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HomeUK NewsBangladeshi Hindus in UK celebrate Holi, Gour Purnima

Bangladeshi Hindus in UK celebrate Holi, Gour Purnima

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In a historic milestone, the Bangladesh Hindu Association (UK) marked a momentous occasion by celebrating the Holi Festival and Gour Purnima at the prestigious House of Commons for the very first time.

The event, which took place on Thursday, March 21, 2024, was graciously hosted by Sir Stephen Timms MP and Mr. Virendra Sharma MP, signifying a significant recognition of Hindu culture within the British parliamentary setting.

Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem, the esteemed High Commissioner of Bangladesh, graced the celebration as the guest of honour, adding a touch of diplomatic significance to the auspicious gathering.

Proshanta Datta Purokayastha BEM, Chairman of the Bangladesh Hindu Association (UK), presided over the proceedings, while the event was adeptly conducted by Sujith Chowdhury, the General Secretary of BHA (UK).

The event featured insightful contributions from young speakers who shared their perspectives and experiences within the British Hindu community. Senior Legal Counsel Rajen Paul provided an overview of BHA (UK)’s objectives and charitable endeavours, particularly highlighting the organisation’s resilience and commitment during the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Moulika Shome, a student at UCL, offered a poignant reflection on her identity as a British-born Hindu of Bangladeshi origin, underscoring the richness of cultural diversity within the community.

Sumed Brahmadebara, a Cambridge University student, eloquently emphasised the significance of the Holi Festival in fostering multicultural harmony and unity within Great Britain.

The event also featured captivating video presentations by talented individuals Krishna Shil and Aryan, shedding light on the vibrant cultural heritage of Bengali Hindus.

Addressing the audience, host Virendra Sharma MP emphasised the core values of peace and harmony embedded within Hinduism, urging unity and collaboration among the three million Hindus residing in the UK. Sir Stephen Timms MP echoed these sentiments, praising Holi as a festival of love and peace, and expressing his delight in hosting the celebration while expressing a commitment to future sponsorship of such auspicious events.

Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem, in her remarks, commended the efforts of the young presenters in showcasing the rich cultural tapestry of Bengali Hindu heritage. She mentioned the principles of secularism enshrined within the Bangladesh Constitution, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to inclusivity and unity among diverse religious and cultural communities.

Proshanta Purokayastha BEM, President of the Bangladesh Hindu Association UK, extended heartfelt gratitude to the honourable MPs for their support in hosting this historic event. He expressed deep appreciation for the endorsement of BHA (UK) by the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, highlighting the organisation’s journey from its inception in 2001 to its recognition within the esteemed halls of the House of Commons.

The event concluded with a vibrant showcase of cultural performances, including dance, drama, and musical renditions by talented members of the BHA (UK). The contributions of British-born youth were particularly lauded, symbolising a harmonious fusion of tradition and modernity within the community.

In declaring Her Excellency the High Commissioner of Bangladesh as the Patron of the Bangladesh Hindu Association (UK), General Secretary Sujith Chowdhury affirmed the organization’s unwavering commitment to unity and humanitarian service.

As the echoes of celebration resonated within the historic walls of the House of Commons, the Bangladesh Hindu Association (UK) etched a memorable chapter in its journey of cultural preservation and community cohesion, serving as a beacon of unity and inclusivity for generations to come.

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