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Diwali was celebrated in Yorkshire last week. The Yorkshire Diwali festival began, with a diverse stream of about 700 people coming in to celebrate the festival of lights at the Pudsey Civic Hall. Rt Hon Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey sent his wishes. Bands were set up, dances were performed, and a host of singers of all ages came together to produce a vibrant, thriving set of cultural programmes for the local community. Dr. Geetha Upadhyaya OBE ‘s introduction was followed by Mr. Stuart Andrew’s well wishes. Mr. Dayal Sharma MBE’s opening remarks were well received. There were many charitable organisations taking part including raising awareness about blood cancer. Adorning the whole affair was the variety of stalls from beautiful, hand-made jewellery to a myriad of delicious snacks, festival goers were treated to a sumptuous set of delicacies and wonders. Even the youngest in the community came out to celebrate- highlighting the power of Diwali has to bring all together. The event culminated in the long-awaited fashion show hosted by Anu Sharma and Sajith, with a whole host of folks showcasing their style and flare in a celebration of colour and light.

The event was well coordinated on stage by Vidya, Anil, Lavanya, Monica, Sridivya and Raaji. The event could not have gone on without the help of Mr. Shivalkar from Yorkshire Indian Business Network and his team of organisers, all of whom were invaluable in bringing the event to fruition. A huge thanks also to supporting organisations, Bradford for Everyone stronger communities team, Bradford Hindu council, Asian Express for showing their support and appreciation for our work. The local constabulary was not only on site but also deeply impressed by the event. They stressed the importance of recruitment from under-represented ethnicities within the force, so as to ensure these events are treated with the decorum they deserve. It was fantastic seeing the community join together in such a fashion; in these last few, difficult years, the joy and hope that Diwali represents should be a shining beacon to us all and cherished as an event that brings people of all faiths and backgrounds together.

News by Dr. Ezhil Anand for Yorkshire Diwali festival

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