CELEBRATING COMMONWEALTH DAY WITH SUGAR & SPICE
Commonwealth Day, formerly Empire Day, is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations held on the second Monday in March.
It is marked by an Anglican service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth along with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London.
The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, which is broadcast throughout the world.
Commonwealth Day is a public holiday in some parts of the Commonwealth, but not presently in Britain.
The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata marked Commonwealth Day 2018 with a Street Party at its Office to celebrate the close Kolkata-UK cultural and people-to-people relationship – especially their love for food and sports.
With a theme of Sugar & Spice, there was a mix of the most popular spicy Kolkata high street food delicacies with a relaxed feel of an English picnic – with of course lots of sugary dainties. Among the food stalls and beverage counters, guests also participated in a number of games and sports including courtyard-cricket.
But the main event was a ‘GREAT Commonwealth Cake Bake-Off.’ A spin on the very successful British television show which now also airs in India, hotels from across the city – Marriott, Hyatt, Lalit, Novotel, Flurys and a special entry engaging Next Gen from IIHM & the BDHC in-house Chef Ashok Das – displayed ‘showstopper cakes’ in a fun-filled competition. The Cake Bake-Off was judged by celebrity judges including the 2016 Junior MasterChef champion Chef Kirti Bhoutika, film star Jishu Sengupta and the Chief Executive of the Tollygunge Club Anil R Mukerji. The competition cakes were distributed to five organisations working with children – Future Hope, Jungle Crows, Rainbow School (Loreto), Antara and Robinhood Army.
Speaking on Commonwealth Day, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Bruce Bucknell, said this year we are celebrating the role of the Next Generation in our future. ‘We are celebrating our common links and looking forward to a series of events in the next few weeks – the Commonwealth Games in Australia and then the very important Heads of Commonwealth Government meeting. But before the meeting we will be organising a Youth Forum where representatives of young people of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth will come and meet their political leaders to talk about the future they want to see.’
Jishu Sengupta found the event a perfect place to sharpen his cricket skill with the kids. While His Excellency Mr. Bruce Bucknell perhaps one of the most humble diplomat in the town who just made it a most comfortable evening as host at the same time kept his obligation of protocol intact.
Few points to remember to know the future of growing and glowing of commonwealth states in all aspect.
Future of Commonwealth is strong:
- The UK will be hosting the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018
- Across the Commonwealth, member states face common challenges: weak global trade and investment flows; new cross-border security threats; the effects of climate change on small and other vulnerable states; threats to our shared values of democracy, good governance and inclusivity, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter
- The summit will bring leaders together to work to ensure that the Commonwealth has the institutional strength to face these challenges effectively
- With the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’, leaders will focus on delivering:
o A more prosperous future: boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment
and maximising the opportunities offered by the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’
o A more secure future: increasing cooperation across security challenges including global terrorism, organised crime and cyber attacks
o A more sustainable future: building the resilience of small and vulnerable states to deal with the effects of climate change and other global crises
o A fairer future: promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and good governance across the Commonwealth
- Together we have the chance to build a reformed and revitalised Commonwealth and the UK is determined to help carry forward that agenda for the long term
- The Commonwealth consists of 53 member states spanning six continents and making up a quarter of the world’s land mass.
- The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people – one third of the world’s population.
- The members of the Commonwealth are:
- Africa: Botswana; Cameroon; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mauritius;Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; South Africa;Swaziland; Tanzania; The Gambia; Uganda; and Zambia
- Americas and Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St Kitts & Nevis; St.Vincent & the Grenadines; and Trinidad & Tobago
- Asia: Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; India; Malaysia; Pakistan; Singapore; and Sri Lanka
- Europe: Cyprus; Malta; and UK
- Pacific: Australia; Fiji; Kiribati; Nauru; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea;Samoa; Solomon Islands; Tonga; Tuvalu; and Vanuatu