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Sikh Diaspora: Holla Mohalla Celebrated in Leicester [Special Report]

April 2, 2018 | By

Leicester, England: The Sikh festival of Hola Mohalla was celebrated by the Sikh Education Council this month with a chess tournament and screening of documentary ‘1984, when the sun didn’t rise’. The celebration was held in Leicester and hosted by Panch Pardhani UK on Sunday 4 March 2018.

The SEC chess tournament was being held for the second time and will now become an annual fixture on the UK Sikh calendar at Hola Mohalla. Due to the poor weather conditions many of those who had planned to attend were unable to do so, but the competition between players was still fierce. Reigning champion from 2017 Gurpreet Singh held his nerve to win the contest outright and retain his title.

Left to Right: S. Mukhtiar Singh, Dr. Pargat Singh, Teena Kaur, S. Harwinder Singh, S. Bawa Singh and S. Balbir Singh

The event opened with a screening of documentary film ‘1984, when the sun didn’t rise’ by Teenaa Kaur (pictured with members of the SEC and Panch Pardhani UK). The documentary had been brought to the UK by London University Sikh society network Nishaan and was being screened across the country followed by Q&A with Teenaa Kaur herself. Nishaan’s Jaspinder Singh said, “It is an honour to be able to help people watch such an important film… We thank all of the University Sikh societies and Sikh organisations involved for making this happen.”

Image used for representational purpose only | A File Photo taken during Holla Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib in 2010

Sikh Education Council Chairperson Dr Pargat Singh commented, “Following on from last year’s Hola Mohalla event, we are delighted to be able to mark this festival by bringing together Sikhs from around the country to competitively engage one another in a welcoming environment. This annual event by the SEC provides the opportunity to socialise, have broad discussions and visualise where the Panth is headed – and this is one element of what Hola Mohalla should be about.”

Panch Pardhani UK hosted this event for the Sikh Education Council for the first time. Their spokesperson Gurbakhsh Singh stated: “This event is a wonderful way of introducing Sikhs of all generations and backgrounds to the importance of developing their mental capabilities to deal with the problems that we face in the World. The Guru founded Hola Mohalla to create a friendly, but competitive environment for combat and we think this event will help UK Sikhs to enhance their long-term thinking and vision for the good of the Panth and the World.”

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