This weekend is, among many other arts happenings in Memphis, IndiaFest 2010. Before this week, I had never heard of IndiaFest. Sure, I know barbecue fest, Italian Fest, Greek Fest (there's actually a couple of those), Africa in April, Memphis in May; there are enough cultural events, fairs and festivals to fill the calendar.
I discovered IndiaFest thanks to the beauty of NPR (there we go again with that trying to be the "artsy NPR listening guy" thing again). I just happened to be listening to WKNO's "Checking on the Arts" segment the other morning when I heard a promo for IndiaFest.
Then, I happened to see a press release for the event and decided to quickly turn it around as a story in the Aug. 26 edition of The Daily News.
Memphis is known for a lot of things, many different cultures, numerous events. But Indian culture? I have to admit that I hadn't thought much about it. Sure, there are restaurants around town, even a number of grocery stores (I know of two in Collierville alone).
I don't know much about India or its culture. I haven't seen "Slumdog Millionare" or any Bollywood productions for that matter. That is reason enough to consider attending Saturday's festivities at Agricenter International. This year's event will focus on Indian cinema.
But learning about Indian food, maybe even taking my 3-year-old son to participate in the Indian drum-making activity sounds like fun, especially considering it only costs $2 to get in.
India Association of Memphis' 8th Annual IndiaFest has four to five core focus areas, among them a bazaar with vendors selling merchandise, food from local Indian restaurants, kids activities and cultural exhibits.
I might just check it out. I encourage you to do the same.