Biggest annual Urdu language festival goes online

August 31, 2020

The sixth annual Jashn-e-Rekhta (festival of Urdu language) which showcases the composite culture of South Asia is due to be hosted virtually from September 5-6 . The event – which usually takes place in Delhi, India – was to be hosted in London for the first time, but due to the coronavirus pandemic organisers have made the decision to move to the web. It promises to be an immersive and interactive experience for attendees who can enjoy the two-day session from home.

The festival will bring together 32 sessions of poetry, literature, music, dance and drama. Highlights include poets and lyricists Javed Akhtar and Manoj Muntashir who will host a discussion of films and Urdu poetry titled ‘Cinema – Kal aur Aaj’. A play ‘Miya, Biwi aur Wagah’ told through letters by the UAE based journalist duo Amna Khaishgi and Ehtesham Shahid will also be screened for the first time in the UK.

Sanjiv Saraf, founder of the Rekhta Foundation which has curated the world’s largest collection of Urdu language poetry, said it is his goal to ‘spotlight everything the Urdu language has given to us’. He believes that ‘Urdu can express love in all its manifestations using the most beautiful symbolism’. It is the fourth main language in England and Wales and ranked third in the top 10 most spoken languages in London.

The full line up and tickets for Jashn-e-Rekhta can be found on its official website. The online events can be accessed from anywhere in the world.