Indians in London Group (IIL) hosted their much anticipated annual ‘Rang Barse’ Holi event recently at The Indian Gymkhana club in Osterley, London. This is the third year running that Indians in London Group has successfully organised this gala community celebration and the popularity of the programme can be gauged by the fact that the tickets sold out within one hour of the opening of the portal. The celebration was attended by 650 guests. The event was also graced by the presence of Mr Virendra Sharma MP Ealing, Southall, and Mr A S Rajan, Minister of Coordination, High Commission of India. The Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP, the Secretary of State for International Development, sent her special message and best wishes to the members of Indians in London Group and those throughout world that celebrated Holi this year.
The day started off with a cultural programme showcasing the talents of the Indian diaspora who have lovingly preserved their shared heritage and continue to pass it on to the younger generation. Regional Indian classic dances blended seamlessly with the thumping beats of Bollywood numbers. Melodious singers, instrument players and even a ‘Kavi Sammelan’ (gathering of poets) all evoked the nostalgic memory of traditional mohalla (neighbourhood) Holi celebrations in India.
Food remained one of the highlights of the day and the Gymkhana club kitchen again excelled in providing tasty refreshments and tea. Thandai, the Holi celebratory drink, was specially made at the venue by IIL volunteers who had a grand time churning the massive vats of milk!
The Dhol Beats UK Group set the party mood and kicked off the start of the main holi colour play with their rhythmic pulsating beats. The party that followed could easily rival any Bollywood film Holi song sequence. The revellers danced to the tune of the dhols and the live DJ as they played Holi with nearly 250 kg of dry colour powder on the lawns of the Gymkhana club. This year, again the highly popular Holi special colourful caps were imported all the way from the markets of old Delhi.
The credit for coordinating this massive event with a 650 strong guest list goes to a core group of IIL organisers and volunteers who freely gave up their time and effort over a number of months to make this a success. A very special vote of thanks also has to be extended to Indian Gymkhana club who continue to support the community in organising sports and cultural events.
The Indians in London group is an independent, not-for-profit platform to connect with the Indian diaspora in the UK, on social, cultural, educational, economic, political and charitable matters. The group, also popularly known by its acronym “IIL” or “IIL Orkut Group”, was established in 2004. From a small handful group of Indian expatriates and students in London, today, the Indians in London group consist of 12,000+ members and is growing every day.