Diwali, Business or Pleasure?


Vast preparations for Diwali have left some suggesting that the festival of light has been over-commercialised.

Diwali is a massive celebration for the Indian community every year, however it has been suggested that it has become more a business than a celebration.

GetAttachment.aspx                                                                                                                                                                                          Royal Sweets in Melton Road is run by Sam Musani, who said: “Diwali is like Christmas at Toys R Us for us. It’s about family, food and fireworks.”

Sam took a month to plan for the upcoming celebration as he sells fresh food and it has to be cooked the same day.

So is Diwali over-commercialised? Sam said he believed it wasn’t at all as his friends are already buying Christmas gifts and, in his words, “Diwali is about exchanging blessings and sweets.”

Sam added: “Today there is not enough time for family and Diwali brings the family together wherever they are.”


GetAttachment-1.aspxRanu Kamota and her daughter Rupa Jakhu (left) have been running Kabhi Kabhi Sweet Mall shop for the last 35 years and have seen many Diwalis from their business.
Ranu said: “Sweets are so important for Indian cu
lture, because when we pray we offer sweets.”

The shop is another that notices the increase in business around the Diwali season. Ranu added: “Diwali is still good but a little bit over-commercialised.”

It is the busiest time of the year for local GetAttachment-2.aspxbusinesses and both Royal Sweets and Kabhi Kabhi Sweet Mall are looking forward to being with their family and sharing sweets and celebrating this event that is so important to the Indian community and culture.





History fans celebrate the 600th anniversary of Agincourt

By Lily Thake

History fanatics gathered to celebrate the 600th CRISPINanniversary of the battle of Agincourt this Sunday.

The free event took place at Leicester’s Jewry Wall Museum from 11.30pm to 3.30pm on October 25.

It was set-up to commemorate Henry V’s victory in battle over the French in Agincourt on October 25 1415.

Sharon Collins, committee member of ‘Friends of Jewry Wall Museum’ and fellow re-enactor, said: “This event is vital to maintaining and keeping the museum alive. We hope it will encourage more people to visit.”

Guests eagerly queued at the lunch stand for their free samples of a selection of Ploughman’s lunch.

They were also invited to take part in activities for a small charge, such as holding birds of prey and having a go at archery.

The experience included free demonstrations on medieval armor, gruesome surgery and combat techniques.

The museum is run by Leicester City Council and since proposals of cuts, ‘Friends of Jewry Wall Museum’ have been actively promoting it.

Mrs Collins said: “Our aim as a committee is to keep Jewry Wall open and renovated. We hold events three or four times a year roughly.

“I helped with the food today, we had to create authentic recipes for the Ploughman’s in a modern kitchen, which was insightful.”

Several reenactors were dressed in medieval clothing and on location to offer their expertise on specific aspects of history.

Matthew Heaver, a recent graduate of Wolverhampton University and avid history fan, came dressed as a medieval knight.

Mr Heaver said: “The group of reenactors here have taken part in the film Fake Heart, which is a low budget film. I featured in Born of Hope, a fan made Lord of The Rings prequel. We have all had our own share of experiences.”

To close the event, the battle of Agincourt was re-enacted and the brutal hand-to-hand tactics of medieval battle were revealed.

Tom Simon, a local visitor said: “I love history and my son loves birds. There is free food, a nice variety of activities and I think it is a good chance for a decent day out for the whole family.”

Share spooky stories with DMU Bookstore this Halloween

By Dan Ableson

Creative writing enthusiast are encouraged to show-off their skills in a spooky stand-up event to celebrate Halloween.

The DMU Bookshop, attached to Hugh Aston building on campus, is hosting an open-mic session for all students to showcase themselves and tell their most terrifying tales in front of a live audience.

Branch Manager Katie Parkin said: “We wanted to run an event to coincide with Halloween that would also engage with the students, so we thought an open-mic evening would be the perfect format.

“The Bookshop is a relatively unused space after hours and we wanted to start getting more involved with DMU students and start running more events that they can be a part of.”

The event, which takes place October 30, 6pm-9pm, will also feature local writer Daniel Ribot, who will be there to kick start the evening and promote his new book.

Miss Parkin continued: “One of our staff members is part of a writing group based in Leicester and her friend, Daniel Ribot, had just launched his new vampire inspired novel with their group, so we thought he would be a good speaker to start the night off. It will also showcase him as a writer and anyone else that wants to get their name out into the public eye.

