The United Kingdom has celebrated its first ever Sankranthi, the festival of harvest, in the House of Commons.
Tory MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Dan Byles and Minister (Political) Indian High Commission C. Rajasekhar were the chief guests of the function organised by U.K. Telugu Association.
Speaking on the occasion Dan Byles, introduced himself to the audience as the son-in-law of Andhra Pradesh, having married a Telugu lady, said that the hospitality of the Telugu people is unforgettable and promised full support to the community.
“As the bilateral relations between India and the UK are strengthening up, events like this help to further strengthen the fusion,” said Mr. Rajasekhar.
He also praised Prabhakar Kaza, President of UKTA and his team for organising such an event in a novel style and with a touch of class.
“We hope to bring the Telugu culture to life in this country and introduce our customs and traditions to the English citizens too. Telugu New Year is the right opportunity and would be well received,” said Kaza.
Madhava Turumella, Trustee, UKTA explained to the audience the significance of Sankranthi and it’s association with the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Around 150 people attended the programme.
Dr John Marr, eminent Tamil Scholar and Carnatic music practitioner who was conferred Padmasri award, kicked off the cultural side of the evening with a song penned by Syama Sastry and it stood as the highlight of the evening.
The members of TPUK and students of London’s Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan entertained the audience with their dance performances in Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Kathak.