Tuesday, 1 June 2010


At the community centre opposite Shree Jalaram Prarthana Mandal (photo above), Narborough Road, this evening, for a meeting with the Get Inspired 2010 team. Get Inspired 2010 will be a public celebration of Hindu life, promoting the diversity of Hindu culture, values and philosophy to people of all ages and from all faiths and beliefs, as well as showcasing Hinduism as a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle for the 21st century and beyond. The organising team are hoping to attract 10,000 visitors to the event itself at Leicester Racecourse and Conference Centre (Saturday 14, Sunday 15 Aug) and are intent on reaching a global audience by creating a lively online presence.

A group of community-minded individuals drawn from virtually all Hindu groups in Leicester is behind Get Inspired 2010. They've come together in recent months locally to promote the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies - an academic institution of international standing. I attended the meeting in this same venue that started the countdown to Get Inspired 2010 (see blog entry, Tue 30 Mar). I was struck immediately by the potential of the event and have been trying to help in any way possible since then. That has consisted, mostly, of introducing some of the organisers to other people in the city whom I believe would be interested in promoting the event by a variety of means, e.g. Amplified Leicester (and relevant legacy projects), Citizens' Eye Community News Agency, CreativeCoffee Club, Global Education Leicester-Shire. I'm glad to say that everyone I've helped come into contact with this project - and with the people organising it - seem only too keen to help.

There are 16 people here this evening, for a meeting that lasts about two-and-a-half hours. We're in a smaller upstairs room this time, as the bigger ground floor space we had for the launch meeting is being used by a yoga class. Attendees speak about the event in general, as well as the particular areas they are assigned to look after:

  • Temple Zone - featuring large models of six iconic Hindu temples in India
  • Kids' Zone - fun and educational activities, built around the core values of Hinduism
  • Grandstand area - focusing on the Bhumi ("Mother Earth") project
  • Stage - featuring performances from a range of artists
  • Food zone - on-site catering (which will be entirely vegetarian, with vegan options too)

A variety of charity stalls and commercial exhibitors are also being courted to take part in the event.

The main contribution that Leicester Council of Faiths can make is in assuring the success of the Conference Zone. On the Saturday, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) are jointly sponsoring a public conference; then on the Sunday there will be an invitation-only event. I've been asked to obtain support from the Council of Faiths for both of these. I am also involved in promoting Get Inspired 2010 through social networking and getting information out to schools.

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