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The University of Birmingham has congratulated West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on leading celebrations to mark Diwali in the city, as India continues to commemorate its 70th anniversary of independence.

WMCA organised this weekend’s ‘Diwali on the Square’ event, which saw West Midlands Mayor Andy Street joined by the High Commissioner of India to the UK, His Excellency Mr Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha.

Families from across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands flocked to the Diwali celebration which took place in Victoria Square, Birmingham.

University of Birmingham Pro-Vice- Chancellor (International) Professor Robin Mason said: “Congratulations to WMCA and the Mayor on organising such a successful celebration of Diwali which brought together communities from across Birmingham and beyond.

“The University of Birmingham has forged strong and lasting links with India since we admitted our first Indian student in 1909 and, since then, has provided education to around 2,000 outstanding Indian alumni.

“We are delighted that our city has marked the festival of light with such a popular and well-attended event reflects the exuberant spirit of India as it commemorates its 70th anniversary of independence.”

Diwali on the Square saw visitors enjoying food stalls, Mehendi artists, bhangra music including performances by singers Jas Wouhra and Malkit Singh, plus face painting and balloons for children.


Diwali is a five day festival celebrated by faiths throughout the Indian community to mark different historical events and stories but with all of them symbolising the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

It is celebrated by lighting lamps and candles in doors and windows of the home, around temples and other buildings, along with fireworks.

For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out of hours media enquiries, please call: +44 (0) 7789 921 165.