CHAI (Culture, History and I)
CHAI is a London based voluntary organisation, with an over-arching aim to promote the understanding and appreciation of South Asian culture and history by delivering intercultural community projects.CHAI provides opportunities for members of different community groups to gain new experiences, share their heritage, learn from each other and make new friends.CHAI preserves community heritage and shares that with the wider community through exhibitions and online resources.
CHAI and Kingston Heritage Service regularly work together on collaborative projects. To date CHAI has delivered three heritage lottery funded projects, with exhibition and workshop support from Kingston Museum staff. Each exhibition has brought in first time visitors from the local South Asian communities.
Yesterday Once More (2013 - 2014)
This project captured untold stories invoked by vintage Bollywood film music and song. The project was delivered with Milaap members through heritage visits, workshops and activities. The exhibition was hosted by Kingston library in and Kingston Commuity Case in 2014. For most of the participants, this was their first visit to Kingston Museum.
Talking Objects - Sharing Stories (2015 – 2016)
The project was delivered with EEP, Saheli and Milaap members, through a series of heritage visits and workshops. This resulted in an exhibition in 2016 at Kingston Museum. The exhibition highlighted migration stories of Kingston’s South Asian Communities, through objects that made the journey with them to the UK, reflecting the culture and tradition of their homelands. At the Private View, the exhibition and booklet were officially launched by The Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Roy Arora.There was a complimentary programme of activities for the duration of the exhibition.
My Spice Box Remedies (2017 – 2019)
The project was delivered with Kingston Chinese Association, Milaap, Saheli and was supported by The Kingston Environment Centre. The project captured, documented and shared traditional home remedies passed down through generations. This resulted in an exhibition at Kingston Museum in 2018/19. The exhibition highlighted traditional spice and herb home remedies; display cases with spices and herbs in their dry forms with tools and utensils; smell and touch bags; jars of whole dried spices and herbs and a spice box. There There was a complimentary programme of activities for the duration of the exhibition including a booklet and film.
The following items have been donated to Kingston's Heritage Collections:
Yesterday Once More – Revisiting our Heritage, booklet
Talking objects – Sharing stories, booklet
My Spice Box Remedies, booklet
Yesterday Once More – Revisiting our Heritage, DVD
Visit CHAI's website for more information at chaiculture.org