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Festival of Norfolk and Punjab opens in Thetford




A festival celebrating the last royal family of Punjab was launched in Thetford on Saturday.

The Festival of Norfolk and Punjab, organised by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP), is a 50-day county-wide event looking at the Duleep Singh family.

Indi Sandhu, creative director of the ECDP, said: “Following the success of the Thetford and Punjab festival last year, we wanted to pay homage to the maharajah’s contribution made by his family to Norfolk,

“People have become really interested in the subject since the last festival, so with a more expanded programme this time, a county-wide story of the family can be told.”

Attendees at the opening of the Norfolk and Punjab Festival, standing outside the Ancient House Museum in Thetford
Attendees at the opening of the Norfolk and Punjab Festival, standing outside the Ancient House Museum in Thetford

The day started with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Ancient House Museum, in Whitehart Street, to open a pop-up Princess Sophia Duleep Singh exhibition, before officially opening the festival at the Thomas Paine Hotel.

Events will take place in Dereham, Norwich and King’s Lynn, as well as Thetford and Elveden.

Activities include Punjabi cooking demonstrations, Bollywood dance workshops, museum and artefact talks and a colourful Mela performance, on August 3, at Thetford Riverside to end proceedings.

The ECDP has also been granted £9,300 by Arts Council England to create a Duleep Singh heritage trail in Norfolk, which Indi says will be the ‘legacy’ left by both festivals.

For a programme of events, go to essexcdp.com/event/festival-of-norfolk-punjab/



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