India Association of Topeka organized the 15th annual India Fest Aug. 26 at Big Gage Shelter House in Gage Park.
India Fest is an annual event open to the public where IAT is able to celebrate India culture with the rest of Topeka. The proceeds from the event are donated each year to a different local charity or organization.
“The purpose of the India fest is basically to promote Indian culture and to donate the money collected to an organization,” Azyz Sharafy, professor of art and member of the organizing committee for the event. “Last year we donated it to the zoo, and this year we’re donating to the firefighters. So, while promoting our culture, we also help the society and community.”
The festival offered apparel, cosmetics, art and authentic Indian cuisine for purchase. Among those foods were chole, puri bread and aloo curry.
“Most of the people who come to the stall buy the clothes or the accessories irrespective of them being Indian or not,” Divyashree Ramagiri, volunteer for a clothing stall. “People mostly buy the saris, salwars kameez and the Indian jewelries like bangles, hair clips, bracelets etc.”
Entertainment was also provided at the event. A DJ played Bollywood music for attendees to dance to, henna tattoos provided custom tattoos and inflated slides were set up for kids to play on.
“It’s a very happy moment with so many Indians working together for a cause,” said Shilpa Basoli, henna tattoo specialist. “Also, we’ve been working since this morning and I’m very excited and very happy to see the huge crowd turning up and utilizing the facilities provided here.”