Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobani
London: A 2-day Bengali Spring Festival was held at the London Docklands Museum celebrating Bengali art, culture and heritage on 31 March & 1 April.
A vibrant celebration of Bengali Spring encompassing Bengali arts and culture, including hands-on crafts and workshops for the whole family and performances from local talents took place at the London Docklands Museum in West India Quay, Tower Hamlets.
The weekend comprised of an array of Bengali music and dance acts curated by Yousuf Ali Khan, storytelling by Jum with puppets, film screening of the The Legend of the Loom, which follows the 2000 year-old journey of muslin, Bengal’s famous fabric, from the riverbanks of Dhaka to the world of international fashion and clothing, talk titled ‘Lascar’ with Shahida Rahman author of the book ‘Lascar’ about the history of Lascar seamen and the writing of her novel, Swadhinata Trust’s walk around the galleries that explored Bengali migration and settlement in the East End and the historical links between the Bengali community and London’s docks, east end photographer Raju Vaidyanathan’s experiences of capturing the changing Brick Lane from the 1980s onwards, making paper marigold flowers led by craft expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain, alpona art form activity led by artist Maraz, printing techniques led by textile and fashion designer Rukia Begum, poetry corner led by Shamim Azad a popular Bengali, bilingual poet, storyteller and writer, Bengali snack chanachur making by Julie Begum, Chilli and coriander planting, draping of a saree, Henna tattoos and included lots of other activities aimed at families and children.