Carols, cake, millets add festive cheer for Christmas at India House

Carols, cake, millets add festive cheer for Christmas at India House

Representatives from a wide range of diaspora organisations gathered at the High Commission of India in London this week to celebrate Christmas in all its festive glory.

Colourfully lit up and decorated with Christmas trees, India House played host to carol singing by the celebrated Choir of King’s College London, operatic notes of Mumbai-born singer Oscar Castellino and the cutting of a cake especially created by Goan chef Clanny Rodrigues. With 2023 celebrated as the International Year of the Millets, a Kodo & Proso Millet Kheer dessert proved quite a draw at the event.

Vikram Doraiswami, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, said: “We are really delighted to celebrate Christmas, as we do all festivals, which truly is the hallmark of India – a land of festivals, a land of diversity and a land in which for us what marks festivals is joy, love, sharing and most of all light.”

The Choir of King’s College London was conducted by Dr Joseph Fort and performed a traditional set of festive carols. The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster, who was the Guest of Honour, brought greetings from Westminster Abbey and His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, represented the Catholic Church at the celebration.

Castilleno, who was accompanied by Mark Troop on the piano, said he was overjoyed to perform his Hindi composition of Silent Night, entitled Khamosh Hai Raat, at Gandhi Hall.

“I felt that the Hindi language would lend itself beautifully to a Christmas carol like Silent Night,” said Castellino.

The international operatic baritone, who initially worked as a software engineer in Mumbai and has composed the anthem for planet Mars, is now developing music for the operatic style in Indian languages. An alumnus of the Royal College of Music, he has performed with Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera.

*Info: Operawala


Carols, cake, millets add festive cheer for Christmas at India House
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