India may be the seventh-largest country in the world with the second-highest population, but Memphians can get a small glimpse into the large republic this Saturday, November 2nd, at the 11th annual India Fest at Agricenter International.
The food of India varies greatly by state and region, but cuisines from all over the country will be represented as 40 vendors, a mix of local Indian restaurants and home cooks, dish out traditional fare — dosa, samosa, dahl, naan, mango lassi, and all sorts of chaat (Indian street food) — from numerous states.
Performances will showcase the different styles of dance popular by region. Vendors will market saris, bindhi stickers, jewelry, and other clothing, and henna artists will create elaborate, temporary artwork on the hands of willing participants. A kids' corner will offer games, Indian stories, and crafts.
This year's theme — "Relive the Royals of India" — pays tribute to the kingdoms of India in the 18th and 19th centuries with artwork throughout the festival.
Deepak Rawat, one of the festival's organizers, says he hopes the fest not only serves to instill pride for the native homeland of Memphis' large Indian population but also to introduce their culture to the broader Memphis community.
"India Fest is an opportunity to showcase our cultural diversity and ethnicity and to mingle with other cultures in Memphis," Rawat said. "We encourage Memphians to indulge their curiosity about Indian culture while leaving behind the ever-present issues of politics and religion."
India Fest 2013 at Agricenter International, Saturday, November 2nd, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets are $3 for adults, $1 kids. Admission is free to kids who bring two cans of food to donate to the Mid-South Food Bank. indiafestmemphis.org