Wisconsin Celebrates 9th Milwaukee India Fest and 75th Independence Day of India

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Milwaukee India Fest in Wisconsin Aug. 21, 2021. From left, Paul Truess presenting Certificate of Special Senatorial Recognition of Spindle India to Purnima Nath. From Left to right – Joseph Scala, Paul Truess – Regional Director Office of US Senator Ron Johnson, Steve Ponto – Mayor Brookfield, Purnima Nath – Founder, Chairwoman & President Spindle India, Inc., Bob Spindell – Chair, RPW Congressional District 4 Chair, Megha/Neha Patil – Youth Volunteers.. Photo: courtesy Spindle India Inc.

The 9th year of India Fest Milwaukee & 75th Independence Day of India was celebrated recently in Wisconsin on Aug. 21, 2021, at the natural amphitheater at Humboldt Park which was decorated with tricolor Indian flags, traditional Indian cot, Buddha, temple, peacocks, wheels and a display of Natraj & Ganesh. It was organized by Spindle India Inc.

Governor Tony Evers 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,” a press release from organizers said.

In his proclamation, Gov. Evers recognized IndiaFest’s contributions in celebrating Indian culture and diversity beyond borders, boundaries, language, region and religion, and providing a platform for collaboration, connection, education, and growth by fostering cultural exchange and appreciation.

Former Governor Scott Walker first recognized India Day in 2018, and since then it has been recognized every year till now.

Chief Minister of Tripura, India Biplab Kumar Deb commended Founder and President of Spindle India, Inc, Purnima Nath, for her initiative.

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Danial Kelly said he and his wife 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, Justice Kelly said, adding that America’s culture is far richer because of the contributions of Indians who call Wisconsin home.

Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett proclaimed India Day on Aug 15 noting Nath’s hard work in securing a proclamation, and organizing IndiaFest as did State Senator Chris Larson.

From left, Megha/Neha Patil – Youth Volunteers, Joseph Scala, Paul Truess – Regional Director Office of US Senator Ron Johnson, America’s Young Marines Color Guard, Purnima Nath – Founder, Chairwoman & President Spindle India, Inc., Steve Ponto – Mayor Brookfield, Bob Spindell – Chair, RPW Congressional District 4. Photo: courtesy Spindle India Inc.

Regional Director Paul Truess from the office of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson handed a Certificate of Special Senatorial Recognition to Spindle India, Inc., commending the organization for continued dedication, and efforts to bring visibility to the Indian community in Wisconsin.

Praises also came from Chair of 4th Congressional District of Wisconsin Bob Spindell, who said IndiaFest reminded him of his visit to India several years ago.

India Day Proclamation in the City of Milwaukee by Mayor Tom Barrett. Left to right – Joseph Scala, Paul Truess – Regional Director Office of US Senator Ron Johnson, America’s Young Marines Color Guard, Purnima Nath – Founder, Chairwoman & President Spindle India, Inc., Steve Ponto – Mayor Brookfield, Bob Spindell – Chair, RPW Congressional District 4. Photo: courtesy Spindle India Inc.

India’s flag was hoisted by all the guests, national anthem of India was sung by children of Hindu SwayamSevak Milwaukee Chapter, and national anthem of America was sung by Appleton resident Joseph Scala wearing a dhoti.

A parade was led by Dhol and the American youth army followed by guests and children cheering “Vande Mataram”“Bharat Mata Ki Jai”“God Bless America” while waving both Indian and U.S. flags.

International participants engaged through newly launched program called IFM Global Engagement Initiatives (IFMGEI) with beautiful artworks under the theme of “Ancient Bharat until 1000 AD ” were showcased and prizes were given to those judged the best.

  1. Folk art – womanby Kuku Kacher (7) won the 1st place in Young Bud category.
  2. In the youth category, Divyangana Saha (11) drew a Raj darbar (royal court)– King enjoying folk music grabbed the 1st, Advaita Naik (12) portrayed the beautiful Brihadeeeshwara Shiva temple of TamilNadu 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
  3. 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 Shubhra Prasad managed the flow of the program.

Dance judges Rakhi Sinha, Anuri Shah, and Susan Abraham declared –

  1. Neha/Megha Patil winner of the 1stplace; Ria Kotur /Adviti Vemuri 2nd, and Raima Sinha/ Saanvi Sudipta Sahoo/Archisha Dutta/Peehu Das in 3rd
  2. Under adult category, Anoushka Prasad/Riya Lahoti won 1stand Subhi Kumar/Muskan Ahuja grabbed 2nd

Restaurants and businesses from near and far joined IndiaFest with their specialties.

Other highlights at the festival were a classical flute performance by Illinois resident Raju Bankapur, classical Indian instrumental duet with Sitar by Indrajit Banerjee from Texas, and Tabla by Shankhachur Lahiri from Florida.

Bollywood Dhamaka was performed by Parth Patel, Radhika Chimata with Hitesh Master and orchestra Sa Re Ga Ma of Illinois.

Founded in 2013, Spindle India, Inc, through IndiaFest Milwaukee has been able to bring thousands of people from all ethnic backgrounds to celebrate India in Wisconsin, the press release said.

 

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