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Cultural Celebrations

Several of our homes celebrated Jamaican Independence Day on 6th August, with spectacular events held at Ashurst Mews and Albion Court. This public holiday is the National Day of Jamaica, celebrating independence from the UK in 1962. At Ashurst Mews, the staff team and residents celebrated in the glorious sunshine with traditional cuisine, cocktails and punch. The home and garden were festooned with garlands and bunting, and the staff team even made a human cruise ship. Well-being and Activities Co-ordinator Millie explained, “A lovely afternoon cruising to Jamaica! Residents listened to an audio tour of the country, learning about Jamaican traditions, its famous people and its music.”

Albion Court was decorated in Jamaican bunting and flags. Sharmaine, Well-being and Activities Co-ordinator revealed: “We played Jamaican music, our chefs served up superb traditional cuisine and we danced with residents. We talked about cultural heritage and shared some wonderful memories. A beautiful day enjoyed by all.” Hinduism is one of the oldest religions and the third largest, with a billion followers. With many Hindus at Birchwood Grange, there are always opportunities to celebrate this wonderful religion in the home’s own Hindu Temple.

In August, the home celebrated the Hindu Festival of Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s day of birth, one of the most widely-marked festivals in India, emphasising being together with family and friends. Helen Abbot, Well-being and Activities Co-ordinator explained, “We were unable to open the home to visitors, but that did not dampen the spirit to celebrate this special event. Offerings were made to the Gods in the form of fruit, the grinding of herbs, spices, leaves and petals anointed in oils; all were then placed into an ornate swinging cradle and offered to the Gods.” Resident Mrs Hansaben Amin commented: “It is important to me to still follow my faith, to attend temple daily, and celebrate such important events. This has settled during the pandemic and supported me whilst being separated from my family.”

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