Wisconsin Celebrates 9th Milwaukee India Fest and 75th Independence Day of India
India Fest Milwaukee 2021 (IFM2021) marks the 9th year of IndiaFest Milwaukee & the 75th Independence Day of India. Governor Tony Evers has declared Aug 15th, 2021, as India Day in the State of Wisconsin, “IndiaFest, which has been celebrated in Milwaukee since 2013, is the largest celebration of India Day in Wisconsin, drawing thousands of attendees and cultural program participants every year, in addition to commemorating India’s Independence, IndiaFest celebrates Indian culture and diversity beyond borders, boundaries, language, region, and religion, and provides a platform for collaboration, connection, education, and growth by fostering cultural exchange and appreciation, and the State of Wisconsin joins IndiaFest Milwaukee in celebrating India Day, therefore, I, Tony Evers Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim August 15th, 2021, as INDIA DAY throughout the State of Wisconsin and I commend this observance to all our state’s residents.” Former Governor Scott Walker first recognized India Day in 2018. 4th consecutive year India Day has been declared since then.
Chief Minister of Tripura, India, Shri Biplab Kumar Deb commended Founder and President of Spindle India, Inc, Purnima Nath, for her proactive initiative for the celebration of India and India’s culture, heritage, and history.
Former Supreme Court Justice Danial Kelly congratulates India on the 75th Independence Day of India. “My wife and I were enchanted with the beauty with which we were surrounded, the aromas of your incomparable cuisine, and the unmatched welcome we received throughout the day. The blessings of freedom should never be taken for granted, and I am happy to be celebrating them with you. Our culture is far richer for the contribution of the sons and daughters of the Indian subcontinent who make their home here. I am so glad they chose this state in particular, as I did so many years ago so that we could all become Wisconsinites together”, Justice Kelly proclaimed.
Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett proclaimed India Day on Aug 15th throughout the entire City of Milwaukee. “As a Founder, & President of Spindle India, Inc., Purnima Nath has been instrumental in having August 15th declared India Day in Wisconsin and in organizing, supporting, and sustaining IndiaFest”, commended State Senator of Wisconsin Chris Larson.
Regional Director Paul Truess from the office of the United States Senator Ron Johnson handed a Certificate of Special Senatorial Recognition to Spindle India, Inc., in recognition of the 9th Annual IndiaFest Milwaukee, and 75th Independence Day of India. Senator Johnson commended Spindle India, Inc., for continued dedication, and efforts to bring visibility to the Indian community in Wisconsin.
Chair of 4th Congressional District of Wisconsin Bob Spindell joined the celebration for the first time. Mr. Spindell asserted how Indian food, young children dressing up in traditional attires, white shirts, and all the ceremonies reminded him of his visit to India several years ago.
Hoisting of India’s flag by all the guests, the national anthem of India sung by children of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Milwaukee Chapter, and the national anthem of America sung by Appleton resident Joseph Scala wearing a dhoti graced the occasion. The parade led by Dhol in Mehul Adhikari and America’s youth army/ marine group was followed by the guests and children. Chants of “Vande Mataram”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, “God Bless America” were cheered while waving both India and United States flags.
International participants engaged through a newly launched program called IFM Global Engagement Initiatives (IFMGEI) with beautiful artworks.
Under the theme of “Ancient Bharat until 1000AD”, Folk art – woman by Kuku Kacher (7) won 1st place in the Young Bud category.
In the youth category, Divyangana Saha (11)’s painting of a Raj darbar (royal court) – King enjoying folk music grabbed the 1st, Advaita Naik (12) portrayal of the beautiful Brihadeeeshwara
Shiva temple of Tamil Nadu built by King Raja Raja Chola won the 2nd, and pencil sketch of Display of Bharat – Ashok Stambh (pillar) built between 268-232 BC, Hindu God Ganesh and Krishna temple by Neha Patil (14) and pencil sketch of Old Temple Premise by Megha Patil (11) won joint 3rd prize.
Under the adult category, a beautiful depiction of Sujata offering milk rice to the Lord Buddha by Krishna Nath Bhowmik won 1st place.
