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Taste of India April 22 Celebrates That Nation's Seasons

Attendees are invited to experience the beautiful seasons of India during the 11th annual Taste of India festival Saturday, April 22 at Old Dominion University's Ted Constant Convocation Center. Admission and parking are free.

The vast country has a wide diversity of climates as each season greets different parts of the country. This year's Taste of India is created to showcase the different festivals and events that typically accompany each season, said Vinod Agarwal, ODU professor of economics and one of the event organizers.

"Different festivals mark the different seasons of the year. This year's Taste of India is designed to take guests through the Indian calendar," Agarwal said.

The annual festival showcases the diversity and pageantry of Indian culture with authentic Indian food, vendors and a Bhangra dance competition that has grown to include college teams from across the East Coast. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The most popular single-day cultural event organized by an ethnic group in the region, Taste of India is a collaborative effort among hundreds of Indians living in Hampton Roads.

Old Dominion has been a sponsor of Taste of India since its inception. Agarwal said the event annually brings 7,000 to 10,000 to the Old Dominion campus.

"A few years ago, the State of the Region Report had a chapter which demonstrated the impact the Indian diaspora has on Hampton Roads," Agarwal said. "The community has many business people, computer scientists, engineers, medical professionals and people working in higher education. There is tremendous pride in the accomplishment of the community."

Cultural programming will run throughout the day at Taste of India. There will be vendor booths, kids' carnival games and henna hand painting. At 1 p.m. there will be a yoga demonstration, and at 2 p.m. the college Bhangra competition will begin.

At 4 p.m. a ceremony with garland of India's seasons will be held, followed by a Bollywood Zumba event at 6 p.m.

Yoga and meditation workshops will also be conducted throughout the day, and a $5,000 Taste of India scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior from a Hampton Roads school. The scholarship winner will be selected by judges from The Virginian-Pilot.

Other sponsors of Taste of India include TowneBank, Anthem, Pilot Media, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare and Old Dominion University.

For more information about the event, see the Taste of India website.

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