World news story

Celebrating Commonwealth Day with sugar and spice

The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata marked Commonwealth Day with a Street Party at its office to celebrate the close Kolkata-UK cultural relationship.


With a theme of Sugar and Spice, there was a mix of the most popular spicy Kolkata high street food delicacies with a relaxed feel of an English picnic – with of course lots of sugary dainties. Among the food stalls and beverage counters, guests also participated in a number of games and sports including courtyard-cricket.

But the main event was a ‘GREAT Commonwealth Cake Bake-Off.’ A spin on the very successful British television show which now also airs in India, hotels from across the city - Marriott, Hyatt, Lalit, Novotel, Flurys and a special entry engaging next gen from International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and the British Deputy High Commission in-house Chef Ashok Das – displayed ‘showstopper cakes’ in a fun-filled competition.

The Cake Bake-Off was judged by celebrity judges included:

  • Kirti Bhoutika, 2016 Junior MasterChef champion Chef
  • Jishu Sengupta, Film star
  • Anil R Mukerji, the Chief Executive of the Tollygunge Club

The competition cakes were distributed to five organisations working with children:

  • Future Hope
  • Jungle Crows
  • Rainbow School (Loreto)
  • Antara and
  • Robinhood Army

Speaking on Commonwealth Day, the British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata Bruce Bucknell, said this year we are celebrating the role of the Next Generation in our future.

We are celebrating our common links and looking forward to a series of events in the next few weeks – the Commonwealth Games in Australia and then the very important Heads of Commonwealth Government meeting.

But before the meeting we will be organising a Youth Forum where representatives of young people of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth will come and meet their political leaders to talk about the future they want to see.

Further information

The UK will be hosting the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018.

Across the Commonwealth, member states face common challenges: weak global trade and investment flows; new cross-border security threats; the effects of climate change on small and other vulnerable states; threats to our shared values of democracy, good governance and inclusivity, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.

The summit will bring leaders together to work to ensure that the Commonwealth has the institutional strength to face these challenges effectively.

With the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’, leaders will focus on delivering:

  • a more prosperous future: boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment and maximising the opportunities offered by the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’
  • a more secure future: increasing cooperation across security challenges including global terrorism, organised crime and cyber attacks
  • a more sustainable future: building the resilience of small and vulnerable states to deal with the effects of climate change and other global crises
  • a fairer future: promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and good governance across the Commonwealth

Together we have the chance to build a reformed and revitalised Commonwealth and the UK is determined to help carry forward that agenda for the long term.

Key facts

The Commonwealth consists of 53 member states spanning six continents and making up a quarter of the world’s land mass.

The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people – one third of the world’s population.

The members of the Commonwealth are:

Africa - Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda and Zambia

Americas and Caribbean - Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago

Asia - Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka  Europe: Cyprus, Malta and UK

Pacific - Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu


For media queries, please contact:

Mainak De
Head, Press, Communications & Political Engagement, East & NE India
British Deputy High Commission Kolkata
Tel: +91 33 2288 5172-76

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Published 13 March 2018