Youth emcees Deeksha Pidikiti, Megha Patil, Neha Patil, Alabhya Prasad under the guidance of IFM Program Coordinator Mrs. Shubhra Prasad beautifully managed the flow of the program.
Our esteemed Judges of dance, Rakhi Sinha, Anuri Shah, and Susan Abraham declared Neha/ Megha Patil the winner of the 1st place, Ria Kotur/ Adviti Vemuri 2nd, and Raima Sinha/ Saanvi Sudipta Sahoo/ Archisha Dutta/ Peehu Das in 3rd place.
Under the adult category, Anoushka Prasad/ Riya Lahoti won 1st and Subhi Kumar/ Muskan Ahuja grabbed 2nd place.
“I love to be part of IndiaFest as it’s the celebration of Indian Independence Day. I got connected to Spindle India in 2017 and since then I am a part of it. Since 2018 I have been taking care of cultural programs, and love to be able to help celebrate Indian Independence. Thank you, Purnima Nath, for giving me an opportunity to be part of it”, said Program Coordinator Mrs. Prasad.
Restaurants and businesses from near and far joined with their Indian delicacies. Bombay Sweets, Tandoor, Indian Delight, Boba Tea, Sensational fruits, and Savaliya’s kitchen from Alabama participated. Local businesses Z&Z entertainment, Northwestern Mutual, Trienergy Health, ProLife Wisconsin, and Labourers in Christ from Michigan, to Jewelry & threading by Nilima, to Milwaukee police officers to Wisconsin Falun Dafa association, to the campaign office of senatorial candidate Steven Olikara, had graced this special occasion celebrating India in Wisconsin.
A beautiful venue with a natural amphitheater setting of Humboldt Park was decorated with tricolor Indian flags, traditional Indian cot, Buddha, temple, peacocks, wheels. The display of Natraj & Ganesh brought warmth to the atmosphere. Business vendors donned their merchandise, services, products & food items. Visually, aesthetically, musically with spices & gorgeous traditional Indian attires in IndiaFest Milwaukee was a celebration worth noting. Classical music performance of flute by Illinois resident Raju Bankapur, classical Indian instrumental duet with Sitar by Indrajit Banerjee from Texas & Tabla by Shankhachur Lahiri from Florida instilled a traditional cultural legacy. East meets West – the fusion performance with renowned Fareed Haque band combined both styles of music (traditional and contemporary) along with Sitar, tabla, guitar, bass & drums.
Bollywood Dhamaka beats performed by Parth Patel, Radhika Chimata with Hitesh Master and orchestra Sa Re Ga Ma of Illinois.
Mark Carvalho, Gaurav Kukreja, Arnab Bag, Pooja Kumar, Manjunath Patil, Sachin Kumar, Sandeep Salunkhe, Shriram Kelkar, Ashita Verma, Jim Brugger, Bharat Prasad, Jatinder Singh, Anoushka Prasad, Neha Patil, Alabhya Prasad, Megha Patil, Suparna Nath, Shubhra Prasad, Pratima Nath volunteered for event day setup/ teardown & planning activities.
Founded in 2013, Spindle India, Inc, through IndiaFest Milwaukee we were able to bring thousands of people from all ethnic backgrounds under one umbrella to celebrate India in Wisconsin on a grand scale, and spread awareness of India’s diversity, heritage, history, and culture, with little to no resources. Spindle India, Inc, a non-profit organization strengthening India-U.S. relations. “Due to the unprecedented time of an ongoing global pandemic and unpredictable weather we were hurt, yet we have done our best to bring a platform for experiencing the essence of India to Wisconsin and celebrated 75th Independence Day of India safely with the community,” exclaimed Purnima Nath, Founder, Chairwoman and President of Spindle India, Inc. “IFM is a well-organized service brought for the benefit of the society. We are looking forward to celebrating the 10th year extra-special milestone in IFM2022. Spindle India, Inc., has a bigger purpose, and we are committed to serving our purpose, even with all the challenges and lack of resources.” – stated Ms. Nath.
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