Newham Celebrates South Asian Heritage Month with ‘Free to be Me’ Theme – South Asia Time

Newham Celebrates South Asian Heritage Month with ‘Free to be Me’ Theme

 June 24, 2024  

London – Newham is delighted to announce a vibrant and diverse programme for South Asian Heritage Month, running from 18 July to 17 August, under the theme ‘Free to be Me’. This month-long celebration promises an array of events designed to educate and entertain residents of all ages. The events, ranging from spoken word performances and music to tea tales, art exhibitions, storytelling, and film screenings, are set to offer enriching experiences that honor South Asian heritage.

Residents can look forward to a variety of activities, starting with the Chai Chronicles: Exploring the History of South Asian Tea on Friday, 19 July, from 7-9pm at the Old Town Hall Stratford. This launch event features Shaheen Kasmani and Heiba Lemara, who will take attendees through the rich history of tea, coupled with a tea tasting experience. Artist Maryam Huq will present a collection of tea-inspired art pieces, blending art and taste in a unique cultural journey.

For the younger audience and adults alike, Momtaz-Begum Hossain will lead the Me on a Tee Workshop at East Ham Library on Saturday, 20 July. Kids aged 7-14 can participate from 11am-12.30pm, and adults from 3-5pm. This workshop will delve into the history of slogan t-shirts, allowing participants to customize their own, exploring identity and self-expression through art.

The History of Bharatanatyam will be explored on Tuesday, 23 July, from 3-5pm at Manor Park Library. Attendees will learn about this classical dance form’s origins in ancient Sanskrit texts, culminating in a performance that showcases its intricate beauty.

Continuing the celebration of tea, Chai Chronicles: A Talk with the Curators will take place on Saturday, 27 July, from 11am-12pm at Forest Gate Community Garden. Artist and curator Shaheen Kasmani will share her research and inspiration behind her work, accompanied by tea brewed from locally grown herbs.

For families with young children, Chai Chronicles: Design Your Own Teapot Workshop invites children aged 4+ to Forest Gate Library on Saturday, 27 July, from 3-4pm. Led by Maryam Huq, this workshop will inspire creativity through the design of vibrant and intricate teapots.

A highlight of the month is the film screening of “The Queen of My Dreams” on Sunday, 28 July at Roof East, in collaboration with the London Indian Film Festival. This film, directed by Fawzia Mirza, follows the coming-of-age stories of a Pakistani Muslim woman and her Canadian-born daughter, set against a backdrop of Bollywood fantasy.

Khayaal Theatre will present Stories from Central-South Asia on Monday, 29 July, from 10.30-11.30am at Forest Gate Community Garden, bringing to life tales from the region with vivid storytelling and props inspired by ancient Muslim theatre traditions.

On Friday, 2 August, from 10-12pm, the Wellbeing in the Garden event at Forest Gate Community Garden offers a relaxing summer walk, journaling, and discussions on holistic wellbeing, helping attendees to de-stress and connect with nature.

Sounds of South Asia in Green Street will bring a musical extravaganza to Queen’s Square on Saturday, 3 August, from 3-5pm, showcasing talented local musicians celebrating the subcontinent’s sounds.

The month concludes with various captivating events, including Stories of Freedom in Spoken Word & Music by Khiyo at Applecart Arts on Saturday, 10 August, from 6-8pm, a Walk Through the History of South Indian Clothing at Manor Park Library on Tuesday, 13 August, from 11-2pm, and a screening of Dev Patel’s “Monkey Man” followed by a Q&A at UCL East Campus on Thursday, 15 August, from 7-10pm.

The grand finale, Desi Daydream: A Throwback to the 80s South Asian Rave Scene, invites attendees to step back in time to the underground Bhangra raves of the 1980s. This event will be held at the Old Town Hall Stratford on Saturday, 17 August, from 7-10pm.

For more details and to book tickets, please visit the official website. Note that the programme is subject to change.

Location: Newham Dockside, 1000 Dockside Road, E16 2QU
Cost: Free