Chai and Chat Leicester 14th July 2024

Namaste and Jai Shree Krishna,

I hope this report finds you in good health and high spirits. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the AMSUK Youth Forum Team for their visionary efforts and unwavering dedication in bringing the Chai & Chat Event to life in Leicester. I also wish to express deep appreciation to the management committee and all the volunteers of Shree Mandhata Sahayak Mandal, Leicester, for their invaluable support in facilitating this event. The memorabilia display was truly captivating, evoking cherished memories and a deep sense of nostalgia.

Our elders occupy a special place in our hearts, representing our past, present, and future. Their sacrifices and contributions have laid the foundation upon which we build our lives, and it is only fitting that we honour and celebrate their legacy. We take immense pride in their journey and the cultural heritage they have preserved and passed down to us. It is essential that we learn from their experiences, understanding our roots and cultural identity to shape a brighter future.

Chai & Chat events are designed to unite our local communities in a relaxed and informal setting. They offer a unique opportunity for elders and younger members to share invaluable stories, memories, and life experiences. Our elders’ stories, resilience, and journeys are treasures that enrich our lives. Through Chai & Chat events, we aim to honour them, learn from their experiences, and bridge the generational gap by fostering a deeper understanding between young and old. These events provide a platform to hear firsthand about the struggles and triumphs our elders faced when they first arrived in the UK, the evolution of family dynamics, and the true essence of their enduring legacies.

The Chai & Chat Event in Leicester was a tremendous success, with nearly a hundred attendees. The “Open Mic” session provided vibrant exchanges where memories were shared, life journeys were recounted, and invaluable lessons were learned. The roti (Chapati) rolling competition was entertaining, and the delicious Nasto (Snacks) provided during the break were enjoyed by all.

The Chai & Chat Events will culminate in a grand celebration planned for September 2025 in Leicester. This event will unite towns from across the nation in a magnificent tribute to our elders. It will be a momentous occasion to capture videos, conduct interviews, gather memorabilia, and celebrate the collective journey of our community. While the spotlight will shine brightly on our elders, the event will also celebrate the remarkable progress our community has made.

Warm regards,

Hasmukh S. Patel
President – AMSUK

 

Chai and Chat at Shree Krishna Temple Dudley

The AMSUK Youth Forum, in collaboration with Shree Krishna Temple Dudley, held its inaugural Chai with Chat event on June 1, 2024. Although the event started half an hour later than the scheduled time of 1.30pm, it saw an attendance of about 65 people of all ages, with a majority being over 65. Hasmukbhai and Dahyabhai Kanjibhai, representing AMSUK and Shree Krishna Temple respectively, opened the event with prayers and a minute of silence for departed souls.

Youth Forum organizers explained the event format in both English and Gujarati. The theme focused on exploring our roots and sharing stories and experiences of early migrants to the UK, particularly from India and Africa. Several attendees shared their migration experiences, followed by a Q&A session with questions in separate envelopes, which engaged most participants. The questions were aligned with the event’s theme.

Additionally, a couple of older women recited a modified bhajan reflecting on today’s generation. The event also featured a chapati rolling competition for both men and women. Tea and snacks were served, and some attendees shared photos and videos from their past in Africa and India. Overall, the event was interesting and informative, providing a valuable insight into our roots and the sacrifices made by previous generations. Kudos to the organizers for bringing attention to this important but often overlooked topic. The program concluded around 5 PM with a thank you speech by Hasmukhbhai, followed by the singing of Jana Gana Mana.