South of England Marathi Pariwar, (SEMP), was started in 2013 by some like-minded people, who loved and missed their culture and food from their mother land! These were people mostly from Maharashtra, a western state of India, who speak the Marathi language. SEMP is a non profit and non religious organisation run completely by a group of volunteers
Bombay or Mumbai, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra.
Coming from a land of very rich heritage of history, art and knowledge, we started as a small organisation run fully by volunteers. In September 2013, we organised our first event to celebrate the festival of Lord Ganesha. With the encouragement and support from other Marathi people from all over the South of England, SEMP grew bigger and better.
Until now, SEMP has organised 3 Ganesh festival events, every year growing in scale. In September 2015’s event, Vakratunda, everyone thoroughly enjoyed a professional singing concert and the event was highly appreciated by all the attendees. Every year at the Ganesh festival, children are encouraged to perform on stage in Marathi and we have seen increasing levels of confidence in our little artists over successive years.
But culture isn’t just singing or stage performances…we equally love our Marathi food! The food served at these events has always been traditional Marathi dishes including delicacies rare to find anywhere else in UK.
With the sole aim of introducing our local British community to Bombay street food and recipes from Western India, we have organised food festivals over the past two years. These food and fun festivals, or Anand mela’s in 2015 and 2016 were super successful! Around 450 people attended the event in March 2016…SEMP is really grateful for all the support from everyone!
While growing bigger as a non-profit, non-religious organisation, SEMP has surely not forgotten it’s social responsibility. We supported a charity event to help raise funds for the Nepal earthquake victims in June 2015.
Another very successful charity event of special screening of the Marathi film ‘Rajwade and Sons’ along with an interview of a very well-known film and TV star Mr Atul Kulkarni, was held in Bournemouth in Dec 2015. SEMP raised £700/- for the charity ‘Quest’ (http://www.quest.org.in/) in India.
SEMP is fully run by volunteers and as the name Pariwar suggests, we are a family. We are always keen to build on and add to our family so please do get in touch if you want to be part of our enthusiastic volunteers’ team (…it truly is a fun filled rewarding experience!!) or just want to find out more about us and our future events. We look forward to meeting more of you in near future!!!