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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Harjinder Singh Kukreja and British Deputy High Commissioner Celebrate Anglo-Punjab Ties with ‘Loodianah Sikhs’ Artwork


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In a remarkable event at the Itinerary Building Workshop by Visit Britain, Harjinder Singh Kukreja took a significant step in cultural diplomacy by presenting Caroline Rowett, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Chandigarh, with a piece of art that speaks volumes of the historical ties between Punjab and the United Kingdom. The artwork, a watercolor illustration by Richard Simkin, portrays a Sikh Jamadar of the Loodianah Sikhs from 1905, encapsulating the rich shared history and valorous spirit of the Punjab region.

More than just a piece of art, this illustration serves as a historical document that beautifully intertwines the cultural aspects of the British Indian Army uniforms with the proud Sikh heritage. The depiction of the British Sikh officer in a red jacket with green facings, adorned with medals and a traditional sash and turban, symbolizes the valor and authority of the Sikh military tradition.

Upon receiving the illustration, Caroline Rowett expressed her deep honor and recognized the tribute to the courageous Punjabi soldiers who have contributed significantly to the welfare of others. This gesture also filled Harjinder Singh Kukreja with pride, who highlighted the enduring connection and shared narratives between Punjab and Britain, further emphasizing the significance of the vibrant Sikh community in Britain today.

The historical accuracy and artistic integrity of Richard Simkin’s work add a layer of depth to this exchange, commemorating the involvement of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs in key military campaigns throughout history. Vishal Bhatia, at the helm of VisitBritain’s operations in India, along with Raghav Chandrasekhar, Shuja Bin Mehdi, Radhika Shah, and Tishtar Parakh, underscored the painting’s impact on fostering cultural connections and promoting tourism. They remarked, “The intertwined heritage and mutual histories of Punjab and Britain not only enrich our communities but also play a pivotal role in bolstering tourism, showcasing the richness of our cultures to the world.”

This event not only reinforces the strong cultural and historical ties between the UK and Punjab but also showcases the power of art and diplomacy in fostering understanding and respect across cultures. The presentation of the ‘Loodianah Sikhs’ tribute by Harjinder Singh Kukreja to Caroline Rowett stands as a powerful testament to this shared heritage, celebrating the significant contributions of Punjab and promoting cultural and tourism exchanges in the region.

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