Encounter with Asian poetry brings culture

Some of the Urdu poets present at the Mushaira in Bellshill Cultural Centre
Some of the Urdu poets present at the Mushaira in Bellshill Cultural Centre

Bellshill Cultural Centre hosted a Mushaira, an evening of Urdu poetry, as part of the on-going Encounters cultural festival.

The evening also saw a selection of Scottish and Bollywood style dancing from the Humjolie women’s support group.

The evening, also supported by the Scottish Mental Health Art and Film Festival (SMAFF) and NHS Lanarkshire, welcomed poets from Bazm-e-Urdu Scotland (Urdu Society of Scotland).

Poetry was sung as well as recited, with an Urdu translation of Norman McCaig’s poem Praise of a Man proving popular.

The dancers were joined for the evening by Humjolie’s vice-chair Shamim Rashid and Anila Ansari from NHS Lanarkshire.

The group have been meeting at the Bellshill YMCA for several weeks, promoting dance and music as life-enhancing art forms with links to mental health and well-being.

Librarian Jennifer Hosie said: “We had a most enjoyable and well-attended evening.

“CultureNL always aims to open up its Encounters festival to the wider community and embrace the rich diversity of cultures within 
the area.

“At the Mushaira we enjoyed a wonderful selection of readings and performances representing the arts of poetry, song, music and dance.

“We were delighted to welcome some of the leading Urdu poets working in Scotland today and also enjoyed the colourful spectacular of Bollywood dancing.”

This Saturday sees a Focus on Families day at the cultural centre, beginning with Monster Mayhem drawing and construction from 11am.

Louna Productions bring a scary Halloween-themed performance to Motherwell Library at 11am, then on to the cultural centre at 2pm.

North Lanarkshire Youth Theatre perform their own drama ‘Hook, Line and Selfie’ at the centre at 3pm and 7pm.

Further local events continue to the end of the month, full details from local libraries or at www.culturenl.gov.uk/encounters.

Humjolie also joined forces with Wishaw, Murdostoun and Fortissat Community Forum to hold Shall We Dance at Pather Community Centre as part of the Scottish Mental Health Art and 
Film Festival.

Humjolie brought women from different cultural backgrounds together who met for eight weeks to prepare a Bollywood dance performance to promote the healing potential of dance.

The event was supported by NHS Lanarkshire’s Health Improvement team and North Lanarkshire Council’s community learning
 and development service.