05:17PM, Tuesday 22 March 2022
About 200 people danced in a burst of colour as they enjoyed a Holi Mela event at Dorney Village Hall on Saturday.
The event, organised by new community group The Sanatan Parivar, saw attendees throw colour powder, dance to Bollywood music, and enjoy plenty of festive food and sweets as they marked the Holi Festival.
Holi is one of the major festivals in the Hindu calendar, marking the start of spring and celebrating love, life and diversity.
Also known as the Festival of Colours, Holi traditionally involves the throwing of coloured powders, known as gulal.
This is Sanatan Parivar's first event for the community since it was formed late last year.
The group, whose name in Sanskrit means ‘one big family’, has an ethos of ‘bringing the community together’
Discussing the event, Vanita Dutta, one of the trustees of the community group said: “From my perspective it was really good.
“We had really good feedback and testimonies from all the people thanking us for this.
She added: “One of the really elderly [attendees] came to us and said, ‘I haven’t celebrated Holi in 66 years being in the UK, like I celebrated it today’, and she thanked us.
“That was a big testimony.”
Vanita added: “It’s about empowering the next generation about the culture, what we stand for and how do we contribute to the community.
“The Holi Festival was almost like a celebration of everything, and we brought them together.”
The group has also been hosting children’s clubs for youngsters aged between six and 16 years old.
The sessions involve grounding young people ‘into spirituality’, and teaching them about pluralism and the different faiths within the community.
Older children aged 12 plus have also discussed global issues such as climate change and sustainable goals.
Vanita added: “It’s with the right people, and with the right intention in the heart we want to give back to our community and also impact the wider Maidenhead society."
Looking ahead, the group will continue to celebrate different festivals ‘as a community’, involve the younger generation in various global issues and work with them to start implementing what they have learned into society.
Burnham Park Academy and a scenic spot near Windsor and Eton Bridge are among the locations to feature in a new romantic drama on Netflix.