The focus this year is on South Indian classical music and dance.
The focus this year is on South Indian classical music and dance.

Edinburgh: The Scottish Indian Arts Forum will present its flagship event Dusherra 2015, the largest celebration of the Indian community in Scotland, on top of Calton Hill in a picturesque location overlooking the Firth of Forth on one side and providing a birdseye view of Edinburgh town on the other.

The festival is on October 25.

"In the 21 years since the Forum’s inception, thousands of people from all over Scotland and Northern England have participated in our events and festivals," said Karthik Subramanya, President of Scottish Indian Arts Forum.

“The Dusherra Festival in Edinburgh is the largest celebration of the Indian Community in Scotland. We aim to unite people through a greater understanding of each others’ music, culture, food and dance.”

This year’s cultural programme features a mixture of Scottish and Indian music and dance, he said.

The focus this year is on South Indian classical music and dance.

“For the first time ever we have a Carnatic Music performance by Rekha MacKay along with a Bharatnatyam classical dance performance by Radha Krishnan from the famed Kalakshetra school. The popular pipes and fiddle performers of Scott Wood Band will be headlining the festival at 5:15 pmwith lively Scottish folk music,” Subramanya said.

Twisted Tails, the tribal belly dancing group as well as Bhartiya Ashram, Dundee will perform Bollywood and Fusion dance. 

“We are pleased to have a dedicated children’s marquee with arts and crafts workshop led by visual artist Natalie Taylor from 2.30-5 pm. With mask making, story telling, interactive craft activities we aim to get Scotland’s children to understand different cultures right from a young age. Children’s activities have been put together in consultation with and the support of the Scottish Government.”

More than 200 children participated in last years’ activities.

The event culminates in the burning of effigies and the fireworks.

Built by the inmates of HM Prison in Saughton, these 25 ft wooden structures are an important activity for the prison in teaching inmates key life skills such as carpentry and decorating, Subramanya said.

Kama Sutra Restaurant of Edinburgh as well as Bananaleaf of Glasgow have provided the food stalls.

Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) have sponsored the event for the second year in a row.

TCS will also have stalls at the event to showcase their Corporate Social Responsibility and Skills Development Initiatives.

"Our supporters and sponsors ensure that we maintain Dusherra as a free festival year on year," added Subramanya.

The City of Edinburgh Council also extended full support for the event. 

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