Hindu festival set to light up South Shields

NIGHT OUT ... Dr Shobha Srivastava is hosting an evening to celebrate Diwali.
NIGHT OUT ... Dr Shobha Srivastava is hosting an evening to celebrate Diwali.
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AN evening of colour and dance will help South Tyneside’s Hindu community celebrate an important cultural event.

Each year, women’s group Hindu Nari Sangh performs at the Customs House in South Shields, to mark Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights.

On Saturday, scores of performers will take part in an evening of multi-cultural entertainment ahead of the five-day festival, which will officially begin on November 3.

Dr Shobha Srivastava, one of the event’s organisers, said “On this day many people like to stay indoors to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into their homes.

“But leading up to the day it’s the season of good triumphing over evil, so there’s lots of celebrations taking place around the region – including ours at the Customs House.

“We’ve been hosting this event in South Shields since 1994 – it gets bigger every year.

“The children involved love performing to an audience and spend a lot of time rehearsing.”

Saturday’s event, which will begin at 7.30pm, will see a four-year-old boy recite some of the 200 scriptures he has memorised – these will be translated into English.

There will also be readings from a child poet, some magic, classical Indian dancing and folk dancing from central and southern India, along with Bollywood-style dance.

There will also be the chance to sample authentic Indian cuisine after the show, in the venue’s community room.

Dr Srivastava added: “If people haven’t been to one of our events, I would definitely encourage them to come along. It’s an evening filled with colourful entertainment.

“They will certainly enjoy themselves and they will be able to try some delicious food afterwards.”

Tickets for the event cost £8 and under-fives go free.

To book, call the Customs House box office on 454 1234.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez