13th June 2024

A Saturday With Sampad

Saturday 8th June was a busy day for Sampad, with three significant events occurring simultaneously. We had a Migration Stories: Stratford Road Walking Tour, a workshop at Birmingham Wildlife Trust’s Climate Cafe, and performances at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Our day began at Edgbaston Cricket’s Family Fun Day, where we provided entertainment for sports fans watching the Birmingham Bears take on Durham.

Sampad’s stage kicked off with a dynamic 15-minute performance by the dance group India Island Academy. With 25 dancers executing vibrant choreography, the energy was palpable as dancers ran on and off stage, captivating the audience with their moves.

Next, local Bhangra singer Raj Kaul took the stage, accompanied by Tubsy and Rahix on Dholki and Guitar. Their performance, a fresh and exciting blend of Bhangra and Garage, had everyone dancing around the room.

The event was more than entertainment for the 500 attendees; it was a celebration of our community and a testament to the significance of music and dance at sporting events. Despite the Birmingham Bears’ loss, the day at Edgbaston Stadium was fantastic!

In the afternoon, Sampad participated in the Birmingham & Black Country’s Youth Climate Cafe for Big Green Week. As the general election approaches, Sampad artist Daya Bhatti led a workshop to create placards with messages for the public and politicians focusing on climate issues. The messages included, ‘Save Our Wildlife – It’s Up to Us to Save Our Planet’, ‘Nature Needs Us but We Need Nature More’, ‘Save The Planet, Vote the Environment’ and ‘I’m Working Late because I’m Saving the Planet’.

The workshop drew a diverse group of young people from across the city, including international students. Some of the words used to describe our session were ‘extraordinary…creative…chill…fun and thought-provoking!’ During the campfire conversation, it became evident that many young people feel their concerns about the climate emergency are not being heard by political parties, both locally and across Europe. However, their passion shone through, giving us hope for the future.

Simultaneously, Dharmesh led the first Migration Stories: Stratford Road Walking Tour of the year. Starting at The Bordesley Centre, guests explored aromatic bakeries serving Arabian sweet tea and learned about the famous Balti triangle. As they ventured through the lively atmosphere filled with Pakistani and Indian grocers, fashion retailers, cafes, and more, participants were delighted. One participant remarked, “Dharmesh was an excellent guide and took us on a very enjoyable and informative tour, surpassing all our expectations. It was great to hear stories of immigrant families who arrived in Sparkbrook & Sparkhill to live and work. Meeting some of the current shopkeepers and tasting different foods were highlights of the tour.”

The weekend’s events highlighted our commitment to celebrating South Asian Arts & Heritage, breaking down barriers and amplifying unheard voices by bringing together diverse groups through culture, entertainment, and important social issues.

Pictured: Dharmesh and two of the Migration Stories: Stratfor Road Walking Tour guests