Friday, September 26, 2008

Dusshera/Dashera - Indian Celebrations in Egypt on 10th October

A couple of people had asked me about this last year:

To those who were concerned, at the community gatherings there will be absolutely no religious symbols or ceremonies being performed, it is just the party part of the celebration. Especially since these are not the actual dates of the festivals. So please do not be worried on that issue.

The Dushera function on 10 October is reasonably informal with traditional Indian dance (garba & dandiya) being performed by anyone in the crowd who is interested, the more colorful the clothes you wear the better you will blend in (see poster) There is also a high pre-disposition to wear clothes with mirrorwork on them.

The Diwali function will be a more formal sit down dinner at the Mena House Oberoi, which will also be colorful, but in a more understated way.

Dashera will be all about colors, food, dance and fun. Oh and in the dance, men and women may dance in different circles if they feel more comfortable with that or you can just dance in your own group. Or you can just eat the yummy food from the stalls (there will be non spicy food available) and watch the myriad colors swirl and turn. I personally fall in the second category :)

For those who can't read the poster too well. Entry is 20LE for members and 40 for non members. Kids are at half price. This is just entry charge.

You can sign up for membership on the spot (if you are an Indian or married to an Indian)and avail the discounted membership entry for the function. Membership is somewhere between a 50 and 100LE, but we paid up for a family membership a while ago, so I don’t remember the exact amount.

The admission fee includes admission and a few freebies and the chance to dance, enjoy the music etc. The dandiya sticks you can bring your own, or buy on the spot (which may be expensive, since they have to be imported from India and they are heavy) Food pricing depends on individual stalls, because they can price it to their convenience. A lot of home made Indian food will be on offer. I think last year prices per item started from 15LE. I would roughly say that prices would be similar to anything in a food court in Dandy mall or city stars. The Karvin hotel and the Oberoi hotel might have stalls and they may charge a little higher but not as high as eating at the hotels themselves. I have to highly recommend the jelebis made on the spot by the Oberoi chef if he turns up this year and the motichur laddus that the Alexandria Carbon black group distributed last year (don’t know if they will do it this year too)

Do come along, its pretty informal, you can either mix with the Indian community or stick to your group of friends, we are pretty welcoming of everyone

Below is the message from the Indian Community Association in Egypt.

Dear Community Members,

Further to our last mail on Dushera celebrations in Cairo on 10th October, we would like to thank everyone for the tremendous response. We have got a lot of inquiries from people who want to put up food stalls, and also from talents who want to perform on stage. We would like to remind you that if you are interested either in having a food stall or exhibition stall, this would be your last chance to register. Also, if there are any more talented people out there who want to perform on stage, do call us immediately.

Detailed maps to help all of you get to the Dushera venue is attached. One map is for people coming from Nasr City/ Heliopolis area. Second one is for people coming in from Mohandeseen/ Downtown area. Maps will also be on our website A Dushera poster is also attached,with more details.

Also just to mark in your calendar, the festive annual diwali nite in Cairo will be held at Mena House Oberoi on 14th November night. This is going to be a very grand dine and dance function with exclusive entertainers flown in from India, tickets will be on sale at the Dushera venue. Further mails would follow on Diwali.

Warm Regards,
Infodesk @ desiegypt . com

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