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Festival of India to celebrate 75th anniversary of independence

"In India, with North, South, East, West. It's very diverse. That's why this is a beautiful opportunity to bring all cultures together," event organizer said.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — August 15th is the nation of India's Independence Day. Local organizations are getting ready to celebrate and share their culture with the community.

This year is really special because it marks the 75th year of India's Independence Day and after two years of waiting because of the pandemic, the Festival of India is finally coming back.

The Indian Association of Buffalo represents over 3,000 families living in Western New York. It was formed four decades ago.

Their goal is to promote Indian Culture to future generations and the community. One way they are going this is by hosting their 4th Independence Day event at Canalside on August 13.

There will be yoga and cultural performances. You can get henna tattoos and buy traditional Indian clothes, jewelry, and art.

There will also be Indian food and other kinds of food you can try.

Rimi Das with the India Association of Buffalo said the community has been so welcoming to her since she first arrived and now she looks forward to sharing her culture with the community.

"Six years ago, when I came to buffalo for the first time as a student, my only worry was that I'll have a culture shock. I may not be able to fit into the culture here, but I am so glad that all the cities I chose Buffalo because it has been so friendly, not just the American culture, but it is so accepting of all cultures from all continents of the world. For a second, I didn't feel like I am thousands of miles away from home," Das said.

She said if anybody wants to experience India, August 13th is the day to do so.

Festival of India will be at Canalside on August 13th from 12:30 PM to 9 PM.

It's the Village of Williamsville that is hosting their first ever India's Independence Day Parade. It's extra special this year because it marks the 74th year of India's Independence Day.

The Council of Heritage and Arts of India, also known as CHAI, is hosting its events. This organization has been around for five years.

Their goal is to also share their cultural heritage and in doing so, bring everyone together. 

A few years ago, they installed a Gandhi Monument and now, they are hosting their first parade. Organizers said they are also excited to share their diverse Indian culture with the community.

"In India of course, with North, South, East, West. It's very diverse. That's why this is a beautiful opportunity to bring all of those cultures together," one CHAI member, said.

"If you travel five miles, like 5 miles or even 15 miles, you are just completely in a different state, different culture, different cuisine. So to me, seeing all of that outside of India is a huge deal. And so to have that starting in Buffalo is huge for our community of Indians here and also other cultures of the community, how we can bring everyone together. That's a big deal," Smitha Chutke, co-founder of CHAI, said.

One member of CHAI will be dressed as Mother Teresa and another will represent Mahatma Gandhi. 

On August 13, the event will start at 10 AM at Williamsville South High School. There will be remarks and festivities. Then, the parade will start at 11 AM.

On August 14, there will be a raising of an Indian flag at the Gandhi Monument at John James Audubon Parkway. That event starts at 10 AM.

All event organizers invite the community to come out, enjoy and also wear traditional attire.

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