Vaisakhi celebrations

On Saturday April 16th crowds gathered at Chapeltown Sikh temple to celebrate Vaisakhi - one of the most significant events in the Sikh calendar. The festival commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699, which is the collective body of all baptized Sikhs. After prayers were said at the temple, an elaborately decorated float made its way along the route into town. Children were also carried in a separate colourful float and when the procession reached Millennium Square they sang hymns and performed the traditional martial art of Gatka.

I covered the event for the Asian Express newspaper and as well as snapping all the festivities with my camera, I got the chance to speak to some of the people there about what Vaisakhi meant to them. Read more »

Threads from around the globe

Bradford Industrial Museum has been allowing young people to explore world collections at a series of exhibitions making up part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The museum's Precious Cargo programme was inspired by world collections in the Yorkshire region and looked into how objects, ideas and customs have found their way across the world to become part of the region's heritage.

Mahum Sammar, 16, got involved with the project because she had always had a passion for art: "I was especially interested in textiles so when I heard about the different forms of art we would learn about I thought it would be great to be a part of. It allows people my age to get involved in creative things."

To read the full article, click here and head over to page 14. Read more »

Shooting stars

Young filmmakers from Bradford saw their documentary films on the big screen at a special awards ceremony celebrating the success of the recent Community Film Skills Academy project. The event was the culmination of all the hard work put in by the teenagers and tutors during the free filmmaking courses for young people that were not in education, employment or training. I got the chance to talk to some of the project organisers and the young people that were involved in the programme.

Zainab Jaffry, 19, got involved in the project because she realised it was a great opportunity: "I;m more interested in the presenting side and would like to do that as my future career so I enjoyed getting to know people that want to work in the same area of media as me."

To read the full article, click here and flick to page 18. Read more »

She's got the look

I recently visited a new ladies boutique on Leeds Old Road to interview the owner Rumana Rumi and take photographs for a business profile in the Asian Express newspaper. She Boutique showcases a range of unique accessories and clothing and is planning a venture into bridal wear and online fashion.

To read the full article, click here and turn to page 36. Read more »

Rajas goes from strength to strength

A new stylish 90-seater restaurant has opened in Leeds city centre and I went down to the launch event to chat to the owners and take photographs of what is set to be one of many successful Raja outlets. Featuring a contemporary design throughout, customers will enjoy dining in the spacious upstairs restaurant area.

To read the full article, click here and head over to page 32. Read more »

More green spaces at Pollard Park

Councillor Mohammed Jamil (Bowling and Barkarend) met up with me recently to talk about plans that have been submitted to Bradford Council for a project that will see extensive landscaping carried out at unused areas of Pollard Park. He said: Pollard Park has been negalected for years and has been a victim of increases in crime. The development of green spaces in the densely populated housing area is at the core of Bowling and Barkarend's values and we promote the regeneration of the area."

To read the full article, click here and flick to page 26. Read more »

Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank runs low on supplies

Volunteers from a Bradford charitable organisation are appealing for help as donations are drying up. According to founder Lashman Singh, Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank only has enough supplies to last for two or three weeks after I met up with him in St Mary's Church Hall, the premises the food bank is run from once a fortnight. Lashman set up the food bank in 2005 to cater for those that could not come out to receive cooked meals.

"Unlike some charities, we have no contact with the client whatsoever and I think that privacy should be upheld by the professional people involved," Lashman said.

However, as the charity has become better known it has received a greater demand. More people have also fallen on hard times recently.

"The shelves are getting empty now which is why we are appealing to people to get involved. Anyone can be a part of it and we need people from the local community to come forward if they can spare a few tins of food or would like to hold a street collection," Lashman explained.

To read the full article, click here and turn to page 8. Read more »

Class act

Business profiles make up part of the Asian Express newspaper and each one focuses on a different Yorkshire-based company. For a recent profile I interviewed a Chapeltown-based dancer, actress and model Deeba Amin. Alongside writing the text for her business profile, I photographed the multi-talented entertainer (which can be seen in the shots below).

The 22-year-old rising star has been busy holding physical theatre and dance workshops for children and women in the local area. She is also preparing to go travelling at the end of the year when she will volunteer in India and incorporate some of her physical theatre and dance experience. Thanks to her unique style of dancing, which is a mixture of Bollywood, street and classical techniques, Deeba has attracted a lot of attention and is preparing to compete in the semi-finals of an international dance competition.

Keen to continue dancing at events such as melas and share her knowledge with others through workshops when she returns from travelling, Deeba is currently promoting her brand Miz Diva.

To read the full article, click here and head over to page 39. Read more »

Asian voices

The memories of first generation South Asian migrants that came to Huddersfield over 50 years ago have been collated in a a book. I interviewed researcher Nafhesa Ali, who works in the centre for oral history research at the University of Huddersfield, to find out more about the project and how she documented the experiences of the first settlers of South Asian origin.

To read the full article, click here and visit page 3. Read more »

All that glitters

Shakira Exclusive's dazzling collection of jewellery has proved popular with women looking for the perfect finishing touch for an outfit. I met up with co-owner Abrar Khaliq to find out more about the jewellery and accessories retailer and take photographs for a business profile piece in the Asian Express newspaper.

To read the full article, click here and head over to page 42.