Tribute to Brides Gone and Girls Unborn - a poetry by Gurmit Kaur

The invisible hands that connect us.
That connects all people.
2nd Prize winner of VAANI Painting Competition 2014
by Gurmit Kaur
Let me hold you.
With these invisible hands, let me embrace you.
In sublime mediation on earth, in the ethers reaching out
To all those girls who through brutally left mother earth
In the invisible ethers I have not forgotten you
My mind expands to embrace you and care for you
Beloved daughters of the earth that feed the soil with you tears
Let me hold you in my embrace as my heart touches’ yours
Let these invisible hands hold yours as children of mother earth.
Mother earth wipes who away the tears
In her embrace and embraces us for eternity.

by Gurmit Kaur

Around 200 young girls are buried alive in India purely for drowry


A hugely successful VAANI Culture Night Trailor

Most talked about event VAANI Cultural Extravaganza this year has proved to be a complete success. With sixty five participants, twenty five volunteers and hundreds of audience, the night thrived with excitement.
No words could describe the feeling that rocked the stage on the 26th April 2014. All the participants breaming with confidence were ready to entertain and the audience held their breath and expectedly to behold one amazing performance after another.

Don't take my work for it...have a look at the professional video trailer of the night. So please sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

We also announced the winners of various competitions that VAANI ran prior to the event on the night. A list will soon follow this post.


Celebrate Peace

Celebrate PEACE with VAANI
Join us on 26th April 2014 in an exciting Cultural extravaganza!
Venue: Ursuline High School Ilford Hall, Time: 7:00pm onwards, dinner provided 
Ticket: £5 per person
We are back, and this year let's celebrate peace in remembrance of WWI. We invite people from different cultural background to show their interpretation of peace and celebration and come together on one stage. Dance performances, skits, musical performances, song performances and poetry readings are welcome.
Cultural Event Participants Entry closes on 31st March 2014.

We are running various competitions for Redbridge residents, please show your support by participating in them. The theme for all the competition below is
"Celebration of PEACE"
The winners will be announced during the event on 26th April 2014.
Interested? Want to know more? Visit our website: www.vaani.org

Early Registration advised for Painting and Salad decoration competition due to limited space.
Contact Smita on info@vaani.org to book your tickets or register

Painting Competition
5th April 2014
14:00pm - 16:00pm
Entry: £1
1st floor Ilford Central Library
Judges: Jason Rose, Amber 
Rules: Bring your own colours, pencil, art materials, etc.
Only paper provided.
Three age groups:

  1. Under 10 years
  2. Under 17 years
  3. Adult
Photography Competition
Last date to submit your digital entries: 25th March 2014
Email submissions to: submissions@vaani.org
Rules: Short listed entries will be asked to provide printed copy of photographs.
Include a 50 words narrative regarding your idea.
Judges: TBC
Three age groups:

  1. Under 10 years
  2. Under 17 years
  3. Adult

Short Story and poetry competition
last date to submit: 25th March 2014
Email submissions to: submissions@vaani.org
Judges: Hema Macherla, Birri Shangha
Three age groups:

  1. Under 10 years
  2. Under 17 years
  3. Adult

Salad decoration Competition
Date: 5th April 2014
10:30am to 12:00pm
Ilford Central Library
Rules: Bring all your raw materials and tools with you.
All whole vegetables and
fruits only. No peeled, shredded, ready cut materials.
Judge: Afshan Malik, TBC
Age groups: Adults only


SALF 2013 starts 23rd Oct - Do not miss it!

South Asian Literature Festival 2013

The South Asian Literature Festival (SALF), London’s premier event for writing and discussion on the Subcontinent, returns to the capital for the fourth consecutive year from October 23rd to November 1st 2013.

SALF is a celebration of the language, culture and literary heritage of South Asia, and is produced annually by Amphora Arts. Major themes this year include Indo-Caribbean literature, Asian Britain, Partition and Mythology.

With support from Arts Council England, British Council, and the Foyle Foundation, SALF will present 30 events with over 50 writers at a number of venues across London, including Asia House, British Library, Conway Hall, Free Word Centre, University of Westminster (Regents Street) and Weiner Library, as well as schools across the capital.

Authors and speakers this year include Amit Chaudhuri, Daljit Nagra, Kamila Shamise, Damian Barr, Declan Walsh, Gaiutra Bahadur, Jaspreet Singh, Jeet Thayil, Neel Mukherjee, Razia Iqbal, Sathnam Sanghera and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

Tickets are available through www.southasianlitfest.com or by calling the Festival Box Office on 01865 798797.


VAANI at Asian Women Training and Education Fair 2013

We attended the Asian Women Training and Education Fair. VAANI's table displyed our anthology 9.69 seconds.
One of the volunteer Priyankini Pathak collected funds for VAANI by applying Henna designs on the attendees palm. The idea proved to be a big success. So Congratulations Priyankini!
Many local organisations like Ekta Project, Victim Support, UEL, Redbridge Libraries, St Andrews College etc had a table. It was a great opportunity to meet and know various organisations and also to develop partnerships.
It was a very well organised event by University of East London.


VAANI Culture Night photos

A BIG thank you to all those who attended VAANI's Culture Night 2013. It was great to have you with us. It was huge turn out of 200 people attending the event. Your support is precious to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

As cited in the Census 2011 the borough’s Asian/Asian-British population is now about the same size as the white population, with increase in the Pakistani, Bangladeshi and other Asian communities in particular. VAANI decided to represent different cultures in the borough but at the same time showcase the cohesion, the unity within the borough via a Culture Night. 
The VAANI Culture Night was held on 1st June 2013 in Ilford Central Library that was part of Redbrridge Book and Media Festival 2013. The Chief Guests were Sita Brahmachari (Winner of Waterstone's Children Books Prize 2011), Redbridge Mayor Councillor Felicity Banks, and the Redbridge Deputy Mayoress.

The event was a combination of dance and music performances, readings of prose and poetry, art and craft exhibition by people with learning disabilities, local Redbridge residents belonging to different ethnic groups and VAANI members including adults and children. It also showcased the cohesion of Disabled and able bodied people.

Inspiring poetry readings were by Bengali Poet Neil Mukherji, Manju Chaudhury, Somalian poetess Fatima May Ali and storyteller Jane Grell from Dominica Republic. There were dance performances in Arabic, Spanish and Indian folk style. 
Arabic dance performed by Maitreyi Bhatawdekar and Arushi Agrawal
Spanish dance performed by Vinisha Agrawal
Indian Folk dance by Priyankini Pathak, Dipika Verma, Rumi Thakur and Archana Jha

The Redbridge Israeli Dancers performed Israeli dances to which many of the audience joined in including the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. Vaani's own project SENSE (for people with learning disabilities) performed a Bollywood Dance number and much loved Damien of Woodbine Day Services performed an enthusiastic street dance.

Art Exhibition by artists Amber, Smita, Rupam and Rajesh.

VAANI's Managing Director Smita Rajesh said "The Culture Night symbolised unity in diversity. VAANI endeavours to integrate the diverse community via the medium of different Art forms. It's our honour to see such diverse and inspiring talents on this stage tonight."

Redbridge Mayor Councillor Felicity Banks said " A wonderful evening – full of variety, poetry story telling, singing, individual dancing and group dancing from many different cultures. Most memorable was the happy smiling faces of all the performers and hosts."

Please see below the photos of the event.

VAANI Culture Night 1stJune2013photos

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