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Shining a light on diversity

Unity Hands

Written By: Iram Ramzan  14/12/15

Hundreds of people from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities attended Oldham’s Festival of Light celebration at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night

People heard the stories behind the Muslim Festival Eid al Adha, the Hindu event Diwali, Chanukah commemorated by the Jews, and Christmas.

Youth mayor Saskia Edwards, who co-hosted the evening with Oldham Interfaith Forum chairman Ravji Patel, said: “The work of the forum encapsulates what they are all about — bringing people together from across Oldham to celebrate with pride who we are as individuals and faith communities.”

Talented Anita Ghosh, from the Indian Association Oldham, captivated the audience with her beautiful Indian dance moves, accompanied by traditional music. Three girls who attend Westwood High School, performed a nasheed — Islamic vocal singing usually without instruments or sometimes with a single drum.

Young trumpeter Adam Nield played everyone’s favourite Christmas carols and Tracy Waller, from Oldham Council and a member of Kiln Green Church in Diggle, had the audience singing along with her carols.

A video presentation was also shown of Newman College’s own festival of light, for which students created artworks inspired by different religions.

A buffet of spicy biryani and tasty meat and potato pie brought an end to the celebration.

The Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ateeque Ur-Rehman, said: “The common thread in all the different speakers is light coming into the darkness. My one message is to make sure we remember the people less fortunate.”

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