So it was the Annual Cape Town Dewali festival, aka Festival of Lights, this weekend. I had been looking forward to this for a while and couldn’t wait for all things Indian. The food, the sweet treats, the spices, the fabrics, clothing, the music and the dancing. It promised to be a festival to remember.
South Africa is made of a mix of races, cultures and religions, and has the highest number of Indians outside of India. About 65% are Hindu, so the Hindu festivals are very much celebrated in South Africa.
I am generally curious about other cultures, traditions and religions. So this should be good. And I have the perfect outfit for this occasion, curtesy of a recent trip to Mauritius.
So did this year’s showcase be what it promised to be?
The music and dancing was there- they actually had black dancers doing the traditional Indian dances. They were actually quite poised and impressive, I suppose it shows acceptance and integration of cultures in South Africa. We are a rainbow nation after all. But I still expected to see more dancing. My son enjoyed dancing for the crowd :).
The art; beautiful hand art everywhere you looked, obviously I like. So impressive how good these ladies are, it’s taking less than 5 min! And no tracing, just eyeballing the designs. I want to learn to do this.
The shopping- clothing, fabrics- not much. There was only one stall that sold clothing, with only a few Sarees and Punjabis. I was actually looking to get a Punjabi suit, but limited options and nothing grabs my attention.
The food: the smell of the different spices in the air is so hypnotic. I love Indian food. There were a few options, the turn out was a little disappointing, 6 or 7 food stalls. I thought they’d be more but still couldn’t wait to tuck in. We had veg and chicken samoosas, butter chicken with rice and lamb breyani. My son enjoyed the samoosas and the butter chicken.
But no spices for sale! This is my biggest disappointment, I was hoping to stock up. But I guess I’ll have to wait for my trip back to Natal.
The presentation of the food could have been better. My husband had the butter chicken and the verdict was; his dad’s tastes better. Could be biased 🙂 . My lamb breyani; looks messy but it tastes delicious, interesting combination of flavours.
Overall we had a pleasant time, my son enjoyed the music and dancing for the crowd, I loved the art and the food. My husband; still sulking because there was no beer :).