West Midlands Diwali celebrations go online this year

West Midlands Diwali celebrations go online this year

The fourth annual West Midlands Combined Authority and Indian Consulate, Birmingham Diwali celebration is going online this year.

Normally the Diwali the Festival of Lights event is held on Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre, however due to Covid-19, 2020’s celebration is being held virtually via social media.

Diwali on the Screen will feature new and traditional singing, folk dance and performances from established and up and coming acts.

The event will be opened via video by the Consul General of India, Birmingham, Dr Shashank Vikram and High Commissioner of India to the UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar, alongside Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.

The Mayor said: “Even though we are celebrating differently this year the event is still a joyful and vivid example of the diversity of our region. Many people may have thought they wouldn’t be able to celebrate this year, but we hope they will join us by marking Diwali in 2020 online instead.

“By streaming the celebrations online everyone, not just the Hindu community, can safely participate in Diwali alongside members of their household.

“This celebration is an example of inclusivity within our region, regardless of an individual’s faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality, whether they have a disability, or where they live.”

DCS front man, Shin Parwana is one on a line up of entertainers for this year’s online event

The event which is free to attend will be streamed live from 11:00am on Saturday 7th November.

The Consul General of India, Birmingham, said: “It’s my pleasure to co-host Diwali celebrations for the fourth consecutive time with the Mayor of West Midlands Mr. Andy Street.

“Diwali is perfect example of community cohesion and these joint celebrations are perfect representation of how darkness continues to be defeated and UK’s multiculturalism is celebrated. At a time of great national difficulty, the need for festivals that brings light into our world has never been more important.

“I hope that, even though celebrated virtually this year, its message of light, hope & joy will resonate the same feeling. Through these celebrations we rejoice the timeless message of Diwali: ‘’that light will ultimately triumph over darkness, Shubh Diwali!’ Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali.”

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated by faiths throughout the Indian community to mark different historical events and stories, with all of them symbolising the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

Every year, the Festival of Light is celebrated enthusiastically by millions of people around the world.

It is celebrated by lighting lamps and candles in doors and windows of the home, around temples and other buildings, along with fireworks.

Diwali on the Screen will showcase some of the region’s top talent organised by Sampad Arts. Headlining is bhangra band DCS, front man Shin Parwana, plus Xeni from Solihull, Bharatanatyam Tillana by Aishani & Anaya of Chitralekha Dance Company, Rekesh Chauhan and Nandini Shankar on piano and violin and Bollywood Dreams Dance, interactive dance workshop.

Cllr Brigid Jones, WMCA portfolio lead for inclusive communities and deputy leader of Birmingham City Council said: “In this darkest of Novembers, our festival of light is even more important than ever. I wish everyone celebrating a happy and safe Diwali.’

The free celebrations can be viewed by registering for a free ticket on the WMCA website https://www.wmca.org.uk/events/#!/event/diwali-on-the-screen/ to watch on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

The event can also be followed using the follow the hashtag #DiwaliWM

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