MEMBERS of the Island's Indian and Asian communities, as well as the Island's MP, Bob Seely, local councillors and public sector workers, celebrated the festival of Diwali in Ryde.

The Diwali or festival of light, the Hindu equivalent of Christmas, was very well attended with about 260 guests.

Mr Seely lit a torch to kick-start proceedings at The Balcony, Ryde which culminated in a firework display on the beach.

There was a brilliant cultural programme with displays of beautiful Indian costumes specially designed and brought over from India.

Dances were choreographed by Anupama Singh depicting Indian culture at large along with Bollywood dances and songs with a live Bollywood band.

Both adults and children took part in the cultural programmes.

Children's dances were performed by Nithya Akundi, Imran Rahman, Rohan Sesetti, Aryan Singh, Rhea Thakrar, Aashima Maheshwari, Amelia Rahman and Avi Sesetti.

Delicious Indian food was also served by Swad Indian Cuisine from Sandown.

A raffle with part of the proceedings going towards the aid of the Hampshire and IW Air Ambulance was held.

The Diwali function has become very popular over the years and aims to keep alive the Indian traditions here on the Island.