If you’re looking for an authentic experience to give you a real taste of Indian lifestyle, then the Festival of India may just be the thing you need this weekend.
Taking place from March 16-25 at the Montecasino complex in Johannesburg, the festival offers people an opportunity to enjoy an authentic Indian market that will feature an extravaganza of fashion, cuisine and culture, including a selection of performances by some of the finest performers on the Indian music scene.
Speaking to IOL, one of the festival organisers, Amith Chopra, said this was the fourth year the festival was taking place at Montecasino and the event served as a cultural bridge between India and South Africa.
“We started this to expose South Africans to the variety of manufacturers and traders that India has to offer.
"They come to the festival with their latest merchandise and South African wholesalers, merchandisers and members of the public can come and see this large variety of items,” Chopra said.
He added that the festival had more than 80 exhibitors, with a vast product range.
Don’t miss out
“Visitors can see food, furniture, ladies' jewellery, clothing and a whole lot more.
"I believe that if you have never visited the fair, you are missing out on something special.
"In the past, visitors have told us the fair is like visiting India, but with everything under one roof,” he said.
Chopra said the festival was a great family outing, with an entertainment section for adults and a kiddies section.
“We have made sure that we have a little something for everybody,” he said.
Mike Page, general manager of Montecasino, said: “Celebrating the exotic delights of all things India, including the culture, fashion, cuisine and lifestyle, is always popular with South Africans of all walks of life and age groups.
"American author Mark Twain wisely once said, ‘Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.’ The 10-day Festival of India in March promises to share some of those treasures - and we have no doubt it will be a truly great experience for all our visitors.”
"Bollywood in Johannesburg" is what revellers are promised by organisers, from the latest and most intricate of Indian fashion and jewellery to intricately detailed, exquisite saris, perfectly cut and styled Punjabis or the bridal gown of your dreams.
The lanes of Montecasino are also set to be filled with accessories including prayer items, religious statues, astrological assortments and much more.
* The Festival of India is open to the public, and tickets cost R20 at the door. Gates open from 11am to 9pm daily.