Hungama London

Eat, Rave, Love with Top 5 South Asian Parties in London

Here we explore five of the best South Asian parties in London for South Asians to come together and do things their parents wouldn't advise. Let's take a look into their histories, goals and future events.

Julia Roberts set off to India in her self indulgent Eat Pray Love journey, had she been with times, she would of known that the Eat Rave Love was the journey that Desis were having without the airfare.

Culture sometimes feels like it appears before us as our ten commandments. British Asian identity manifests itself through the way we dress, the words we speak, and the food that we eat. Touching nearly all aspects of life, London has enjoyed a history of South Asian parties that have sought to create a place where one can revel in their identity while also pushing towards new meanings of what it means to be Desi.

For once Asians can conduct themselves with other Asians in a way they would never dream of doing in front of their parents

During the Eighties and Nineties, daytime discos were events where British South Asians came to enjoy live performances and DJs mixing the musical landscape of the UK with the hottest Bhangra and Bollywood tracks of the times. During these daylight hours it was a place to be seen and interact with ones own community in ways that were distinctly of the time, all while being back for dinner.

I often think of this quote from the Independent in 1994: “For once Asians can conduct themselves with other Asians in a way they would never dream of doing in front of their parents, reassures me that I’m not the only one suffering from a cultural identity crisis.”

Even being able to party together is a momentous occasion for us.

In London, the scene continues to thrive with the birth of new parties, collectives and events. To look into what we have today, we also have to look back on the events that have paved the way. I explore the top five South Asian collectives and parties in London that celebrate us.

 

Club Kali

 

 

 

Established in 1995, Club Kali is one of the longest standing South Asian LGBTQI+ nights in London. Riju and Rita have cultivated a space that for over two decades has brought together the best of what nightlife can offer suffused with the experiences of a community so often overlooked and marginalised.

Let it all out on the dance floor at one of the many events held at their club space in Camden or join the party at one of their events held at various London institutions such as the Tate and Wellcome Collection.

 

Follow Club Kali on Instagram.

 

NO ID

 

 

 

Former Boiler Room staff member and co-founder of record label More Time, Ahad Elley aka Ahadadream is a jack of all trades. With years of industry knowledge, Ahad is creating a new platform to give space for South Asian Djs to develop and exhibit sets and sounds that resonate with them. His first event at Rye Wax in Peckham started off with a screening of Dia, a short film that chronicles the slow crumbling of a Pakistani student’s mental health as she is faced with the pressures of exams and marriage proposals.

Followed by sets from the talented line-up, one can sense the ever-evolving energy of the diaspora that is being harnessed here.

The next No ID is on April 26th at The Glove That Fits in Hackney.

 

Follow No ID on Instagram.

 

Cousins

 

 

 

Founded by Canadian DJ Nino Brown, Cousins has focused on creating a diverse and inclusive party environment since 2009 in Montreal. The party transcends borders with Cousins coming over to London and throwing parties that feel like a family affair. With line ups consisting of London heavyweights, such as the BBC AZN Network crew, they continue to push the sound of club music to new limits.

Cousins will be held at The Yard, a fully accessible venue, on April 12th. Come for the sick lineup and stay for that one emotional Bollywood song you never thought could be remixed.

 

Lucidé

 

 

 

Launched last summer during the height of the heatwave, Lucidé brings innovation to the club space in new ways. Co-Founders Noudle, current Boiler Room sound engineer, and Avleen bring together live instrumentals with wicked dj sets. Sax and trumpet players intertwine between the beats of Funk and Bass House sets. The blend of different sounds captures the essence of the constant collision and blending cultures and identities experienced in London.

This Dalston based night is not one to be missed if you’re in the city with the next event at Ninety One on the 26th of April.

 

Follow Lucidé on Instagram.

 

Hungama

 

 

 

Hungama translated from Urdu to English means commotion. This night is a true physical manifestation of its meaning as debauchery rules the dance floor. Described by creator Ryan Lanji as a queer Bollywoood Hip Hop night, Hungama has been taking London by a storm this past year.  Come as dressed up or dressed down as you like, this night is all about serving looks and leaving people shook.

This month marks the one year anniversary with not one but three different events being held across London. April 27th, Hungama finds itself in the place it all began, The Glory London, with drag performances late into the night. Dalston Superstore will be hosting Hungama: Disco Deewane with all the classic Bollywood disco tracks in tow.

Also on May 11th, The Chateau in Camberwell will be hosting Hungama Hotel which will showcase the future of Asian creativity.

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Follow Hungama on Instagram.

 

 

With something for everyone, these events will surely go down in history — just don’t tell our parents.

 

 

Cover picture courtesy of Hungama Facebook Page

Yusuf Siddiqui is a writer and lover of cities big, small, and everything in between.
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