International Dogra Society, a community organisation of Dogras based in London, UK. from the Indian UT of Jammu and Kashmir celebrated Lohri in London on 11th January at the Indian Gymkhana, Osterley. The event was sold out a couple of days before the event. IDS lohri was attended in huge numbers by the Indian diaspora Dogras, kashmiri’s, Gujrati’s Himachali’s, and Punjabi’s, along with known community personalities, Mr DP Singh (Counsellor (Consular), High Commission of India, London), Suresh Mangalagiri (community activist), Rashmi Mishra (community activist), Lakshmi Kaul (Director KPCS) and Anju Wadhawa Narang (Cultural secretary and Vice president of The punjabi society of the British isles).
Lohri is an important harvest festival of J&K and the Dogra community. It is also celebrated by people from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and it marks the end of winter.
International Dogra Society is working towards showcasing the rich Dogra culture internationally. Hence the event included display of Chajja’s, bonfire with dancing & singing on dhol around the lohri bonfire. Traditional Tricholi (prasad from Jammu region), peanuts, phulley (popcorns), reveri mixture was offered to the lohri bonfire. Parikrama was performed around the lohri bonfire to seek blessings by the community. Traditional Dogri songs were sung like “Lokakadu chukk goriye” “Todde uppar todda” along with beautiful Dogri dance performance by Isha Abhi Gupta & Ashima Mohit Sharma.
Showcasing the pluralistic fabric of Jammu Kashmir, for the first time in London, International Dogra Society also performed a Kashmiri song “Roshewala myaene dilbaro poshan bahara yoor wallo” sung by Manisha Sharma, Dogras & Kashmiris performed rouff together on this song.
Lalit Sharma, Founder & Director International Dogra Society wished everyone “Tussien sarien gi Lohri te Makkar sakranti diyaan matiyan matiyaan mubharkhaan.” He also added that keeping Dogra culture alive is our duty and we must do our humble bit wherever we are and in whatever way we can. Living far from our motherland the responsibility to showcase it to a larger diaspora is of prime importance along with the aim of passing it to our next generation.
The huge success of the event goes to the “Dream Team” of International Dogra Society who worked selflessly towards the event Vikrant Gupta, Sana Sharma, Nakul Sharma, Tania Khajuria, Priyanka Soni Sharma, Tavishi Puri Kamdar, Darshan Kamdar, Ashima Mohit Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Pallavi Pathania, Dushyant Salathia, Rajeev Verma, Kanika Gupta Mohan, Ankusha Sharma, Abinandan Gupta and Isha Gupta.