A NEWLY established cultural society aimed at promoting India’s many communities has held a concert to celebrate Diwali.

The Darlington Indian Cultural Society brought together people from the town, as well as neighbouring areas like Yarm and Middlesbrough, for an evening of music, singing and dance.

The concert at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, is one of the first big events held by the society, which was established earlier this year.

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It was held to mark Diwali, which was celebrated at the start of the month.

Hrishikesh Bedekar, from the society, said: “We wanted to gave acts representing the whole spectrum.

“There are so many cultures and languages in India so we wanted to try and represent lots of them. The whole community is represented. We have doctors and IT workers and teachers and shop keepers.”

The Northern Echo:

He added: “We’ve done a few things in the last few years but this is a new initiative. We are planning to have cultural events around festivals like Diwali and Holi.

“We have lots of big plans but this is a start.”

Young people and adults alike had been practising for weeks ahead of the event, which featured performers from schoolchildren to doctors who work together at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Performances included classical acts, music and both traditional dances and ones inspired by Bollywood.

The Northern Echo:

Rohit Chaturvedi, who hosted the evening, said: “As a society we want to give back to Darlington. We want to go back to the community and say we are here. It’s time as a community we all stand together.”

Mayor Cyndi Hughes, who attended the event on Saturday and lit the diya, thanked the society for inviting her to the event. She said: “During my time as mayor I’m trying to promote community cohesion and reminding everyone that we have so much more in common than that which divides us.”

She added: “I share this organisation’s belief in Vasudaiva Kutumbakam— The world is one family.”

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