“We are looking for a five-minute reading of their own work, with a brief explanation on what their piece is about, their inspiration, and why they chose that genre. We don’t really have any pre-conceived ideas, we just want funny and spooky stories to tell.”

This is the first time that the Bookshop has organised an event of this nature. In the past it has worked closely with university schemes such as Cultural Exchanges and book launches for local writers. It has come in time for the expansion of the shop’s fiction and popular non-fiction sections, as they try to attract people from all over the city to buy, not just students.

For further information on how to get involved, speak to a member of staff, or contact them via Facebook, Twitter or telephone.

Alternatively you can email: Bookshop@dmu.ac.uk.

Caring Leicester climber takes on charity challenge

By Bethany Smith

A student from Leicester managed to raise over £600 for charity after climbing the highest mountain in the UK on Saturday.

Robyn Redmond, 21, along with two friends took to Ben Nevis to raise money for Kidney Research UK after becoming inspired by her mother’s six year battle with kidney disease.

She said: “To participate I needed to aim to raise £500 and as of now I have raised £676.39 and people are still donating even after I’ve done it which is really awesome.

“It’s the best feeling ever to do something amazing like that and to raise money for such a good cause at the same time, there’s no feeling like it. My mum was very proud.”

Twelve climbers, including fellow fundraisers, made their way up the 4,409ft mountain and back in an impressive eight hours.

Miss Redmond, who had no previous training, said: “It wasn’t easy, but to be fair I thought it would be so much harder. It’s just a long walk up a steep hill, but it does get so tiring because you’re walking for so long.

“We had an hour at the top and about 30 minutes worth of stops on the way up and down, the guide said that it was pretty good timing.”

Despite having never carried out anything like this before, Miss Redmond is hoping to continue fundraising in the future.

She said: “Now I’ve done it I want to do so much more, I’d love to do something crazy like Kilimanjaro, but that’s a really big step.”

To donate to her cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/Robyn-Redmond or to get involved in a fundraising event for Kidney Research yourself, go to http://www.kidneyresearchuk.org/get-involved

Over 3 million people in the UK are suffering from kidney disease, Kidney Research UK is the leading charity that is dedicated to finding a cure and treatment.

The charity aims to provide 50 new research projects each year with 77 pence out of every pound being invested into research, and 23 pence going towards helping raise more money for the organisation.

They also aim to provide vital health information and advice to those at high risk of kidney failure, kidney patients, their families, carers, as well as medical professionals and researchers.

For more information go to https://www.kidneyresearchuk.org/about-us

Coach wins award for commitment to county cricket club

By Bethany Smith

The England and Wales Cricket Association will recognise a young man from Leicester at the end of the month after taking on a major role at his local club.

Ethan Hawkins, 22, of Leicester Road, pitched nominees to the post when he was named Leicestershire and Rutland’s young volunteer of the year for his commitments to Cropston Cricket Club.

He said: “I still can’t get my head around it, it hasn’t sunk in yet. When I received the letter saying I’d won it I was literally so surprised.”

After taking on a new role as Junior Co-ordinator which involves coaching three junior teams, finding club sponsors, promoting participation and managing the website, Mr Hawkins was put forward by his colleagues to receive recognition.

He said: “The club treasurer put me forward for it, I had no clue that they’d done it, things like that do make you feel appreciated. I’ve been at the club for six years now both playing and coaching over 60 juniors from six to 17 years old and have loved every second of it.”

An awards ceremony will be held on the 30th October at the Athena theatre, Leicester where he will be presented with an official framed certificate.

Mr Hawkins, along with other regional winners, were also invited to the Natwest Outstanding Service to Cricket awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground for a guided tour and three course meal in celebration of the sport.

He said: “As soon as we got there we were greeted with champagne and made to feel special. We heard numerous influential guest speakers and were personally shown round the grounds, the whole thing was just surreal, definitely an experience that I won’t forget.”

As a coaching graduate from Sheffield Hallam and now a teaching assistant he says the skills he picked up in doing his degree has helped him to win him the award.

The England and Wales cricket board awards players each year both regionally and nationally in 12 different categories including Coach of the Year, which was also won by a Leicestershire man, Club of the Year, Heartbeat of the Club and Outstanding Contribution to Coaching.

To learn more about the ECB awards, visit http://www.ecb.co.uk/