Experience The Colours Of Asia At Bagshaw Museum

By Corinne Field | 30 December 2003
Shows a photograph of a woman kneeling down and looking closely at a display.

Photo: Courtesy of Bagshaw Museum.

Did you know that juice, bungalow, shampoo and TV chef Jamie Oliver’s favourite word, pukka, are all Indian words?

Language is just one of the ways in which South Asian culture has influenced British culture over the years and it is one of the topics explored in Colours of Asia, a new exhibition at Bagshaw Museum in Batley until June 6, 2004.

The exhibition celebrates the traditions and cultures of the Asian subcontinent and looks at how they have enriched life in Britain, from language to food and clothes.

Shows a photograph of a mocked up room in a museum.

Photo: Courtesy of Bagshaw Museum.

Many of the stunning exhibits from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are from the Kirklees museums’ collections, have never been on display before. There are textiles, metal wares, carved stone and wood and other artefacts.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the display of wedding costumes on the ground floor. They were made for The Bride Wore Red, a fashion project organised by Kirklees museum service.

The outfits were purchased after extensive research and consultation with local South Asian communities and were launched in October at a spectacular fashion show at Batley Town Hall. A video of the fashion show can be viewed at the exhibition.

There will also be a range of activities and events related to the exhibition as well as a programme of workshops run by the Chol Community Theatre Group.

Shows a photograph of two women looking at hats.

Photo: Courtesy of Bagshaw Museum.

These workshops are designed to express and record the reactions, impressions and opinions of local people towards the displays.

And it is hoped that visitors to the exhibition will contribute information on the history of South Asian settlement in Kirklees.

John Rumsby, Museums Collections Manager, says, “This is an exhibition for all people in Kirklees. Come and see it and tell us what you think of the display, what we have got right and what we can improve on. Your comments will be used to plan a permanent gallery of the South Asian collections in the future.”

Colours of Asia was partly funded by a £40 000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is a first step towards creating a permanent South Asian Gallery at Bagshaw Museum.

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