All welcome at dramatic Hindu celebration

Members of Swindon’s Hindu community, who are organising this year’s Saraswati Puja. Picture: THOMAS KELSEY

Members of Swindon’s Hindu community, who are organising this year’s Saraswati Puja. Picture: THOMAS KELSEY

AN explosive celebration of music and dance are promised as Swindon’s Hindu community marks its fifth consecutive Saraswati Puja next month.

The multi-cultural extravaganza will be held at the Punjabi Community Centre in Cricklade Road on February 1 and organisers have declared everyone welcome.

Hindus believe that the goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. Each year the Hindu community worships her for knowledge and wisdom in Bangladesh and India.

Swapan Roy, president of the Saraswati Puja organising committee, said he was very excited at the prospect of another successful Puja.

He said: “The Puja has become really popular in the last few years. Around 1,000 people came last year and this year we are hoping for a similar turn out.

“It’s for all the family and for people of all different backgrounds and cultures.”

Swapan explained that the festival will be broken up into two parts: the morning will feature a strong religious aspect, with prayers offered to the revered goddess, and the evening will see the cultural celebrations kick off in style.

Explaining the importance of the goddess Saraswati, Swapan said: “She is a deity who inspires knowledge, wisdom and learning. Every person who is going through education worships her and they ask the deity to give them knowledge. It’s very important for everyone, from children to older people.”

He added: “Everyone from Swindon is welcome as we want as many people to come as possible. The raffle draw has some very exciting prizes and we will have some official entertainment for the younger children, who are really looking forward to it.

“It’s completely free, but we welcome any donations that people would like to make. To keep the programme running each year we have to find funds for the food and other things and it would be great if people could pay just £2 as a small donation.”

The evening’s cultural celebrations, which will burst into life at 6pm, will see traditional Indian Bollywood dancing and a host of live bands. There will also be hot food and refreshments served throughout.

The impressive raffle prizes to which Swapan previously referred include a state-of-the-art LED TV and a laptop.

For more information on this year’s Saraswati Puja, log on to Alternatively, call Swapan Roy on 0794 650 6747 or Ripon Saha on 0783 026 6940.