A little piece of India in Spanish Fork

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    By MARIA DEL MORAL

    The festival of India held in Spanish Fork celebrated Indian culture and a Hindu relgious holiday with food and dancing on Saturday.

    Few people in Utah County are ignorant of the fact that, once a year, they can visit India, right in Spanish Fork, without spending a lot of money, said Charu Das, festival organizer.

    Among the festival attendees were local residents as well as East Indians who came to the festival to feel closer to their homeland and to celebrate the holiday.

    The Dusshera, a Hindu religious holiday, is celebrated in Indian during the middle of September, said Sulabh Gupta, 21, a senior majoring in computer science and an East Indian.

    “The holiday basically symbolizes the conquest of good over evil,” Gupta said. Hindus celebrate the holiday by dancing, eating, visting temples, praying to Rama and meditating, Gupta added.

    Swapna Batabyal, a native from India has lived in Utah for three years. She brought her three-year-old daughter to the festival to expose her to the culture. “It makes me feel better to be here when I’m so far away from home,” Batabyal said.

    Traditional Indian clothing and Indian food, such as curry with bengali rice and giant lentil chips, were the fare of the day. Adding to the atmosphere and entertainment were traditional dances performed by volunteers.

    To help out with the event, BYU students volunteer each year, working in food booths and performing in the various dances, said Das. Also, most of festival attendees are BYU students, he added.

    Michael Ware, a graduate student in physics from Provo, said he came because he was curious.

    “I came to learn more about India,” Ware said.

    Gupta said he was glad he could make it to the festival and celebrate the Indian holiday.

    “It wasn’t that close to the real thing but it was pretty good. The food was decent.”

    Among the events that took place during the festival were the dances and the burning of the effigy demon Ravana along with fireworks. This unique and exotic event grows in attendance every year. The presence of temple adds greater interest. The temple will be completed by June 2000.

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