Writer-actress Meera Syal has been honoured by the London-based Nazia Hassan Foundation for embodying the fusion culture of South Asians in the UK.
Syal was one of 12 award winners at a House of Commons ceremony held last night to commemorate the late Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan. Hassan shot to fame with her evocative Aap jaisa koi number in Feroz Khan's Qurbani.
"The ceremony this evening is the first for the individual recipients who come from a variety of backgrounds, vocations and professions," Nazia's sister, Zahra, said in her introductory speech.
"They have set examples by using their energies and talents to promote cultural fusion and vocations as Nazia did by using her music for novel fusion and committing herself to dedicated public service, besides being an icon for the new breed of Asians in the West.
South Asian diplomats and members of the House of Lords congratulated Nazia's parents for their efforts to use the newly created foundation to set up children's homes in memory of their daughter.
Indian Press Counsellor Navdeep Suri said of Nazia, "There is no doubting the popularity she enjoyed and the stir she created across the border at my university in Amritsar."
Pakistani High Commissioner Maleeha Lodhi said, "Nazia inspired a whole generation of people; she was an icon, a wonderful human being who cared and was compassionate."
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