AN INDIAN community gathered to celebrate the traditional festival of lights, Diwali Fest, at The Dolphin, Poole.

Many turned out for the event which hosted Indian cuisine, clothing, jewellery, and a surprise flashmob in Falklands Square.

BPC Indian Community, a group focused on bringing Indian culture to Dorset, hosted the event along with support from the Poole BID.

Poonam Paranjpe helped to set up BPC Indian Community five years ago after she noticed that a lot of people needed help and guidance.

Bournemouth Echo:

Over two thousand people are now members of the group across Dorset and events are hosted year-round.

Poonam described Diwali Fest as celebrating the ‘victory of good over evil’, which is taught to children in the Indian community.

READ MORE: What is Diwali, when is it celebrated and what do people do?

Anjali Mavi, a member of the group, said Diwali is unique in the way that it is celebrated across all religions in India including Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

“BPC focuses on unity and diversity,” said Anjali.

“Now more people know what Diwali is and can celebrate.”

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Anjali added that Diwali is ‘like Christmas for the Indian community’ and said it is the main event of the year.

Stalls were set up local business, including hand crafted arts, clothing such as sari, intricate henna designs and mouth-watering Indian street food.

Bournemouth Echo: Neha Bhaodwaj

Neha Bhaodwaj, owner of Neha Kreations, usually sets up her stand of jewellery, candles and calendars within The Dolphin but said it was great to bring together the Indian community at this event.

Bournemouth Echo: Lisy and Lisha Thomas

Lisha Thomas, 22, attended Diwali fest with her mother, Lisy, and said her favourite part of Diwali is the food.

Bournemouth Echo: Sarath Cumar with his family

Sarath Cumar said he only moved to the area last year and loves being involved in the local Indian community.

BPC Indian Community also organised a large flash mob to take over Falklands Square as part of Diwali.

The group have previously performed a flash mob at the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival, but this time they focused on traditional Bollywood dancing.

Crowds of people gathered to watch the dance which began with Panoon’s solo and finished with a flock of others, including a few from the sidelines.