Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine dropped into a very special community event at the Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon.
The South of England Marathi Pariwar has organised a Bombay street food festival each January for the past three years. It is an active and growing group of local residents from Chandlers Ford and nearby with roots in Western India, near Mumbai.
In the past four years, the entirely voluntary organisation has grown from a handful founder families to a few hundred people in and around Hampshire who share a common cultural connection.
"Marathi" is the native language of many in the group and "pariwar" means 'family'.
Sunday 29th January 2017 saw the food festival take place at the Methodist Church on Winchester Road with a wide range of popular and special Bombay Street foods on sale. The event allows everyone to enjoy the culinary delights of the state of Maharashtra (of which Mumbai is the capital city).
Steve Brine MP said; "I was hugely touched to be invited by Sud and his friends to come along today. What a lovely warm and welcoming group of people and what a unique social and community gathering.
"It was really interesting to chat with many of those present and taste some of the tasty food on offer. It was also a chance to discuss some of the other issue affecting the commnity at the present time including a worrying rise in burglaries from Indian houeholds in the area. I will be taking that up with the Eastleigh Borough police commander.
"Emily and William both had homework to do but I wanted them to join me at this event as I know they learnt a great deal about one part of the Indian community in this part of my constituency. They certainly enjoyed the mango smoothie one of the stallholders kindly gave to them.
"I hope to further deepen my relationship with the community and look forward to working Sud and other members of the Marathi Pariwar in the months and years ahead."
Pictured; Steve Brine, joined by his children Emily and William, with Dr Sudhanshu 'Sud' Patwardhan, his wife Pooja and other members of the Marathi Pariwar at the event in the popular Dovetail Centre.
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