SAN DIEGO, CA- The illuminating , entertaining and fun-filled Festival of Lights (Diwali), which included the Festival of Dolls (Navarathri) and India Unveiled, presented by the San Diego Indian American Society, (SDIAS) was essentially a rich sampling of India, with a delightful variety of all its flavors.
The young LA—based singer, Aditya Rao, of “Aila Aila” fame, and protégé of the world-famous, iconic musician A. R. Rehman, had the huge crowd rocking and rolling to his crooning. Imagine all this - in the perfect setting of the splendid Organ Pavilion, a full yellow moon, fluffy clouds, cool breezes, the delicious, mouth-watering flavors of scores of tasty Indian treats being distributed nearby! A perfect end to the day was the strongly evocative, serene procession of 1008 lamps carried by 64 women.
Meanwhile, right across from the Pavilion, on both Oct 15 and 16 at the Mingei International Museum of Art, visitors were treated to a fascinating glimpse into traditional India and its rich, cultural and ancient spiritual heritage. Navarathri,(a festival celebrating renewal of the divinity within us through introspection, was celebrated by talented artistes, both children and adults, offering creative artistry and virtuosity in SangitaSeva, NatyaSeva, to the Creator.
Mingei Museum came alive with intricate and breathtaking l dance forms such as Bharathanatyam, Kathak, Odissi; the rich and soul-baring Carnatic and Hindusthani devotional music both vocal and instrumental; colorful and meaningful displays of rangoli with flowers, beads, stones, and the traditional rice flour “kolam”. And that was just to whet your appetite for the real “divine” treat which was a huge display of “Golu” dolls - traditional dolls specifically made for the festival of Navarathri, depicting the whole evolutionary spectrumall the way to the Ultimate Divinity. Marking this as a special celebration of Universal Oneness and World Unity were doll displays from Japan and China. Goody bags with special “Golu Prasad” and “bindis” were given away.
Earlier in the afternoon, in nearby Recital Hall, the highly-acclaimed author of “India Unveiled”, Robert Arnett gave his fascinating insight on wild, beautiful, cultured, exciting India, while local musicians and artistes gave a brief educational introduction to the rich culture of India, and henna artists painting incredibly intricate and beautiful patterns on the palms of interested visitors. Technical progress in ancient and modern day India was discussed, as was the science of Yoga.