9. Diwali at Little India

Punjabi Dancers. Image©2010 RuthLorMalloy.

 

Should you go to Little India this weekend?

I’ve been at festivals twice now at Gerrard and Coxwell and they can be fun. The first time, it rained off and on. We stood around for over an hour waiting for better weather, an audience, and other performers to appear. It was an opportunity to talk with the charming Punjabi dancers and with two female members of Canadian Forces, there to recruit.

When the women finally danced, it was worth the wait. I’ve seen such dances in India. This one included a cute story about a mother-in-law. The Punjabi dancers were lively and good. Nothing else was memorable.

The second time I went was this past summer. I had heard about a
dosa-eating contest at my by-then favourite dosa restaurant there, the
Udupi Palace. A dosa is a humongous, flat, very thin
pan-cake filled with cheese or potatoes which comes with two dipping
sauces. I love the crispiness and the sauces. If you haven’t already, do try them. They make a delightful lunch.

Unfortunately, the contest was on another day so I didn’t see it.

I was showing a friend around and we went through three blocks of stores looking at the current fashion in fancy saris, salwar kameezes, and jewellery. It’s amazing how styles change. As usual, storekeepers didn’t like people taking pictures of their goods, but we got some quick shots out of their sight. We checked out the stalls and the grocery stores. I picked up some spicy snacks which are usually hard to find at Loblaws. And if we hadn’t been saving our appetite for dosas, we would have sampled all kinds of interesting foods – more than at the average festivals.

There was lots of do and see.

The weather was better that day and a big crowd was standing around the stage. The performances were a mix of Bollywood-inspired dances and some traditional Bharatanatyam classics. The dancers were lively and colourful. You might find them interesting. You might want to ask other people there about the best dancers and why.

If you know anything about these dances, please send us your critique of the Gerrard St. variety. If you go, let us know if you liked the festival or not.

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