Enjoy non-stop entertainment during the South Asian Festival in Ottawa
From August 10-11, guests at hotels in Ottawa who want to know more about the eastern influences in the city should go to the South Asian Festival in the heart of downtown. This two-day event will highlight numerous aspects of the region's culture, from dancing and music to food and the arts. Now in its fourth year, this fascinating outdoor event attracts locals and visitors by the thousands to take part in a celebration of Ottawa's rich diversity.
The festival is funded by the Ontario South Asian Community Association (OSACA), which has devoted itself to the widespread education and conservation of South Asian traditions in eastern Canada. This free event will feature non-stop entertainment, including Bollywood performances, beautiful bhangra dances and live music for the entire weekend.
Food for everyone
Vegetarian and meat-loving attendees won't know where to begin when they first start their walk along the rows of food vendors. Traditionally, most South Asian food can be made with or without meat, making the festival perfect for even the pickiest eaters. From tofu-filled Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches to Indian saag paneer (a spinach and homemade cheese ball curry dish), visitors will have dozens of culinary options to choose from.
Never gotten a henna tattoo before? This non-permanent body art is a symbol of class and beauty in South Asia, spanning across cultural divides and often serving as adornment for female brides. Along with a number of henna tattoo stations, visitors will also have the chance to take outdoor yoga classes and take their kids to get their face painted with Asian symbols that could mean anything from "love" to "luck."
Shopping for crafts
Previous arts and crafts vendors present during the South Asian Festival have included jewelry makers, professional embroiderers and silk spinners. Rather than flying across the Atlantic Ocean to peruse the bazaars of Istanbul, Ottawa visitors can instead enjoy the convenience of having nearly every south Asian country represented in one place.
Gentlemen may want to get a pair of beautiful glass bangle earrings for a special someone - or, better yet, ladies can simply splurge and buy one-of-a-kind jewelry from across Asia.