Festival of India 2021 within CharlotteSHOUT!

CharlotteSHOUT! is a multi-week cultural festival designed to showcase the Charlotte community by celebrating its creativity and innovation through art, music, food, and ideas. Located primarily in Uptown. CharlotteSHOUT! features curated programming by Charlottens born here, and also those who have immigrated from many other countries and call Charlotte home. This year CharlotteSHOUT! will be held from September 17 – October 3, 2021.

The Festival of India, held annually in Charlotte, was cancelled last year, and it was a painful decision for us that we had to make for the first time in 25+ years, due to the raging pandemic. One of the challenges about doing our Festival of India this year, has been our continued struggle with gauging visitor sentiment on attending big events, particularly in closed settings. So this year, we chose to team up with CharlotteSHOUT! to present the Festival of India under its umbrella on September 25, 2021, and collaborate on doing the Festival of India at Gateway Village in uptown Charlotte, because this venue offers many more flexible social distancing options.

We strongly believe that this is a unique facility with both open and covered spaces, with CharlotteSHOUT! planning to build a large stage with state-of-the-art sound system there. It offers lots of creative flexibility in reconfiguring our exhibits and also allows appropriate levels of social distancing for visitors. This will be a marquee event for CharlotteSHOUT that day, and we are excited about this collaborative endeavor.

For developing details, please visit us here or at www.CharlotteShout.com.

Special Theme Exhibit - Glimpses of Bollywood


Indian cinema, often known as Bollywood is the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai. Cinema is immensely popular in India, with as many as 1,600 films produced in various languages every year. Indian cinema produces more films than Hollywood, and are watched by more people than any other country in the world.

The most popular genre in the early years of Bollywood has been the Masala film, which freely mixes different genres including action, comedy, romance, drama and melodrama along with musical numbers.

Indian values, where relationships were valued more than mere possessions, was a consistent theme in those early films and depicted those  values in a sensitive and entertaining manner. Whether it is drama, romance, action or comedy, Indian Cinema offers something for every age group. 

Let’s walk down the memory lane of a century of Bollywood Cinema and  acknowledge its history, from silent movies to talkies, its golden era to modern era, its directors like Dada Phalke, Satyajeet Ray to Karan Johar and singers like Kishor Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar to Mika Singh and Shreya Ghoshal and so much more. 

We hope that you will enjoy the exhibit and also learn something about the rich history and diversity of Indian cinema, that has evolved from mere escapism to addressing contemporary social issues of the broader society.       

Cultural Exhibit – Wedding Diversity in India

One of the reasons we love weddings so much is that they're typically full of rituals. In fact, cultural norms and traditions are key to what make them so special and meaningful.

Marriages and Wedding Ceremonies in India are a grand affair and they are held in a unique manner in the different regions and states. Bengali Wedding is known for its gusto and pompous celebration. These rituals are incomplete without the ‘SaatPaak’ in which the bride encircles the groom seven times while covering her face with the betel leaves. One of the South Indian weddings, Malayali weddings are held in the mornings and the conjugal ceremony is called ‘Velli’. The father of the bride welcomes the groom by washing his feet and the marriage is complete when the groom ties a ‘thali’ or a yellow thread around the bride’s neck.

However, in Eastern India, in a Marathi Wedding, prior to the wedding trousseau, the ‘ShakharPuda’ or engagement ceremony takes place. During the wedding, the couple is separated with a silk shawl.

Another type of wedding is the Muslim Wedding a ceremony performed by about 200 million Indians. In this type of ceremony, the ‘Nikah’ in Islam is read by two priests and after the consent of the couple, the pious Nikah Naama is signed. Hereafter, the assembly is addressed with Khutba-tun-nikah or the marriage sermon. After this sermon, a mirror is placed between the couple, where their eyes meet each other for the first time.


Himalayas – a Vignette

Himalayas, mountain range that spans some 1500 miles thru Northern India, is home to some of the planet’s tallest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest. The Himalayas cross over five countries: India, Nepal, China, Pakistan and Bhutan, and glaciers and run off from that range is a national treasure and a lifeline to many of these countries. In Sanskrit Himalaya means “abode of snow” and for India in particular, it is truly a gift from nature as some of the great rivers like Ganges, Brahamputra, Jhelum etc. have originated from here and created societies along the way.

The exhibit is a firsthand report brought back by a Charlotte team who trekked to that unforgiving region of the Himalayas near Everest and remain captivated by the stunning landscapes and the innocence and kindness of the people, who call that range in its foothills home.

Join us as we transport you to a region of the world that most of us will never visit. While the images give us a small peek into the lives of these people, many questions remain, such as how they find food, water, and shelter. One can only imagine the kind of conditions that these people live through and the kind of spirit it takes to survive in that arctic environment without many modern facilities!




A very sensuous garment worn by women, the Sari consisting of a length of lightweight fabric with one end wrapped about the waist to form a skirt and the other draped over the shoulder or covering the head. Come to this exhibit and learn how to put on this native attire that flatters any shape!



Yoga Exhibit

Is a system of physical, mental and spiritual practices which have been traced back to pre-Vedic times (500 BCE) in the Indian subcontinent. Over the centuries, its practice has been adapted and assimilated by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Today, its use has become widespread among the religious and the secular alike. Displays in this exhibit cover a wide range of general themes like history of yoga and its different varieties and also more specific themes, like chakra and yogic therapies. Yoga experts will be at hand to answer your questions.




Is the application of Henna as a temporary form of body art sometimes called Henna Tattoos. Come have your hands adorned with intricate traditional patterns at minimal cost.