Navaratri celebrations a stunning success

By Ollie Heppenstall

The Jalarambapa Community Centre’s Navaratri celebrations proved to be a stunning success ahead of their 25th birthday.

The celebrations, which concluded on Friday October 26, featured a troupe of musicians embarking on a small European tour playing traditional Hindu Garba and Raas music and prayers.

The community centre has been a fixture of life in and around Narborough Road for the last quarter of a century, and is going from strength to strength.

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Chairman Pramod Thakkar, in community centre.

Chairman of the centre’s board of trustees, Pramod Thakkar, said: “In addition to having a 120-strong Gujarati school on Saturdays, we’ve had visits from local boy scout groups and police cadets.

“We not only have the temple, but we have the centre across the road which we bought in 2016, which allows us to welcome everyone in the community and what they have to celebrate.”

He added: “It means a huge amount to not only myself but the wider Hindu community in this area to have these musicians here and to have this centre. To come from such small beginnings in the 1960’s and 70’s, and to see it as it is now, is just amazing.”

The temple itself had humble beginnings; formed in 1979 by a group of displaced Gujarati women from East Africa, the temple as it is today was built in June 1994.

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Musicians performing as part of Navaratri celebrations.

“Having these musicians here is a huge honour, it means we are able to keep traditions alive and pass them on in the way that they should be” said Pravim Majithia, director of Music Arts Limited Leicester.

“Arranging for them to come over and play as part of the Navaratri celebrations is a huge undertaking – the process takes about 6 months to arrange the visas and passports, and the contract for the next performance is agreed upon before they leave.

“It’s a huge honour for me though, I’ve been arranging for them to come over since the centre opened in 1994.”

He also said: “The time is right to pass it on to my son and daughter, I’m 85% free of handling it.”

 

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