• Thursday, July 25, 2024


Newham to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month

The celebratory events will include diverse activities, promising a rich cultural experience.

By: Mohnish Singh

NEWHAM is set to celebrate South Asian Heritage Month from July 18 to August 17 with a vibrant and diverse programme under the theme ‘Free to be Me.’

The month-long celebration aims to raise awareness and honour the rich British South Asian heritage in Newham. It promises a rich cultural experience, with events catering to diverse ages and interests.The celebratory events will include diverse activities, promising a rich cultural experience. There’s something for everyone, from spoken word to music, art exhibitions to storytelling, film screenings, and much more.

The programme starts with ‘Chai Chronicles: Exploring the History of South Asian Tea’ and finishes with ‘Desi Daydreams: A Throwback to the 1980s South Asian Rave Scene’ at Old Town Hall Stratford.

Mohamed Hammoudan, Assistant Director for Resident Engagement and Participation, said: “We are proud to offer a diverse range of exceptional events that shine a light on the rich history and vibrant diversity of South Asian people in our borough. Through our close collaboration with local artists, venues, and businesses, as well as the active participation of our residents, we’ve witnessed the profoundly positive impact these celebrations have had on our community throughout the years. We invite everyone to join us in being part of these events as we come together to showcase stories of South Asian Heritage.”

The events within the programme include:

Chai Chronicles: Exploring the History of South Asian Tea
At this launch event, Shaheen Kasmani and Heiba Lemara will delve into the rich history of tea and guide us through a tea-tasting experience. Maryam Huq will showcase a collection of art pieces inspired by tea, inviting attendees to embark on a journey that intertwines art and taste.

Me on a Tee Workshop by Momtaz-Begum Hossain
Learn about the history of slogan t-shirts and customise your own in this creative workshop that explores identity and self-expression with colour therapist and crafts expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain.

The History of Bharatanatyam
Learn about the history of Bharatanatyam dance and its origins in ancient Sanskrit texts of performance arts, followed by a performance.

Chai Chronicles: A Talk with the Curators
Artist and curator Shaheen Kasmani will talk us through her process of research, inspiration, and execution, shedding light on what goes into creating meaningful community gatherings. Tea brewed from locally grown herbs in the garden will be served.

Chai Chronicles: Design Your Own Teapot Workshop (4yrs+)
Children aged 4+ are invited to design their own teapot, drawing inspiration from the vibrant hues and intricate patterns of South Asian cultures. Led by local artist Maryam Huq who will be exhibiting a collection of art inspired by tea crockery.

The Queen of My Dreams Film Screening
In collaboration with the London Indian Film Festival, Newham is screening Fawzia Mirza’s The Queen of My Dreams. Against the backdrop of a shared obsession with Bollywood fantasy, Mariam, a Pakistani Muslim woman, and her Canadian-born daughter Azra come of age in two different eras.

Stories from Central-South Asia by Khayaal Theatre (Families)
Khayaal Theatre will bring us tales from the Central-South Asian region using vivid storytelling and props, inspired by millennium and centuries-old Muslim theatre traditions.

Wellbeing in the Garden: Nature to Help You Stress Less
A refreshing summer walk in the community garden followed by journaling, a discussion on holistic wellbeing and ways we can help ourselves to reduce stress in our busy bustling lives.

Sounds of South Asia in Green Street
Experience a mini-musical extravaganza celebrating the sounds of the subcontinent, featuring talented local musicians from Newham.

Stories of Freedom in Spoken Word & Music by Khiyo
A spoken word celebration curated by East London-based writer and filmmaker Jamal Mehmood. Followed by music from Khiyo who are renowned for their captivating fusion of Bengali folk melodies, classical compositions, and contemporary sounds.

A Walk Through the History of South Indian Clothing
Residents will present a mini fashion show and explain the rich history behind iconic garments such as sarees, shalwar kameez, and more.

Monkey Man Film Screening + Q&A
Directed by Dev Patel, this movie follows an anonymous young man who unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systematically victimise the powerless.

Desi Daydream: A Throwback to the 80s South Asian Rave Scene
Step back in time to the underground daytime Bhangra scene of the 1980s. Desi Daydream recreates the legendary daytime raves beloved by second-generation British Asians across the UK.

For a detailed programme of events along with dates and times, please visit www.newhamsouthasianheritage.org.

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