Monday, 20 November 2017

Explore Sikh beliefs at community space

A COMMUNITY gallery has opened at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

Your Space: The Community Gallery opened on Friday last week with its first exhibition — The Sikh Arrangement.

Designed to celebrate diversity, it explores the tradition surrounding Sikh weddings.

Visitors will be able to enjoy first-hand accounts of Sikh wedding customs, see wedding outfits and discover the musical instruments used in the ceremonies.

Curator Sameet Gill, a trainee at the museum, said: “Whilst researching this exhibition, I worked closely with my cousins who have all married recently. They taught me about Punjabi Sikh wedding rituals and cultural traditions.

“I really learnt the meaning of what the word community means, which is togetherness, to love, to share, to be in harmony, having common interests, values and beliefs.”

The community gallery exists to offer the residents of Henley and the surrounding areas an opportunity to get creatively involved in the museum.

It is located on the glass-fronted bridge which links the Thames and Henley galleries and will host a regularly changing series of temporary exhibitions for local artists and community groups to display their work.

On Sunday, Slough-based group, Apna Virsa, will host a Bhangra Dance Day at the Museum as part of the group’s Marriage of Memories project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Visitors will be able to have a go at learning some Bhangra dance moves and enjoy trying on tradition costumes. The event runs from 11.30am to 1.30pm, there is no need to book and admission is free.

Seema Kamboj, project co-ordinator at Apna Virsa, said: “We are looking forward to a fun-filled afternoon of celebration and sharing the cultural traditions of Sikh weddings. There will be Bhangra dance workshops, Dhol beats, costumes to dress up in, jewellery and lot more fun activities. We are really excited to be part of this great community event.”

Also on Sunday, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm, the museum will host Spoken Word Event — Current Voices hosted by youth arts collective, XTRA.art, featuring award-winning youngsters from across the South East in a one-off performance.

There is no need to book and admission is free.

For more information on exhibiting in the community gallery, email, curatorial@
rrm.co.uk and visit www.rrm.co.uk

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