Touch of India at Wyndham

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It’s India – and the world – at Festival of South Asia event!

Festivals of South Asia (FOSA) gave us a great opportunity not only to celebrate our homeland in our adopted country, but also to see how our new country has welcomed us.
As Wyndham Mayor Peter Maynard Flag hoisted the flag with the help of Councillor Gautam Gupta, it was obvious how warmly the people of Australia have accepted and appreciated the Indian diversity, as one of their own.
A two-day affair at the Werribee Racecourse, the event saw a footfall of some 13,000 people in all. (The free parking and the nominal entry fee perhaps added to the attraction of it all.)

That India is still in our hearts, was showcased to all as the patriotic fervor played out on stage. Community members participated in large numbers in various programs like singing, dancing, poetry and even a fashion show and an Elsa parade. Like always though, it was the dances that held all in thrall – from Kathak and Bharatnatyam to popular Bollywood numbers. No less than 230 performers strutted their stuff on the stage that day.

The tableau presentations of various states and the Indian National Anthem definitely brought a lump to the throats of many, as they remembered the struggle their forefathers went through, to get their freedom.
It was a perfect fusion of music, drama, ethnicity and a celebration of the colours of India.

Events such as this highlight the extent to which Indians settled in Australia still respect and cherish their roots while they acknowledge the success and opportunities that Australia has provided them.
The gorgeous MC Rashi Kapoor reached out to everybody in her trademark friendly style. Already well-known in the community but now trying her luck at the national stage with the Miss Australia pageant coming up, we are all definitely behind her – go Rashi!

And if Indians are around, can food be far behind?! The first day saw a South Asian Food Fest, with many food stalls which catered to the tastes of Indo-Australian cuisine. From dosas to churros, biryani to Kerala curries, pav bhaji to idli sambhar, chole bhature to vada pav and kulfis to samosa chat, it looked like mini India had descended on this beautiful Australian landscape.

The second day, you could expand your horizons a bit more at the International Food Festival, and try Mexican, Italian, Lebanese… hey, how about Ethiopian?? Plus, the fanciest coffees and burgers and ice creams you have ever tasted, among a variety of other offerings. Yummo!
It was definitely an occasion to be proud of our history as we revisited our rich heritage and culture, while we surge ahead and make our mark in this magnanimous Australian continent, and indeed, in what has become a global village.
Vande Mataram!!!

Gaurav Masand
Gaurav Masand
IT professional by mind, photographer by heart. Loves travel and food photography. Blogs at secondrecipe.com

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