Who we are and what we do:
BCS was set up by the local Bengali community in 1982 and is now a UK registered charity. As one of the oldest cultural organisations of its kind, our mission is to practise and preserve Bengali culture and its literary, artistic and educational heritage. We provide a common platform to the Bengali community in and around Reading for these purposes and at the same time, we try to expose other communities to our culture and heritage.
BCS organises at least four regular events every year, these are:
Durga Puja (Sharad Utsav)
Other events are organised as and when opportunities arise, such as musical programmes, dramas and plays, day outings, picnics, puja parikrama and fundraising for worthy causes.
Unless otherwise notified our activities are normally held at the following address:
Indian Community Centre
2 Norris Road
Reading RG6 1NJ
BCS is a Registered Charity (registration no -1161671) and its affairs are conducted in accordance with the provisions of its constitution. The administration and management of BCS is carried out by a Board of Trustees, elected by the members.
BCS is not a closed society.
In the beginning there was only ‘adda’ (a kind of informal get together!), a unique feature of Bengali culture and so often the inspiration behind many Bengali ventures. The actual roots of BCS can be traced back to the late 70s when many of the first generation immigrant Bengali families of Reading used to meet in the houses of their common friends to socialise and exchange views. Soon these families realised that there was no Bengali organisation in the Reading area and felt the need to get together a few times a year to celebrate a few uniquely Bengali socio-religious traditions such as the Saraswati Puja, Bijoya Sammilani etc. As a consequence, BCS Reading was formed to provide a medium through which Bengali people could meet, socialise, maintain a cultural identity and have fun.
We started off by hiring church halls, community centres and school halls for our many activities including a Bengali language teaching class for children, dance and music programmes by famous Indian artists as well as local performers, drama performances etc. Also we organised such activities as trips to theme parks, boat trips and sports for children.
In the early 80s, the Indian Cultural Association (ICA) was formed comprising of the major Indian ethnic groups of Reading with the main objective of providing a permanent venue for their meetings and activities. With the financial help from the local government, Reading Borough Council, the Trustees of ICA bought the property at 2 Norris Road, Reading for this purpose. At that time, the Bengali Cultural Society became a founder member and a Trustee of the ICA consortium.
We owe a debt of gratitude to those pioneering members, both past and present, who have through their hard work and dedication nurtured and upheld the cause of BCS through its formative years, and especially to those who are no longer with us -- late Kunal Majumder, late Anil Sur, late Hans Bhatia and late Kanti Ghosh.
This, in short, is the genesis of BCS Reading