Biryani and folk dance delight guests at Islington’s Bengali new year celebration

Children at last week's celebration with (back row, far left) North London Probhati Sangha general s

Children at last week's celebration with (back row, far left) North London Probhati Sangha general secretary Nirentro Deb and (back row, from centre left) MP Emily Thornberry, Barnsbury councillor Jilani Chowdhury, St Peter's councillor Gary Doolan, NLPS chairman Alok Mukerjee and cultural secretary Jahar Shil (Picture: NLPS) - Credit: Archant

A Bengali new year celebration in King’s Cross dished up colourful dances and spicy food to 250 guests including some of the borough’s political elite.

Children dance at the North London Probhati Sangha's Bengali New Year celebration (Picture: Jahar Sh

Children dance at the North London Probhati Sangha's Bengali New Year celebration (Picture: Jahar Shil/NLPS) - Credit: Archant

Islington’s fourth annual “Boishakhi Mela” festival was held at the Hugh Cubitt Community Centre in Collier Street on Sunday. Visitors included Emily Thornberry MP and Islington councillors Jilani Chowdhury (Barnsbury, Lab) and Gary Doolan (St Peter’s, Lab).

The organisation behind it is the North London Prabhati Sangha, which celebrates festivals originating in the Indian subcontinent for the benefit of the borough’s 20,000-strong Asian population.

Cultural secretary Jahar Shil said: “Islington is rich in diverse culture and we want to be part of that richness and stand out with pride.”

Kids learning dance and music at the centre performed “baul” folk music for the guests, who also enjoyed modern Bollywood dance.


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“Lastly,” said Mr Shil, “hot chicken biryani and samosas were served, as food is a major part of the Boishakhi festival.”

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