Led by the City of Birmingham, British Asian Week is set to become a major annual event. The West Midlands largest Diwali event, organised by the Hindu Council of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, will take place on the eve of British Asian Week, Sunday 12 November (3pm – 7pm) and will be the start of celebrations. Hosted by BBC Midland’s Today presenter, Satnam Rana, the event will see thousands of people converge at Millennium Point for a free interactive extravaganza featuring Asian culture, music, fashion and dance to celebrate the Hindu Festival of Light.
The week that follows comprises a host of cultural, business and media events and activities throughout Birmingham and the rest of the UK focusing on seven key themes, culminating in the UK’s largest Mela at NEC on 17 – 19 November.
Events taking place during British Asian Week include:
The Kali Theatre Company, dedicated to promoting new writing by Asian women, will host an Asian Women Talk Back Festival at the Soho Theatre, London, launching on 15 November. Promoting the diversity of new writing by South Asian women, the festival will see productions of DEADEYE by Amber Lone, Behna by Sonia Likhari and Zameen by Satinder Kaur Chohan.
As part of the annual Brilliantly Birmingham International Festival of Contemporary Jewellery, and to celebrate British Asian Week, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter presents Bombay to Birmingham, an exhibition of traditional Asian pieces, from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, displayed alongside contemporary jewellery by designer makers; including Vaishali Morjaria, Rita Patel and Kirti Patel.
The Merchants of Bollywood, a theatrical dance spectacular charting the history of the world’s largest and most prolific film industry, will run for the duration of the week at Tyne Theatre in Newcastle, whilst Kaahini by Maya Chowdhry, a play set in contemporary Britain revealing the dreams, aspirations and frustrations of adolescence, dealing with questions of identity and gender, will show at The Drum, Plymouth Theatre Royal.
To celebrate the significant contribution made to Business by British Asians, organisations ranging from Enterprise Week (13 – 19 November) to regional business associations will be hosting events to offer inspiration and advice to those looking to launch, or already running, businesses.
In addition, the Opportunities Theatre presented by Lloyds TSB / ICICI Bank India Banking Service, at Mela ’06 will see many of the UK’s leading lights from the world of sport, media, music and commerce offer advice and inspiration about careers within their chosen fields. Actors Nitin Ganatra, Raza Jaffrey and Ameet Chana will explain how to get into film and television. Preethi Nair and Gautam Malkani offer a look at the world of publishing, whilst ITV’s Arti Halai, Eastern Eye’s entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, Desi DNA producer Phil Basi and Sumerah Ahmed, Club Asia’s Chief executive, will open the door on the media.
On Saturday 18 November the mac Cinema in Birmingham hosts Cinema of Prayoga – a programme of revelatory and rare films sourced from Indian archives. Featuring avant garde Indian artists from the beginnings of Indian cinema to the latest examples of Indian video art, the programme includes: The Secret History of Indian Cinema, including work by D.G. Phalke – the father of Indian Cinema; a collection of subversive work from the 60s and 70s; Unseen India – a recent work exploring unknown aspects of contemporary India; and Indian Video Art – Between Myth and History.
The week will culminate in the UK’s largest ever Asian lifestyle event at Mela’06. Featuring the very best of Asian culture, from fashion, beauty and shopping, to business, music and entertainment, Mela ’06 will see performances by British Asian talents such as Rishi Rich, Juggy D, Jay Sean and Hunterz, along with appearances from top Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Kajol and Ajay Devgan.
With high profile supporters, from British Asian celebrities, business people and politicians, the week long activities will bring together all areas of the community in a far reaching and multi faceted celebration.
For more information about all the events taking place during British Asian week, or to find out about hosting your own event, visit www.britishasianweek.com