Yog foundation Diwali event – UK’s first Infinity Diya room – Chhavi Saini – Townley Grammar School

There were almost 2000 attendees at the hugely successful, Yog foundation Diwali Mela this year in south east London. One of the biggest events of the area! The feedback given was extremely positive, with many different experiences that people could explore.

‘Mela’ is a Hindi word meaning fair, as the function was drop in at any time, as well as free entry in the spirit of selfless service. Guests enjoyed:

  • Non-stop Hanuman Chalisa recital
  • Hanuman in an immersive Virtual Reality experience
  • Epic 3D cinema room
  • Exhibition of a Million Diya Infinity Room (first time ever in the UK!)
  • Cultural dance performances by the talented youth
  • Childrens room with face paint & Mehndi & crafts
  • Ankhoot prasad feast made lovingly by the community

Mr Louie French (MP of Old Bexley and Sidcup) and Sir David Evennett (MP of Bexleyheath and Crayford) attended on the 8th year running of the celebration! Their experience of the occasion included, “vibrant, innovative and fun”. As well as describing how the commemoration is a bit serious, with the religious aspects of course, but the cultural aspect is really important too within the diversity of our society, and seeing families and communities getting together. Many other guests expressed the friendly and celebratory atmosphere, helping them feel closer to their background and religion while making unforgettable memories and their gratitude towards the volunteers’ efforts that helped bring this to life!

Yog Foundation is an award-winning registered charity in south east London that seeks to bring the local British Hindu, British Indian and wider Bexley communities together to improve community cohesion and inclusivity, serve the vulnerable, celebrate diversity and improve the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing for all. The charity’s hard work and maintenance of culture, tradition and heritage is nationally recognised, with an award won at the London Faith and Belief Community Awards 2019 – a category winner for promoting inclusion. As part of seva, across 5 years the charity has organized initiatives free of charge, hosting 40+ festivals, while also including the future generation in weekly moral value lessons/ Hinduism/ Hindi/ Gujarati classes. Plus, arranging special wellbeing, yoga and mental health events. Yog foundation is frequently aiding and has raised thousands for many charities in need, including Royal Society for Blind Children, Greenwich & Bexley Hospice, Kailash Satyarthi Foundation and they responded to COVID-19 by contributing to many foodbanks and homeless people. For many, Yog foundation is a wonderful community to be a part of, whether an adult or child, since there is so much to learn and experience with amazing opportunities.

The CEO, Mr Chetan Halai, says, “I think melas are a wonderful way to experience the buzz and festivity of Diwali, as it allows attendees to spend a few hours visiting all the attractions. The event is incredibly important for our community, as it offers the opportunity to come together at this auspicious time of the year.”

Many people anticipate the next years’ fete, find out more about the charity on the Yog foundation website here; https://www.yog.foundation/

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