For Virginians, the Festival of India has become an eagerly anticipated annual event, since it began in 1981. People from all over Virginia flock to the Greater Richmond Convention Center for two fun-filled days of music, dance, food, and culture. The Festival offers a unique opportunity to celebrate and explore Indiaís diverse culture and traditions, including authentic regional food, arts, crafts, and entertainment.
Started in 1981, by Dr. M.G. Kurup, the first India Bazaar, sponsored by the Hindu Center of Virginia, was attended by 1500 people. Since its start, the Festival of India has increased steadily both in size and in scope. Last year, more than 20,000 people attended the festival, a testimony to the growing popularity of Indian culture in the Central Virginia region. Most of the proceeds from the Festival go directly to the Hindu Center of Virginia.
At the Festival of India, one can enjoy a renowned cultural program, consisting of classical and modern Indian live performances, as well as East-West fusion dance and music. One can also sample many different varieties of Indian cuisine, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, such as dosa, kachori, samosas, tandoori chicken and sweets, all of which are supplied by local Indian restaurants and families, and prepared fresh in front of patrons.
A dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer base ensures the success of the festival each year. There are also many stalls, which offer a multitude of activities for patrons of all ages to participate in, such as crafts, fortune telling, henna, and face-painting.
Vendors also sell a smorgasbord of traditional Indian clothing, jewelry, movies, music and other colorful souvenirs. One annual tradition at the India Festival is the cultural program competition that attracts participants of all ages to come and exhibit their unique talents including the ever-popular, crowd-pleasers such as Bollywood and Bhangra dances.
Overall, the Festival of India is a taste of the food, culture, music, dance, and tradition that is India. The festival is a small slice of India right here in Virginia --You donít have to travel all the way to India to experience it!
Each year Festival of India supports few charity organizations. FOI 2014 has identified Doctors without Borders and Childrenís Hospital as the beneficiaries for this year.We thank all our Corporate Sponsors, Volunteers and Participating Businesses for your support; and all attendees for a great turnout last year. We expect the same; even better support and participation from you all this year.
This year the theme for the Festival Of India is "handicrafts of India". Join us and explore the different dances. Also we will have yoga demonstrations and lectures from experienced teachers.