The Indian Vegetarian Society held its 34th annual vegetarian Christmas Lunch on Sunday 14th December. AIA Patron, Nitin Mehta MBE, the founder of the society said that the aim of organizing the lunch was the same as when it begun 34 years ago. It is to celebrate Christmas as a national festival and to promote friendship between communities living in Croydon. The Indian community is proud to be British. The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Manju Shaul-Hammed, MP for Croydon north, Steve Reed, and leader of Croydon council, Tony Newman, who is a vegetarian, were amongst the guests. Around 130 people enjoyed a traditional Gujarati Vegan meal.
The Mayor praised the Indian community for playing a positive role in society. MP Steeve Reed said that the contribution of the Indian Hindu community was great in all walks of life. Members of Purley United Reformed Church, Croydon Ecology Centre, Croydon Vegetarians and Surrey Vegetarians and Vegans were present.
Guests enjoyed a lunch of parathas, udad dal, peas and cauliflower curry, biryani and bhajias followed by vegan cakes and tea. Nitin said that idea of a Christmas lunch was spreading as a similar event was being held at the same time at the Crawley Hindu Temple and the Jain Centre in Colindale. Kamlalbhai Rao from Gujarat Samachar was present too.
The delicious food was prepared by the ladies and popular chef Rajubhai Shah. Long term friendships are formed by sharing food together and our English friends are introduced to many varieties of Indian vegetarian food.