Exhibition to chart history of Pothohar community in UK

An exhibition which documents the journey of migrants to the UK will be launched at the University of Wolverhampton.

Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar
Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar

The university partnered with the Pothohar Association UK on the joint project, Rekindling Pothohar, last year after they were awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to record the history of their journey from Pothohar, following the partition of India in 1947.

The project maps their journeys from there into India, East Africa and other countries and then to the United Kingdom.

The Pothohari community is one of the most financially successful minority communities in the UK today.

The university’s Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies, together with colleagues and students from the Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences have worked alongside the Pothohar Association and Digital Works to create the documentary and exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of the Partition of India.

The Pothohar Association UK strives to enhance the cultural heritage of migrants predominantly from the Pothohar region of West Punjab (which now lies in Pakistan).

Pothoharis first started to settle in the UK in the early 20th Century, with the majority arriving in the UK in the early 1950s from India, East Africa, Iran and other countries, and were spread all over the country.

Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, director of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies at the university, said: “The exhibition charts the 100 years of contributions of the Pothohari community to the United Kingdom from 1915 onwards.

“This migrant community originated from the Pothohar region of West Punjab which was previously part of India and became part of the newly created Pakistan in 1947.

“The exhibition uncovers the heritage of the UK Pothohari community, encompassing their journeys to this country and its impact.

“It is estimated that 20 million Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims were displaced as a result of the partition of India, making it the largest mass migration in human history.

“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the partition of India, which will be marked by commemoration events across the world.”

The exhibition will be launched by Dr Takhar on Tuesday, July 12, in the university’s Harrison Library at its city campus in Wolverhampton, from 5pm-7.30 pm, with Professor Ravi Kohli as keynote speaker, followed by a screening of Children of Partition: An Oral History of Pothoharis in Lecture Theatre MC001 and a Q&A.

Free tickets can be booked through Eventbrite

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