#PickoftheWeek | Food, Dance, Music, Art. It’s Diwali Time at Flushing Town Hall!
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with Indian art, dance, food, and music.
Flushing Town Hall kicks off a four-hour Diwali Extravaganza on Sunday, Nov. 19, at noon.
The ninth-annual event begins with master teaching artist Abha Roy and members of her Queens-based Srijan Dance Center providing a primer on Bollywood, Bhangra, and Kathak dance moves.
Then, the audience gets involved in a dance explosion with DJ Rekha spinning Bollywood-inspired tunes that combine Punjabi rhythms with Hip-Hop. Named the “Ambassador of Bhangra” by The New York Times, Rekha founded and led the Basement Bhangra recurring party for 20 years. The former Queens College student also worked on the Tony-winning Broadway show Bridge and Tunnel and received a Drama Desk nomination for Rafta Rafta.
Meanwhile, one of Abha Roy’s good friends and creative collaborators, Anju Gupta, will teach Rangoli, an Indian decoration style for floors, tabletops, and entrances to houses. The Mumbai native will also teach Hindi calligraphy, henna hand painting, and diya decorating.
In another room, Queens Curry Kitchen Owner Nupur Arora will share her cooking skills and secrets. The fashion-designer-turned chef has written several cooking books. She also runs the EZ Curry line of spices.
General admission is $20, but children can attend for$8.
Derived from the Sanskrit word for “row of lights,” Diwali (or Deepavali) is the most positive time of year for many Hindus and some Sikhs and Buddhists. It’s a time of solidarity when the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering.
Diwali was declared a public school holiday in New York City earlier this year, and it’s celebrated across the United States on Nov. 12. However, the festival spans a five-day period focused on the new moon with each day connected to a significance ordained by Hindu doctrine.
“The events at Flushing Town Hall celebrating the festivals of the multi-cultural population of Queens are a great occasion for people from different backgrounds to come together and celebrate each other’s cultures,” stated Mukund Padmanabhan of Guru Krupa Foundation, which has sponsored this Diwali since 2019. “These events are entertaining and informative, and also promote co-existence and peace.”
Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.
Images: Flushing Town Hall