prof. Nawal Prinja, Sunil Kumar Sharma said that the reason as to why the Hindu diaspora is a successful and accomplished community points to their “cultural heritage that guides and prompts them to achieve higher goals and serve the country they live in. This is precisely what VOICE (an education project of VHP UK) wants to achieve. We want to promote and preserve our culture for sake of brighter future of next generation of British Hindus.”
The event fittingly concluded with a soulful rendition of ‘Vande Mataram’ and was followed by Priti Bhojan for all.