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IndiaFest: Serving a Greater Purpose

Photo courtesy of Spindle India
(L-R) Bayview Alderman Tony Zielinski, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto, President Spindle India Purnima Nath, Air India Katherine Thorat - light a traditional lamp in an opening ceremony.

The Consul General of India in Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, stated in a previous interview, that events like India Fest are important both to the diplomatic ties between our two countries and to individual communities like Milwaukee, where both Indians and non-Indians are able to come together 

This weekend, the 4th annual celebration is scheduled for Saturday at Milwaukee’s Humboldt Park from 11-9pm.

The event is planned and put on by an organization called Spindle India. Founder and president, Purnima Nath, says she believes there is something very vital at stake in the effort. 

"We have a purpose in our life – all of us have. I’ve always been attracted to activities that helps mankind, more than me. More than my little family."

The yearly celebration of Indian culture culture stresses community collaboration, history, diversity and inclusion. "Every initiative we take, we really look into who are we doing it for, who is it going to benefit?" states Nath.

Credit Photo courtesy of Spindle India
Photo courtesy of Spindle India

The festival showcases various food, music, dancing, art and culture of India that is accessible for all cultures and all ages.

"It's amazing to see how we are able to bring so many different kinds of people together," says Nath. "And I think it was only possible because we were not just focusing on India, and we were not just focusing on Indians."

She did not expect India Fest to grow as popular as it  has since that first year, but for Nath, all of the work put into this festival extends far beyond the one day event. She further notes that the most important aspect of the festival is the platform in which the community can take advantage of, and the outreach it can create. Nath reminisces about the feelings she experiences every time she overlooks the park during the festival that reaffirms her determination:

"The first thing that gets into my head is, 'Look at what we have just created here.' They are performing in front of ten thousand people and they would never have this kind of opportunity," she says.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.