Topeka’s Annual India Fest

Anna-Marie Lauppe, Yearbook Co Editor in Chief

India Fest is quickly approaching, and the culture-filled charity event has big plans this year.

India Fest is a cultural event which takes place in Topeka annually, and has been a joyful addition to the Topeka community since it started in 2003. Every year, the India Association of Topeka chooses a local cause receive the proceeds of the event. This year, the Topeka Habitat for Humanity is the chosen nonprofit organization with which the funds raised at India Fest will benefit. 

The Topeka Habitat for Humanity has several projects that are active in the community. Some of the programs that the nonprofit runs include rehab and repair programs where the organization travels to specific Topeka neighborhoods to provide needed revitalization. Topeka Habitat for Humanity also runs a ReStore, where they take various donations from community members and sell the items back at significantly reduced rates.

Nikki MacMillan, Community Engagement Director for Topeka Habitat for Humanity spoke on what India Fest is and how the nonprofit feels about being chosen as the beneficiary for this year’s festivities. 

“The goal of India Fest is to introduce Indian culture in its myriad forms to the Topeka community and raise funds for local nonprofit organizations. India Fest is such a cherished cultural event in our community. Topeka Habitat is honored to be selected as the beneficiary this year. We look forward to working with the India Association of Topeka to further our mission of building homes, hope and community,” Nikki MacMillan said. 

Azyz Sharafy is an India Fest committee member, as well as a professor here at Washburn University. At Washburn, Sharafy teaches electronic arts and graphic design. 

Sharafy said that the event is important for spreading Indian Culture. He also mentioned that there is a large Indian community here in Topeka. Apart from India Fest, their presence can be seen in Topeka through Indian restaurants, a Hindu temple and various traditional ceremonies hosted year-round.

Sharafy believes the Washburn University community could benefit greatly from attending this event because it helps expose students to culture. This event also helps involve students in the Topeka community, and creates a giving atmosphere with the pass-it-on spirit India Fest gives.

“The focus of education isn’t only to improve oneself.” Sharafy said. 

This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 at the Big Gage Shelter House, located between the mini train and the zoo. Although the event is free to attend, there are certain amenities such as food, henna tattoos and rides which one must purchase tokens to partake in.

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin, Shelby Hanson