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Redbridge Sikhs and Hindus celebrate Vaisakhi

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 April 2017

Council Leader Jas Athwal joins others for the  Vaisakhi celebrations at the Masala 910 restaurant in Newbury Park

Council Leader Jas Athwal joins others for the Vaisakhi celebrations at the Masala 910 restaurant in Newbury Park

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Sikhs and Hindus from Redbridge have been celebrating the historical and religious festival of Vaisakhi this week.

Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi or Vaishakhi, celebrates the Sikh new year and commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.

In Hinduism the festival represents the start of the solar new year and for both religions it also marks the spring harvest.

This week there’s been a number of events to mark the religious festival including a celebration at Masala 910, in Eastern Avenue, Ilford, organised by the Redbridge Indian Welfare Association (RIWA) on Wednesday.

“We held a music festival for Vaisakhi, mainly bangra music and classical songs,” said REWA club secretary Vasant Mahandru.

“It’s religious but at the same time secular too because it’s the start of the new year and the harvest.

“Among the guests was Cllr Jas Athwal, he attended the occasion and talked about the generation gap between the young and the old and emphasised the hard times that the first generation Indians had when they came here.

“I also talked about the activities on the Indian Diaspora and how they maintain their links by celebrating this occasion.

“We had a colourful set up decorated with all the flags - we had a great occasion.”

The festivities didn’t end there as on Thursday former GP and yoga teacher Dr Sudarshan Kapur, 76, of The Drive, South Woodford, held a Vaisakhi celebration at Tabla, in High Road, Ilford, for members of her yoga class.

“There was about 60 ladies mostly from our yoga class. Everyone had a wonderful time and they are already requesting another function quite soon,” said Sudarshan.

“We’ve done quite a lot in the grace of god and a few more are coming soon.”

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