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February - March 2004


Celebrating Together - International Punjabi Society

Organised by the European Division of Intenational Punjabi Society at SAS Raddisson, Portman Square, the annual funcation and Diwali celebration underlined unity and expansion of activities in Europe. It was a well-attended and well-organised function. As the general secretary Mr. A.S. Walia explained, "The European division of International Punjabi Society, with headquarters in London, is one of the most active and popular branches of the Society", The functions range from cultural evenings, music-dance mehfils, Diwali/Baisakhi celebrations to educational seminars.

According to Mr. Walia, "Our annual convention in Delhi was well attended by about 150 delegates from all over the world. The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Amarinder Singh also graced the function. Mr I K Gujral, former Prime Minister of India distributed the prizes".This year the Society is planning to open new branches in Europe, Scotland and Ireland. The Aim is to provide a common platform to encourage Punjabi culture.

The annual dinner began with a report by the general secretary Mr. AS Walia. The President Mr. GS Gujral welcomed the chief guests Mr. S. Pal, deputy High Commission, the Mayor of Ealing Mr. , and Mr. Keith Vaz. In his address, Mr. Gujral emphasised the need of unity among Punjabis and promotion of Punjabi culture among young people. He explained about the ancient heritage of Punjabis going back to Mahabharta time. A cheque was given to the Mayor for his favourite charity. Entertainment was provided by a professional group of bhangra dancers. It was a pleasant evening. Everybody felt relaxed.

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