Diwali – the festival of light celebrated in India – is as big as Christmas here. So the Indian Social Group at Glasgow Caledonian University will mark it this year with an Indian Dinner, music, dance and sparklers. ‘We’ve celebrated it for the past three years,’ said their spokeswoman. ‘This time it will be bigger and the next day will be our New Year.’
Students at the University are invited to the ticketed event on Friday 28 October, along with friends and families of the Indian Social Group. The evening incorporates fund raising with the money collected helping educate children in need in India. ‘We have collected a total of £600 in the past two years and aim to raise £300 this year,’ added the spokeswoman.
Glasgow’s first Commonwealth Garden was formally opened this week when Councillor Archie Graham attended the event at North West Women’s Centre in Maryhill and helped plant heather to represent Scotland.
Created by women of the centre following a design by Jane Gibb, the garden was funded by a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery’s Awards For All Fund.
Plants represent the main countries of the Commonwealth and their continents.
On one side Asia blooms with bamboo, rhododendron and irises. India is represented with a herb tea plant section and Europe’s space uses beautiful geraniums, roses and other plants.
Flora from the Americas, Africa and Australasia includes a maple tree for Canada, large spiky bushes for New Zealand and America, grasses from Africa and a plethora of colourful flowers from all three areas.
Over the next two years the Women’s Commonwealth Garden will have a project for local children to help them learn more about Commonwealth countries and the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow in 2014. The children will make gold and silver ‘medals’ on sticks to put into the garden next to the plants or flowers of the countries which win them.
To follow the Delhi handover of the Commonwealth Games flag to Glasgow, Saturday 16 October has been designated World Cultures Day at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre in Nitshill on the Southside of the city.
Running from 10am till 5pm the FREE event will feature sessions in traditional dance from visiting artistes from Ghana and India. There will be the chance to go on a special tour of the city’s internationally renowned World Cultures collection which is kept safely at the Resource Centre when the thousands of items are not on show.
Booking in advance to have a dance session is advised. There will be, in addition, plenty of drop-in activities for young and not so young people.
The museum experts who run the Resource Centre will offer workships in world crafts, including Mehndi and shots on their Wii POD. The South West Area Play Team will be providing an under-5s play area too.
To find out more, or to book a dance session, phone the Resource Centre on 0141 276 9300 or email GMRCbookings@glasgowlife.org.uk
Glasgow Central Mosque will host a unique exhibition of ancient Islamic artefacts during Doors Open weekend on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September.
The rare Islamic manuscripts have been sourced from specialist collectors around the globe. Quranic texts dating back to the
14th and 15th century from places such as Indonesia, India, Kashmir, Sudan and Spain will be on view. And antique Astrolabes and Islamic coins will also be on show.
The exhibition will illustrate the rich heritage of the Islamic world and highlight the artistic and scientific contributions of Muslims to present day society. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to tour the Mosque.
A multi faith launch for the exhibition will take place in advance of Doors Open weekend.
Clydebank Male Voice Choir gave their audience a treat at a recent concert in St John’s-Renfield Church in Kelvindale in aid of a childcare and educational centre in India established by two members of the congregation.
In his witty and informative way, Conductor Ronnie Simpson introduced the choir’s dozen songs and four soloists. The range of music was wide – from classic to calypso and touched the heart strings of the appreciative audience. Many who heard the choir for the first time that evening, have marked their next concert in the diary – Thursday 3, Friday 4 and Saturday 5 December in Clydebank Town Hall.
Introduced by Ann Ormerod, who with the late Jen Fisher established the connection in 1999 in Chetpet in Tamil Nadu, South India, the Kelvindale concert raised well over £700 for the Chetpet project.
Following their year long working visit to the area in 1999/2000 the two friends determined to support the local Society for the Welfare and Awareness of Poor and Leprosy Affected People which was directed by social worker Masilamani.
They raised funds for a childcare and education centre in the town. Following Jen’s death in 2002, Ann established PICT – Projects India Charitable Trust – to realise the original vision and to administer Jen’s legacy and to raise additional funds in a joint venture with the Society in Chetpet.
The Ann and Jen Nursery and Primary School was opened in April 2006 with accommodation for volunteers and overseas visitors. It provides education for more than 100 children and is also a community and education centre for adults, especially the mothers of the pupils. Further information on the work of PICT can be found at: www.pictscotland.org.uk