On one of these summer days in the month of May, a vivid, colorful and memorable cultural event was held in Moscow- the Indian Summer Bazaar.
For the lively summer festival, the Embassy of India in Moscow was lavishly decorated with colorful tents, had makeshift cafes with Indian delicacies, and even special areas for competition and games. All these fanfare attracted people, young or old, from the city like a magnet. There were expectations that a large crowd will turn up for the occasion, but no one could have thought that the crowd would be so large.
Expressing her satisfaction, the President of the Indian Women’s Association in Moscow, and wife of the Ambassador of India to Russia Mrs Ira Malhotra said,” This is a major event organized by the Indian Women’s Association with its 65 members, mostly wives of employees of the Indian embassy, who prepare for the event for a whole year. We also encourage other Indians working and living in Moscow to participate in the event. Among them are representatives of Indian business organizations, the Indian school and of course, the Russians who come for numerous classes to the Indian Cultural Center in Moscow”.
According to the Russian tabla artist Sergei Emelyanov- “this year’s event has surpassed all previous events by its variety of activities, and has been one of the best summer bazaars until now”. Emelyanov is one of the best students of the Indian table teacher Badri Narayan Pandit at the Indian Cultural Centre in Moscow.
”We were well appreciated by Russians and Indians alike, and for the occasion we had specially composed and performed a rhythmic composition in the style of "fusion" which included musical instruments like sitar, santoor, flute and tabla. People did not let us go from the stage for several hours. It is wonderful that music has become one of the main components of Indian Summer Bazaar”, said Sergei Emelyanov.
The performers of Indian dances, which included Russians, Indians, children from schools and students of other organizations can well claim that their art was the center of attraction at the Indian Summer Bazaar.
And what is a market without shopping and without treats? There were Indian Pashmina shawls, silk scarves of all colors, Ayurvedic cosmetics, medicines, and of course- Indian tea, and all these became hits of sales in the Bazaar. Sakkeer Hussain, Director of the Indian Tea Board in Russia says, ”the volume of sales in Russia after a downturn in the 90's is again coming up”. And according to him, the most popular teas among Russians are the Assam Tea and Darjeeling Tea, which have broken sales records at the Moscow Indian Summer Bazaar.
Along with all of the above, there was Indian cuisine with items like tandoori chicken, Somosa, paneer, sweets from Bengal, Rajasthan and Kashmir. Treats for guests at the Indian Summer Bazaar were prepared by the best cooks- said Siddhartha Bose, director of two Indian restaurants among the 20 odd Indian restaurants in the Russian capital. He represents the company "Stridore Consultant Ltd" in Moscow, which was one of the general sponsors of the Indian Summer Bazaar.
Our popular restaurant "Maharaja" is working in Moscow since 1994, and similarly our second restaurant "Fusion Plaza" is also quite popular. Participation in the Indian Summer Bazaar is both pleasing and an honorable mission. We contribute in bringing the culture and traditions of India to Russians, and also participate in charity events organized by the IWA”, said Siddhartha Bose.
One hundred Indian companies working in Moscow participated and sponsored the Indian Summer Bazaar, and handed over prizes to the winners of various competitions. Among the most significant prizes in the competitions were the tour packages to Goa, Kerala and also to the Golden triangle- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Interestingly there was also a sweet prize in its literal sense, which was a light sweet Indian fruitcake, which was won by a young but already experienced Moscow housewife Nina Bryantseva. Without a weighing scale, but simply by taking the cake in hand, she guessed the exact weight of the cake- three kilograms.
The proceeds from the event, according to the organizers, which is thousands of dollars will be sent to children's homes and orphanages of the Russian capital and other cities those have connections with India. Among these cities are: Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad, Severodvinsk, Krasnodar, Vladivostok and Arkhangelsk.
The Voice of Russia/Natalya Benyukh
May 28, 2013