Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month

Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month, 13th August 2020 (transcript):  

Hi good afternoon my name is Kunal Pandya, I work for the East of England Ambulance Service an ambulance clinician. I have been with the ambulance service approximately 12 years now. My part at the moment is in accident and emergency frontline.

So, this month of July into August we’re celebrating the South Asian Heritage month and today I have a very close family friend and my family priest with myself, may I introduce you to Shree Mr Hemangbhai Bhatt. Hello Mr Hemangbhai thank you very much for accompanying me today making this short clip about our heritage our Asian culture.

Thank you very much beta, Jai Shree Krishna. So part of the South Asian Heritage Month, we’re celebrating as Hindus in the upcoming months an array of special events and special days within our Hindu calendar and to talk about what we have, I am going to hand over to Mr Hemangbhai and he will explain the key events we have with Raksha Bandhan, we have India’s Independence day, we’re coming across Norta and we are also coming across Diwali. So, some key area’s in our Hindu tradition, so if you would like to explain a little bit more about that. 

Definitely Raksha Bandhan is just around the corner coming on Monday 3rd August, and as the name suggests its Raksha, Bandhan means tying , Raksha means safety and security for you and in our faith we believe that women have the strength there for the Shakti so as Shiva Shakti is god without Shakti his incomplete and that shakti is the energy and that’s the lady of the family. So normally the sisters would dye a rakhi like that to the brothers on that day and wish him well for the next 12 months to come so that’s her well wishes, even she does a similar thing of the tying knot on the wedding day of the brother, so if you are a Hindu and you get married your sister would come and tie you together with your wife.

Absolutely, fantastic we are also celebrating India’s Independence Day shortly. Independence is a big thing, yes, as we all know there was a British Raj Rule over India and other countries, it came to finally and that’s the 15th August we celebrate the liberation of the country and since then India has struggled to find its feet, as any child would do because when you start from nothing you start from zero you are bound to make mistakes but we are happy that India is slowly growing and progressing and such a short span, it has done very well it’s a celebration for every faith to enjoy and have a similar celebration in our hearts and minds. We can all be liberated. 

Absolutely and our final celebration is Diwali, part of the Hindu culture and not only do the Hindus  celebrate Diwali but we have different culture celebrations with us, we have the Muslim community, we have the Sikh community and we have the Christian community, so it is an elaboration of all faiths enabling to celebrate our Hindu faith and Hindu culture. Just a short sentence on Diwali Hemangbhai. Definitely, deepawali is amazing because as go down the Melton Road, Leicester, traditionally you see thousands of people celebrating and I have seen, I’m sure you have seen it. All the different denominations of faiths, people come to enjoy it, its celebration of unity, and basically its festival of lights, it’s called DEEPA WALI meaning the celebration of light. What does light bring, enlightenment. So, in a dark room if you light a lamp it gives you brightness.

Thank you, thank you Hemangbhai ever so much for the brief explanation about our culture and heritage and just a little bit about myself. How we as Indians ended up in this country.

My family originated from India, roughly about two generations back, my family emigrated to Africa underneath the British Raj due to jobs and how everything was turning out back in that particular era. I am now the third generation in this country the United Kingdom with my eldest generation my grandfather being 97. My family came from Uganda, East Africa, here in this country in the 1970’s, and we have succeeded very well in this country with giving back a lot to society and community that we live in and equally I am also very proud to be a British Indian serving the National Health Service, serving the Crown and serving the public that we do our best to help every day. That is in short, the celebration of South Indian culture.

Thank you ever so much, keep safe, keep well and always were one race, one being, look out for everyone, be kind, be humble, embrace life on a day to day basis.

Definitely, and we are thankful to the NHS, yourself and your team.

Hemangbhai, thank you ever so much, Jai Shree Krishna, thank you for your time today. An honour for me, god bless you.

Jai Shree Krishna.

Published 13th August 2020

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