WFY Today

Exclusive In Indiafest Returns Bursting with Culture

MELBOURNE — A festival celebrating Indian culture will provide a rich experience that includes the sounds, flavours, textures, colours, and other aspects of a vibrant community in Brevard County.

Next month, Indiafest will return to Wickham Park, 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne, for a weekend-long celebration of Indian culture.

The festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. Tickets cost $8 per adult and $4 per child under 12. Children under the age of five are admitted free.

“Old cultures have a lot to offer the world, and to bring hearts closer and different people closer, the only way is to understand your own and others’ cultures and traditions and enjoy them together,” said Nina Gadodia, the founder and CEO of Indiafest. “What are the steps to creating a more cohesive and loving community? It’s to better understand one another, and we try to do our part by bringing our culture to people so they can see, enjoy, and learn from it.”

Since its inception in 1996, Indiafest has grown into a large weekend event with over 10,000 attendees. The festival offers everything from entertainment and traditional Indian cuisine to yoga demonstrations, jewellery, and arts and crafts.

This year’s theme, “From Zero to Infinity,” represents India’s scientific contributions to the world, beginning with the discovery of zero as a decimal and continuing to the present, when India’s Chandrayaan-3 was the first craft to land near the lunar south pole.

According to event organiser Yasmin Majeed, the festival honours India’s contributions to the world in math, science, technology, arts, crafts, medicine, yoga, and other fields.

The festival gives back to the community in multiple ways. Every year, the festival donates a portion of its proceeds to local charities, and this year it will benefit Ageing Matters and The Children’s Hunger Project.

Indiafest attracts visitors from all over the country, including families who have recently relocated from India, residents with Indian heritage who want to share their culture with their American-born children, and those who are curious and eager to learn more about another country.

“Indiafest gives a little bit of insight into the culture for someone who has never left here and doesn’t know anything about India,” Mr. Majeed said. “We basically bring India to Brevard County.”
A Discover India booth contains information, hands-on activities, and displays that continue the theme of Zero to Infinity.

There will also be stage events throughout the day featuring music and dance performances.

“We hope people take in some of the fun, and definitely the food,” he said. “There will be lots of food there and something for everyone’s palate.”

Majeed’s personal favourites include tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala with naan.
“For me, Indiafest reinforces my culture,” Majeed explained. “After leaving home, you feel a little lost initially, and it’s nice when you find a little niche that reminds you that you are who you are and you can be proud of it.”

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