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India festival offers cultural lessons

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

The South East North Carolina Asian Indian Association (SENCAIA) celebrated culture March 15 at the fourth annual India Festival at the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville.

The aroma of authentic Indian food engulfed the coliseum as people of all ethnicities roamed the racks of saree’s, Indian wraps for women, jewlery, clothes and trinkets.

Music from drums and an accordion-like instrument drifted through the crowd as SENCAIA tried to add an authentic Southeast Asian feeling, with decorations of draping curtains and pictures of cities in India amidst the traditional, brightly colored outfits of the natives.

All proceeds from the event were donated to Wounded Warriors 82nd Air Force Division at Fort Bragg.

The festival entertained buyers with singing, dancing and two fashion shows.

Poonam Campos, 12, Kajal Campos, 13, and Sathyaprya Mandjiny, 17, performed several original Indian dances together and separately.

The girls said they have each been taking classes in Fayetteville for approximately three years.

The fashion show modeled men, women and children’s Indian clothes and jewelry.

Vendors sold items such as spices, bags, sculptures and figurines, many of them gleeming gold and metallic red.

Rebekah Callaway, 21, was helped into a blue and peach saree as she posed for cameras.

The activity offered guests pictures of themselves dressed for fun in traditional Indian attire.

Other activities included Henna tattoos and a kids corner, which allowed kids to color pictures by gluing colored sand and pebbles to outlined designs on paper.

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Updated: Thursday, March 27, 2008
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