Festival Celebrates Indian Independence with Dancing, Singing, and Food
Hundreds of members from Houston’s South Asian community gathered at Stafford Civic Center on Sunday for the India Fest, which commemorated India’s 66th Independence Day. India achieved independence from the British on August 15, 1947. The event also celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, who influenced a generation of Indian freedom fighters.
Event chair Mahesh Wadhwa highlighted the event as an opportunity to additionally celebrate many Indians’ new home, “Our youth is having the best of both worlds, conveniences of our country of adoption, as well as the rich cultural heritage or our country of origin.” The festivities were a collaborative effort by the India Culture Center, Office of the Consulate General of India, and numerous Indo-American organizations.
Lively dancing and singing from numerous community youth groups added to the environment. Most groups fused regional traditions with modern interpretations, although the highlight of the event may have been the myriad of colors and elaborate costumes. Maharaja Bhog and Madhuram Mirch Masala provided thali and treats to meet visitors’ desires for Indian cuisine.
Booths featured many community service associations and non-profits, including DAYA, Sewa International, and Vibya. The India Fest named the following as outstanding community organizations: Greater Sharpstown Management District, the Tagore Society of Houston, the Foundation for India Studies, Hindus of Greater Houston, the Jain Society of Houston, and the JVB Preksha Center.
By Paul Pass