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The International Club Attends Indian Festival

The International Club Attends Indian Festival
Sunday, October 7, 2007
by Achhunna Mali ‘08

While the rest of the campus was off on fall break, some members of the International Club made a trip to Richmond on Sunday, October 7, to attend the 26th Annual Festival of India. I was among the attendees, and we were accompanied by Professor Ciaran Buckley and Professor Angelo Rodriguez.

We left for Richmond early Sunday morning. The hour-and-a-half travel was lively; a few of us engaged in discussions while some found pleasure in a nap. We were all glad to leave the College bounds for a while. Upon arriving at Richmond, we had difficulty locating the venue since we were unaccustomed to the city, but it did not take long before we spotted the site of the festival.

The festival took place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. We were welcomed by traditional Indian music, and the aroma of the Indian delicacies being served made my mouth water. I suggested that we have lunch before taking part in the celebration. Most of us picked a curry-chicken and rice dish along with Indian milkshake and Mango Lassi, an Indian beverage. We also got to have some Paan, a breath-freshener made up of Betel leaf, although some did not enjoy its mouth-numbing effect, which is an acquired taste.

The place was filled with people, most of whom were from the Indian subcontinents. Aside from the food stalls, the festival also hosted a variety of shops that sold anything from Bollywood film DVDs to traditional Indian clothes. A stage was positioned at the center of the hall to accommodate dance programs. After one of the dance performances, Governor Tim Kaine praised the event organizing committee for having successfully hosted the festival every year. He also posed for pictures with attendees at the festival.

Experiencing different cultures is part of learning. The Festival of India was an opportunity to be submerged into Indian culture; I am glad we were able to attend the event.

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