Saris adorned with bright colors and jewels, intricate mehndi painted on the skin, the spiciest and most flavorful cuisine cooked to perfection; these are what make up a small part of the beautifully diverse culture of India. Home to a whopping 1.3 billion people who have practiced these ancient traditions for several millennia, it’s no wonder that India’s customs have become popular worldwide. On March 11, the Penn Museum brings this venerable culture to Philly as they observe Holi, a vibrant festival of color which celebrates the coming spring equinox.
Hello India! will start at 11 a.m., headlining World Culture Day at the museum’s Warden Garden with a day-long festival exalting the rich civilization that has come to be. Vivid rangoli sand painting crafts will be designed on the streets and walls, with a workshop available to those of all ages, with the help of the Bharatiya Temple and Cultural Center. They will be offering sari wrapping, dance and language classes throughout the day as well.
Want to add some saffron to your spice rack? Grab some cardamom for your cabinets? Connoisseurs and cooks will have the chance to try some savory, spicy meals and even fix their own meals, as Madhuri Sharma of Masala Meals teaches the tricks of the trade, and the ways of Karnataka cooking.
Movie junkies, this event is for you too, as Mustard Seed Film will team up with the Penn Museum to bring you short films such as Doubles with Slight Pepper, a coming-of-age story, and The Stitches Speak, an animated documentary about the artists of Gujarat.
Sometimes, a savasana is all we need. End your day with a relaxing yoga session by the Sky Foundation’s Vijayendra Pratap, Ph.D. and discover peace from within through various poses and postures.
The festival will have mini-markets, henna tattoos, games and more! World Culture Day is free with general admission, and will go until 4 p.m. The wonders of India await you, so take a journey to the other side of the world, here in your own backyard. Namaste.
@ Penn Museum, Warden Garden
Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$15 General Admission; $10 for children 6 to 17