Festival of India to share culture, food, religious practicesWritten by Caitlin McGlade | | email@example.com
Learn about India’s many cultures and fill up on Indian food at the Hindu Temple and Heritage Hall of Toledo for the 20th annual Festival of India.
On Aug. 7 through 9, the temple at 4336 King Road will celebrate Hindu traditions and Indian lifestyle, opening its doors to hundreds of curious Toledoans.
“It’s a way to get the whole Indian culture together and promote culture more,” said Pradeep Vij, festival chairman of this year’s “Jhalak, A glimpse of India.”
Hindu traditions allow everyone to attend any service, Vij said, so the public may come to religious services Aug. 7 and Aug. 9, but the day particularly focused on exhibiting Indian culture is Aug. 8. For no charge, guests can go on temple tours starting at noon, and watch a variety of cultural programs from 2 to 8 p.m. These include songs, dances and acts about heritage, with vibrant costume displays ranging from all regions in India, Vij said.
Also from noon until 8 p.m., three restaurants will serve Indian delicacies ranging from $6 or $7 per meal, and vendors will sell Indian movies, music, costumes and other regionally authentic Indian products, according to a news release.
On Aug. 7, the celebration will start with a religious ceremony from 6 to 7:15 p.m., followed directly by dinner and then cultural programs from 8 until 10:30 p.m. Religious ceremonies starting at 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. will start the festival on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 will end the festival with religious ceremonies from 9 a.m. until noon, then a catered lunch from noon to 1 p.m.
Each religious ceremony will be different or observes a particular tradition or regional aspect of the religion, he said, noting that the festival this year is labeled “a glimpse” of India.
“Hinduism is a way of life; it’s very relaxed,” Vij said, adding that he hopes festival goers will attend some services to understand the religion. “Hinduism teaches God can be in anyone and by not hurting and by respecting an individual you are praying.”
Hinduism’s original name is “Sanatan Dharm,” with “Sanatan” meaning eternal and “Dharm” meaning the “actions, thoughts and practices that promote physical and mental happiness in the world and ensure God realization,” according to the Hindu Temple of Toledo’s annual festival publication from 2006.