Enriching lives, connecting communities

Themes and Sections


For Mardi Gras 2017 we are presenting the theme Reflections of India.

Reflections of India will align with National celebrations planned for next year as part of the UK-India: Year of Culture, being led by the British Council.

The theme has a special resonance for local heritage and history fans through links between Queen Victoria, Empress of India and Osborne House. In her later years the Queen was mostly resident on the Island, effectively running the British Empire from Osborne, and employed scores of Indian servants in the Royal Household.  Abdul Karim, the most famous of these who became her personal friend, teacher and confidant, is the subject of a new film ‘Victoria and Abdul’ starring Judi Dench, which was recently shot on location here.

The Mardi Gras Parade, which will take place on Saturday 1 July next year, will depict 25 scenes from Classical India, Imperial India and Modern India. Artistic Director Frankie Goldspink said “we are challenging perceptions of India and aim to shift awareness of stereotypical scenes and stories to a contemporary understanding of diasporic contributions to everyday life”.

Schools and groups have been eager to sign up and present sections of the narrative, which journeys from ‘The Taj Mahal’ to ‘The East India Company’ to ‘Bollywood’ and to ‘The software capital of the World’. 10 of the sections relate entirely to our local heritage through Queen Victoria’s days at Osborne.

Partners in the delivery of the education programme which will underpin the parade will include The Kala Chetana Kathakali Company, the IW Music Education Hub, culture specialists T-HOP UK and, for local heritage connections, English Heritage staff at Osborne House.

Schools and groups who would like to take part can view all the sections here and can speak to us at any time for more information.



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