I was delighted to join a celebration of Diwali on 18th November.

The event began with a welcome from the Lord Mayor, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, Catherine McGuinness, and Her Excellency Gaitri Issar Kumar, the High Commissioner for India.

A short film recorded for the event was aired, which featured traditional prayers and lighting of the Diya at the Shree Ram Mandir Temple, London, as well as a short dance performance by Ragasudha Vinjamuri.

This was followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A, focusing on the importance of Diwali, how celebrations are being observed during COVID-19 and the impact that the pandemic has had on the community.

The panel was chaired by Dhruv Patel, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, and comprised:
• Satya Minhas, Co-Chair, Hindu Council UK
• Dipna Anand, Award winning Chef and Author
• Hemal Randerwala, Founder, Go Dharmic

It was an interesting event with some enjoyable music and dancing. I was delighted to be able to attend the event and share some of London’s rich, diverse culture and heritage.

Valerie Owen Le Vaillant OBE
BSc BArch RIBA Dip TP MRTPI MRICS ACIArb FRSA CEnv
Master, Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.