India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence from Britain and IndiaFest Milwaukee marks its 10th year in Wisconsin. On Saturday Aug 20th, 2022 festivities began with the hoisting of the tricolor flag of India. This was followed by the rendition of the national anthems of both countries, India and the United States, in the presence of dignitaries and leaders. A chariot of Lord Jagannath, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, adorned with intricately decorated deities and traditional ornaments led the parade, accompanied by devotional songs.
India Day celebration at IndiaFest Milwaukee 2022 was graced by State Representative Scott Allen, former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, State Representative Dan Knodl, Former State Representative Jim Ott, Fond Du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney, and Milwaukee County Chief Equity Officer Jeff Roman.
Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers, Mayor of Milwaukee Cavalier Johnson, Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn, US Senator Ron Johnson, State Senator Chris Larson, Ambassador of India to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Consul General of India (Midwest) Amit Kumar, Milwaukee Alderman Ashanti Hamilton and Mayor of Sun Prairie Paul Esser were among the invitees. Both the country’s flags were highlighted throughout the celebration, signifying the strong India-US relationship.
Officially, Aug 15th, 2022 was proclaimed as INDIA DAY in Wisconsin by Governor Tony Evers, in Milwaukee County by Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, and in the City of Milwaukee by Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Proclamations attached.
IndiaFest Milwaukee showcased the culture, history, and heritage of India’s ancient Indic civilization. It is more than food and dance. Ancient Indic culture is promoted through displays of traditional clothing, explanations, and displays of arts. Indian Instrument DJ Jason McKinsey, who is associated with David Latterman’s show, returned from a European tour the day of IndiaFest Milwaukee; and performed a unique rendition with classical Indian instruments. Hindustani classical music with Sitar, an eons-old Indian stringed instrument, was presented by Indrajit Banerjee, who traveled from Texas to Milwaukee. Contemporary Bollywood music was performed by the popular Orchestra SaReGaMa from Illinois.
Local talents were showcased through martial arts, classical and contemporary music, and traditional and Bollywood dance art forms. Children engaged in creating Indian flags and making arts/crafts related to Indian culture and heritage.
A travel blogger from Los Angeles traveled to attend IndiaFest Milwaukee 2022 in Wisconsin, before planning a trip to India. IndiaFest Milwaukee in Wisconsin delighted him.
A number of companies, including Wisdom Infotech, Trayix, Planned Parenthood, Airport Animal Hospital, India Garden, True Skool, VK Petroleum, West Allis Veterinary Clinic, North Side Petroleum, and Best Brains supported and contributed to India Day celebration at IndiaFest Milwaukee 2022. A few volunteers of IndiaFest Milwaukee 2022 helped with morning set up despite occasional showers, even when it seemed like it would be soaked for the entire day. Perhaps Lord Jagannath had protected the celebration from up above.
IndiaFest Milwaukee is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the warmth, breadth, and depth of India, launched by Spindle India, Inc, a nonprofit organization, founded by Purnima Nath. IndiaFest Milwaukee is an inclusive platform that transcends religion, region, language, culture, community, borders and political bias to promote true diversity, equality, and the value of inclusion and coexistence.
Ms. Nath, who serves as volunteer President of Spindle India, Inc., and produces IndiaFest Milwaukee says, “in America, people do not know much about Indian culture beyond a few popular food items such as curry, samosa, naan. Sadly, there are many misconceptions about India, the Indian community, and the ancient Indic civilization in the United States. Through such avenues and platforms, we can break barriers of cultural differences and communicate about the oldest-living-surviving Indian civilization through education, learning, and connecting that fosters understanding and opens the doors to potential broader acceptance.”