SPRING arrived early in London this year as the Indians in London Group hosted its much anticipated ‘Rang Barse’ Holi 2016 celebrations at The Indian Gymkhana Club, at Osterley, on Saturday, 19 March.
The event, which was attended by more than 500 people, is the second such collaboration between the two organisations and has grown in strength since the first such programme that took place in 2015.
The day started with some scintillating song and dance performances by a number of extremely talented individuals and groups.
Indian regional dances, Bollywood dances, classical and contemporary songs, melodious renditions of musical instruments all paid tribute to a shared rich cultural heritage which is being lovingly preserved by the Indian diaspora.
As an Indian event of any importance is incomplete without food, arrangements were made for simple yet delicious light refreshments which were accompanied by the quintessential celebratory drink of ‘thandai’.
Afterwards the pulsating beats of the dhols (drums) set the mood for the subsequent riotous outdoor Holi colour play that was the mainstay of the event.
More than 160 kilograms of dry colour powder was consumed as revellers of all age groups played Holi on the lawns of the Gymkhana Club and danced to the beats of dhols and rhythms of the latest Bollywood tracks played by the DJ. The Holi special colourful caps distributed to all the attendees were imported all the way from the markets of old Delhi and added a nostalgic desi flavour to the celebrations.
The joie de vivre of the day was further amplified by the stream of updates coming through from the spectators of the live telecast of the India Pakistan T20 world cup cricket match. This year is also particularly significant for the Indian Gymkhana Club as it celebrates its centenary.
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 handful Indian expatriates and students in London, today, the Indians in London group consists of 9700-plus members and is growing everyday.
It can be contacted via Facebook: IndiansinLondonGroup, or on Twitter: @IIL2004 , and website: indiansinlondon.org.uk