JACKSON TWP. Athletics in the form of cricket, cuisine from different regions of India and blaring music from the Indian subcontinent all came together in a festive setting at Fisher Park.
Sunday was the annual IndiaFest of the India Association of Greater Canton. Due to concerns about the coronavirus of 2020, the annual festival was canceled last year.
“We started this a few years ago to share our culture with the wider Canton community,” said Anant Mathur, an information technology engineer. “We really want to expand it, make it a summer event.”
Several men were engaged in a game of cricket on the north side of Fisher Park on the 5800 block of Lake O’Springs Avenue NW. The game is similar to softball where a contestant uses a paddle-like bat like a bat to hit a green ball sent to him by a bowler.
“Last time we had 10 teams,” said Dr. Pradeep Nagajothi, a cardiologist. “This time we have four teams. We kept it local.”
The organizers acknowledged that festival attendance this year will likely be smaller than in previous years.
“Usually 300 to 400 people show up,” said Minesh Parikh, also an engineer.
Although India is a united country, according to festival organizers, it is made up of different cultures.
“You have different languages and different foods,” said Dr. Vankatesh Saravanan, an internal medicine physician. “We do this every year. We bring everything together. Cricket is an important sport in India.”
Many of the women at the festival were dressed in the colorful garments common in India.
Several food vending machines were located under the roof of a park pavilion. Some were identified with different regions of India. There was Punjabi Corner, Taste of Gujaret, Chennia Cafe and Biryani Now.
Lillian Fuentes, who is not of Indian descent, enjoyed Sunday.
“We were invited by one of the families here,” said Fuentes, who was accompanied by her husband, Joe Clark. “We wanted to try it to taste some of their food. It’s a really positive impression. It feels very inviting.”
Reach Malcolm at 330-580-8305 or [email protected]
On Twitter: mhallREP
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