Diwali celebrated in Basingstoke

Basingstoke Gazette: From left: Hridya Rupavatharam, Mahati Devati and Anshu Vavilala Buy this photo » From left: Hridya Rupavatharam, Mahati Devati and Anshu Vavilala

THE HINDU festival of Diwali was celebrated with fireworks at two parties in Basingstoke.

More than 100 people turned out at Carnival Hall, in Council Road, where the Telugu Association of Basingstoke held their annual celebration.

There was food and drink, children’s dancing and singing to the latest Bollywood tunes, and a fireworks display in the hall’s car park.

The women and children at the party dressed up in multi-coloured saris, while the hall was adorned with lights and decorations.

Sreeni Vavilala, chairman of the association, said: “It’s very important for us. It’s about getting to know everybody in the community in and around Basingstoke, and for the children. They need to know what their roots are and where their family and parents came from.”

The Hindu holiday, known as the “festival of lights”, officially started on November 13 and lasted for five days.

There was also a Diwali event last Saturday at Chineham Village Hall, in Thornhill Way, Chineham. About 150 people attended the party, organised by Basingstoke-based events firm Festivents.

Nitin Patil, who helped to organise the party, said: “In towns like Basingstoke, Diwali celebrations are normally for smaller groups of people and in families. But we decorated the hall with lots of lights and curtains so it really felt like Diwali.”

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