Mark your calendars now for the Discover India 2018 celebration on Sunday, June 10. Now in its eighth year, Discover India is the largest culture and literary fest in America and is dedicated to celebrating the culture and tradition of the diverse communities of India. Dance, drama, art, literature, and displays highlighting the different states of India will bring the culture of India to life.

Organized by SelebRations, the annual Discover India celebration is just one part of the group’s effort to foster understanding and communication between and within communities. SelebRations has also organized annual bazaars, summer camps, and fund-raising efforts for natural disasters in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Nepal.

“We do events to bring our diverse communities together,” Shikha Rastogi, founder of SelebRations said recently. “We feel we should be bringing all the cultures under one roof.”

Performances will be a major part of Discover India 2018, highlighting the different languages, music, songs, dances, and instruments of the many states in India.

“The theme for this year is ‘Saga of Stories’ with a focus on folk tales and important historical events in India,” Shikha said. “Participants will showcase folk dances and other regional highlights from different parts of India.”

Shikha is excited by the energy and talent that will be showcased in the performances, as well as a quiz program where school-aged children can be challenged on their knowledge of India. There will also be creative writing opportunities for adults and children, as well as an art contest for children. Participation in various contests is open to all.

“We know this will be a fun and exciting event. The energy this event will create will promote cultural exchanges and bring our community closer together,” Shikha said.

A key part of Discover India 2018 is the opportunity to nominate individuals and organizations for the Torchbearer Award. These honors pay tribute to those who contribute deeply toward the local Indian community, as well as contributions made in India. Local residents can nominate New Jersey residents and organizations that have made an impact on the Indian community.

In addition to communicating cultures, the annual Discover India celebration gives back by raising funds for a specific charity. For 2018 money will be collected to assist the families of fallen military heroes in India. The Indian military forces are an important part of United Nations peacekeeping operations with more than 7,500 Indian military personnel serving wherever needed.

Discover India 2018 will be a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about the culture, art, people, history, and food of India. There will be opportunities to purchase items from local vendors and several food vendors will be on site to introduce Indian delicacies to everyone.

Discover India 2018, Patriots Theater, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton. Sunday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.srselebrations.com/discover-india-2018

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