Saturday, August 13, 2022

Heritage of India Festival to be held in Westchester, NY on August 4

“There will be a kids’ centre, youth participation in dances and theater, seniors’ activities, a fashion show, vendors of Indian products and foods ranging from dosas to panipuris, according to executive members of the Indian American Cultural Association of Westchester”

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

The organizers of the 2022 Heritage of India fair – taking place after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic — in Westchester, New York’s Kensico Dam Plaza, on August 4, have said that there will be “something for everyone” at the mela.

There will be a kids’ centre, youth participation in dances and theater, seniors’ activities, a fashion show, vendors of Indian products and foods ranging from dosas to panipuris, according to executive members of the Indian American Cultural Association of Westchester, reported newsindiatimes.com.

The members of the core committee for the festival who spoke virtually on ITV Gold, a part of Parikh Worldwide Media, during a July 25 interview included Lisa Shah, a second generation Indian-American who is the Festival Chair; founding members Himanshu Pandya and Rohit Pandya, Founding Member and Past President, and Hiral Trivedi, Co-chair of IACAW.

Shah said this was the 22nd annual Heritage of India festival and that this year was more noteworthy because it is the 75th year of India’s independence.

This year, the theme of the fair/festival is “Peace and Harmony” and the symbol to represent this was a Banyan tree, Shah noted. “We chose the Banyan tree because of its deep roots, each different but intertwined. That is how we see all of us coming together,” Indians and non-Indians, Shah said.

Rohit Pandya described the year-long events held by IACAW including religious and non-religious programmes, calling it a “jam-packed schedule” and enormous variety.

Himanshu Pandya said all those working on the upcoming festival were passionate about promoting Indian culture and were working long hours over four months volunteering to make this festival a success.

The last Heritage of India Festival was held in person in 2019, and a virtual one in 2021. So, the excitement is immense for renewing the in-person event, organizers emphasized. They called the site of the event, Kensico Dam Plaza, as a “spectacular” venue worth visiting

Organizers estimate more than previous large attendance ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 people. There will be a main stage where dances and other performances will take place. Some 500 chairs in front of the stage will be there for people who wish to sit and watch; plus a section for children with activities of all kinds; the same for seniors; and the highlight “Panipuri competition” which had proved very popular in the past.

They advised people to car pool or use mass transit to get to the festival as parking spaces could be limited. They thanked the Westchester Parks Department for its support, including Park Police personnel.

The last Heritage of India Festival was held in person in 2019, and a virtual one in 2021. So, the excitement is immense for renewing the in-person event, organizers emphasized. They called the site of the event, Kensico Dam Plaza, as a “spectacular” venue worth visiting.

Trivedi said the day will start with a prayer and breaking of a coconut. Kids will start the events and the nation anthems will be sung by students. Dances will follow. All were encouraged to attend the effort of IACAW to bring India to the US, like a “home away from home.”

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