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Flushing Town Hall preparing to celebrate ninth annual Diwali Festival

Oct. 20, 2023 By Rachel Butler

Flushing Town Hall will host its ninth annual Diwali Festival featuring food, dance, music and art for audiences of all ages next month.

The celebration, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, will include a performance by Kathak classical dancer Abha Roy, her Srijan Dance Company, and special guests, as well as a lively Bhangra dance party with DJ Rekha spinning Bollywood-inspired tunes that combine Punjabi music with hip-hop. 

Additionally, Queens Curry Kitchen and chef Nupur Arora will provide authentic Indian food and there will also be beautiful rangoli designs to explore with artist Anju Gupta and Hindi calligraphy, henna hand painting, diya decorating, and more. 

Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek said Flushing Town Hall is  immensely looking forward to the fun filled day. 

DJ Rekha will be performing at the Diwali Festival. Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

“Festivals like this show what Flushing Town Hall is all about: bringing global culture and music to our global audiences,” Kodadek said. “We are tremendously grateful to the Guru Krupa Foundation for their generous support, which made this festival possible.”

Diwali, or Deepavali, comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “row of lights.”’ It is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering.

Diwali began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and prosperity of the new harvest and in 2023, it was declared a public school holiday by New York City’s administration and is celebrated across the country on Nov. 12.

Gabrielle M. Hamilton, director of education and public programs at Flushing Town Hall, echoed Kodadek’s thoughts in sharing her excitement about the celebrations. 

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the joy and light of Diwali in Queens, with returning audience favorites from Abha Roy to DJ Rekha and Chef Nupur,” Hamilton said, adding that several performers at this years Diwali Festival are also Flushing Town Hall teaching artists.

The event is sponsored by the Guru Krupa Foundation who support several charitable cause across New York City.

Mukund Padmanabhan, of the Guru Krupa Foundation, shared how important it is for people of other cultures to feel at home in Queens. 

“These events are entertaining and informative, and also promote co-existence and peace, and are very much in line with Guru Krupa Foundation values,” Padmanabhan said. “We have been supporting these events since 2019 and are happy to continue the support in 2023.”

Tickets for the event are $20 for adults, $15 for adult members and $8 for children and can be purchased at flushingtownhall.org.

Kathak Dancer Abha Roy. Courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

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