GSS UK & SS UK Celebrate Diwali

Shambhavi Pai
Photos by Girish Kamath

London, United Kingdom: Saturday evening (9th November 2019) saw dazzling Konkanis descend in London to
celebrate Diwali in style!
The Diwali celebrations, jointly organised by Gowda Saraswath Sabha UK (GSS UK) and Saraswat Samaj (SS UK)
saw approximately 250 Konkanis attend the event – an annual get together attended by members from all over
the United Kingdom.
The event saw an eclectic mix of performances – from little divas to groovy youngsters dazzling the audience
with their moves, soulful Carnatic renditions, comical quips from Konkani stand ups and and other entertaining
performances galore. And of course, as is very important to all Konkani gatherings, there was a spread of
delicious Indian food – bajo, halwo, gobi manchuri and other delicacies enjoyed by the attendees.
The Diwali celebrations also see many youngsters take on the stage with confidence and showcase their
Konkani roots through emceeing, etc. Mr Vinayak Prabhu, Secretary GSS UK, says, “Our youngsters are the
future and we do our best to celebrate ‘amchi-ness’ and keep our culture alive yet relevant and meaningful
for the next generation.”

GSS UK was started in 1986 with the initiative of Dr K. P. Sudhakar Rao, Mr Sitaram Kamath, Dr Vasudev
Kamath and other visionaries who felt the need to give this small community a platform of togetherness. From
laying the foundation in a house 33 years ago, the Sabha has now grown to organise sold out events such as
Konkani Karnival, Konkani’s Got Talent and August Bank Holiday Weekend (a public holiday in the UK). 
Apart from being a community organisation, GSS UK is also a registered charity that raises funds for identified
causes across the UK and in India. Says Vinayak, “It’s such a great feeling to celebrate such an important
festival together, at the same time raising funds for charitable causes — both very vital for our Sabha.” 
The event also saw the release of a colourful “Saraswath Vani” – GSS UK’s bi-annual magazine with articles by
members across all age groups. The online version of the magazine is available to download

To conclude, Vinayak says, “We have a strong team in the form of our Executive Committee and volunteers
who put in lots of effort and time to make Diwali and all our other events successful. We are a big family who
celebrate the good times together and extend support in the bad times as well. In true community spirit, we
are always there to encourage and uplift each other.”

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